Friday, June 17, 2016

Finally Finished

Finally.  The project I've spent the last three days, basically, working on is finished.  I didn't realize until I was already started on it that my newly minted (well, almost) 16 year old didn't yet know what the design of his birthday cake (shared with his younger brother) was going to be.  The moment I got enough decorations on for him to recognize it, he was so excited!  I love those moments of motherhood. 

Basic shape carved out and frosted.
Ready to go

I began first thing this morning, stacking and carving cakes.  Once I got four layers stacked up, I decided it looked tall enough, so the kids got to enjoy the extra layer.  Okay, okay.  I had some, too.  Remember how I said I'd tell you more about the new cake recipe once I'd had a chance to work with it and taste it?  Yeah.  It's pretty awesome.  Moist, delicious, and carves like a dream.  I think I'll be making this one again.  But no project can ever seem to go off without a hitch, and I was realizing as I checked my reference photo that I had forgotten an important component.  I was going to need black fondant for the tires and underside of the van.  So, after getting the cake stacked, carved, and iced, I was off to the store for black fondant (and the big fondant rolling pin I couldn't get yesterday because the other Wal-Mart was out of stock), and a mat that I didn't intend to buy but decided I needed.  I didn't end up regretting that $9 spent, either, let me tell you.

When I got back, it was time to add the main layers of fondant, black first, then blue.  The blue tore just a bit on one corner, but by the time I was finished, you couldn't really tell.

The offending tear is on the other side. :)
I decided to do the green splashy designs by making a template of the side of the van and sketching them on it sort of freehand, then cutting them out to use as a stencil for cutting the fondant.  It took a little trial and error, but I found a method for getting them cut and on the cake that worked.  You can see it at that stage up top, with a teenager who's just realized what his cake is going to be when it's finished. :D

Probably the hardest, most time-consuming part of the entire process was getting the text on the sides.  I carved it freehand, but it also had to be done backwards because of the way I was putting stuff on the sides of the cake.  Simply lifting the fondant was causing it to stretch out of shape, so I devised a system of using parchment to lift it up, then peeling it carefully off the parchment--but that meant everything had to be backwards!  I was so thrilled with how it turned out, though!

And now it was just time for the details.  Flowers, tires (including spare) made of fondant-covered Oreos, hubcaps, bumpers, headlights, and gum paste luggage rack, license plate (J05-E16 for their ages), and door handles.

 Ta-da!  One Mystery Machine.  This is, without a doubt, the most complicated cake I've ever undertaken, but these guys make it all worthwhile. . .

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