Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tutorial: How to make a topsy turvy Cake

Before attempting making one  topsy turvy cake, please be prepared to feel a bit frustrated and even not to get the results you are expecting. Try to practice first before attempting to make this for a special event. But once you understand all this process, you will be so glad to know how to make a whimsical and super funny cake for a special occasion. Let's start!!!

Let's start with a good board. I use a 12'x12' squared MDF board,  I ask the nice guy from my local Home Depot to cut them for me. Using My ultra long ruler, I mark an "X" on the boar so I can easily find the center. I also use a PVC pipe for drinking water, previously through out washed with soap and warm water. And also a PVC Flange to insert in the board. There is no good cake structure, with out a proper structure !!! 

I drill a hole in the center and attach the flange, it has to be perfectly straight so the pipe is set perfectly straight. 
Note: Please make sure to cover all the PVC pipe and flange in saran paper, even though it is pipe meant for drinking water, I still hate anything non edible touching any of my cake. 

Once the board is built, set aside and start with the cakes. I ALWAYS  use a separate board for any of my cakes, I NEVER place any of my cakes directly on the main board or the decorated one. Before placing any cakes you HAVE to open some holes on each board, big enough that the PVC pipe can go through. 
Note: If you forget this step, you will be in trouble!!! 

For this design, I used 2 tiers. Bottom tier: 10", 9", 8" and top tier: 7",6", 5"  I own even pans and odd pans. I bake them this way because I hate trowing away soo much cake but you can make 10",10" 8" if you only own evens. Turn them up side down, so the larger cake is bottom and smaller on top. 

For this design, I used 2 tiers. Bottom tier: 10", 9", 8" and top tier: 7",6", 5"  I have  even size pans and odd pans. I bake them this way because I hate trowing away soo much cake but you can make 10",10" 8" if you only own evens. Turn them up side down, so the larger cake is bottom and smaller on top. 
It is time now to carve each tier so you can get sort of a trapezoid shaped cake (is that the name??LOL I m bad a geometry ) this step will make your cake look tapered. 
Note: I always work the cake upside down. Remember gravity will try to pull the sides of your cake down, your cake can split in half if you don't work them this way. 

and cover in ganache, you can also use buttercream after ganache, but all ganache is great and makes your structure sturdier. Drag the excess and use two boards to guide the spatula. 

Note: If your cake suppose to be flat on top, You can stop here and chill the cake,  make sure all boards have a hole to go through the center pole.   
(I missed this step while making this cake, sorry guys) there are 2 ways for making tupsy turvy tiers: Flat or with a transverse cut on the very top part of the tier. In this picture, My cake has a traverse cut, I Use my long knife to slice the topper part. Using the knife, I slice a bit  at 1/2 inch from the edge of the cake  on one side and then 2" from the other side and slowly i slice all the the way, from one side to the other. 

Measure the diameter of the cake on the wider part and also the height of the cake on the taller part, just to make sure you are rolling enough fondant (using a mixture of 50/50 fondant and modeling chocolate brings even better results) . Once is roll out, take a piece of PVC pipe or a tall enough rolling pin and roll the fondant strip on it, lift it and on your turn table, unroll it all around the previously wet cake, making sure it sticks on the wider part. It sounds complicated but is not, trust me this is the best way to cover a tapered tier cake. But you must practice!! and practice. I bet you got you fondant cake properly covered after at least 5 tries, right??
  Note: check how soft is the fondant, too soft it will drag down, too dry out will form elephant skin .

cover all around, making sure is really stick to the  cake on the wider part of it, use a fondant smoother to smooth all the fondant, cat all the excess from bottom, but leave the top as is!!!! wait for the next step 

cut a fondant circle, big enough to cover the topper part of the cake. Wet the cake a bit, lift the fondant and add to topper part, smoothing and pulling it to the edges. If your fondant is too soft, let it dry a bit. If you add some modeling chocolate it'll get firmer if you place it in the fridge a lit bit so that way is easier to lift. If you are afraid to lift it with your hands, then use a cardboard to help you lift it and place it on top of the cake. 

 cut the excess with a sharp knife or x-xacto knife, Wet the edges just a little bit and smooth the edges. If you are using fondant/ modeling chocolate combination, then edges will be able to smooth together and make the seems less noticeable. 

I use 2 pieces of sheet for making stencils or acetate sheet to smooth the edges. You need to work hard on this part. Use the fondant smoother plus the sheets. Always make sure all edges are really glued together.   

 It looks good after 20 min of good smoothing and work on the edges. 

ou can cover the lines where fondant meets by adding decoration like stripes 

Now it is time to stack , I don't carve anything on the cake to place the upper tier, there are different ways to make the sacking part , I use wooden dowels or sturdy large straws . 

Decorate your board and place the cake on it stacking it to the PVC pipe. You need to stack as any other cake: place some hollow dowels inside so the next tier sits on them. Before placing the next tier, measure and cut the PCV pipe so it will stay inside the topper tier and don't mess it up. You do not need to carve the topper part of any of the cakes to sit the next tier on it. They can be Placed on top of the other with no problem. Easier way.

My tips for tupsy turvy cakes :
  • Always use a good, dense cake. too crumbly cake will bring you many problems. 
  • Better to use buttercream or ganache as filling: forget about jams or any runny filling 
  • better to always cover in ganache
  • keep the cake at room temperature. condensation can make it soft  
  • never forget to get the holes done on each board 
  • i loove this way of covering cakes, it always work, but is not magic you need to practice. 

LOOOOVE you and hope I can see your own creations coming to life!!!! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to: Pleated cake Effect

Wooohooo Yesss Finally I am back to my Blog!!!! I have missed it soo much and your comments and questions. So yes I am back and ready to show you one of my latest cakes. I made this one last weekend to celebrate my niece's party. She wasn't super happy with her gift but she was definitely impressed with her cake. I must tell you I spent about 50 hours on her doll toppers !!!! BTW if you are wondering who they are, well these teenagers used to be Ponies !!! Yes, "My Little Pony" and by a strange activity with a mirror, they turned into some sort of alien/teenager/pony/ rockers and they are called Equestria Girls, or sort !!! LOL 

I was requested to make them all!!!! yes all !!! ahhh the dreams of a 7 year old girl !!!! 
They took me forevahhhh to make, and of course because they have so many details on their clothes but certainly they look cute all dressed up. I was totally happy to make them, It was  like when I was a little girl  playing with my Barbies. And if at this point you are wondering how I made them... Drum roll!!!!!!
(this is a great time to bring the subject again to the table, LOL ppppplizzzzz ) 


So basically For the stand up girl, I used the same way to build my pre-teen super cool  Girl from my class, so in case you missed it, please check this class, I share many secrets and wonderful information for successful toppers  results.

Ok ....Now let's go back to the cake!!! and its super easy pleated tier. I used a 10" round cake for the pleated tier and 6" double barrel for the top tier ( Click here to learn How To double barrel a cake).

I removed the edge on the cake so I can make it look more rounded, sort of donuts' shape. I used buttecream to crumb coat the cake. This part doesn't need to be super perfect, no imperfection will be shown on the cake. If you notice, I lift the cake by placing it on top of a fondant bucket. Of course there is a cardboard circle on the bottom of the cake so it's easier to move it and decorate it. 


This time I use Wilton fondant because is soft and it takes longer to dry. This process is easy, but it's time consuming. I Roll a large piece of fondant and let it rest for a bit.My cake messures about 4" tall, when I roll the fondant, I make sure to make it at least 8" wide, so I cover the cake all the way from top to the bottom part. Also good to know,  This fondant might need a good amount of cornstarch to avoid sticking on the table. You also need wooden dowels, I use some that are meant for craft projects. They come in different sizes, these are 3/16 inch.

Once fondant is rolled, place each dowel under it, using your index and thumb to smooth and mark the pleat. This part doesn't need to look perfectly lined, some pleats are larger or with different distances between one or the other.
Tip: Use dowels with different thickness, it will make the pleats look more natural.  

Once the fondant you rolled is resting with its dowels, it's time to wet the cake to stick the pleat. I make a syrup with equal parts of water and corn syrup. Brush the syrup where you are going to add the pleat, this technique is done little by little. Make sure to even add the syrup under the cake, yes even on the cardboard circle. 

Now is the time to add the fondant pieces, remember, the should be made by steps, using small strips. Take the dowels off and squeeze the pleats together before lifting it to add it to the cake. Make it smaller will be easier to handle it. 

List the fondant pleated strip and stick it to the cake, making sure the strip comes from the bottom all the way to the top. In order to hide the seams where each strip meet each other, I overlap each strip. Keep doing this until you cover the entire cake. 
Tip: Make sure to mark on the top of the cake where the next tier will be placed, this way you know how large the strip should be. The topper tier should be placed on top of the pleats. 

Check the bow and ribbon, I made it following the same technique, but I used a long strip, long enough to go all around the cake, making sure it stays higher on one side and lower on the other side. 
Hope you like it !!!! see ya

Friday, September 4, 2015

Finally my New class is here !!!!!

Finally my online  Class is here and I cannot be more excited about it!!! 

I have work extra hard to make this happened, it's being a long journey and finally the wonderful results are here. I hope you all are also happy about it and remember when you get a Craftsy class, you get  the best instructors from all over the world, and the most up to date craft tendencies. You can  sing up for an account, watch many free videos and the best part is that you can watch them anytime and on your own time. 

You can also ask questions directly to the instructors, post your own work and follow discussions. There is also an amazing blog where artists from all over the world, post ideas, suggestions, trendies and more. 

Since this week is the big Launch day, I have this class 50% off!!! but hurry because it doesn't last too long.