Sunday, August 21, 2011
It's finished! I've been working on this cake pretty much all week and spent all day yesterday decorating it. And now it is complete and I am very pleased with how it all turned out. Yeah!! What do you all think?
Here are some close-ups for you.
The top of the cake from the front. Notice the little fish partly under the water, the snake hanging from the tree (next time I think I'll add more details to him, like bands, eyes, and maybe a little forked tongue sticking out), and the birthday girl's initials carved into the tree.
Here is the top view from the back. See the little butterfly on the tree?
And a closer look at the chameleon.
One of my favorite details is the stripes with the flower border on the bottom tier. I used four different greens and my pasta machine to make the stripes. Thanks to Jessica over at Jessicakes for the great trick on applying the stripes! I took this idea straight from her, so I can take no credit at all, and it worked great. Just take a strip of waxed paper the same length as the circumference of your cake and grease it very lightly with shortening. Use a pasta machine (or your knife and a ruler if you don't have a pasta roller with a linguini attachment) to cut strips in the colors that you want. Remember to keep everything covered with plastic wrap when you aren't working with it so that it doesn't dry out before you are ready to put it on the cake. After you have your strips cut, lay them out on the waxed paper in the pattern you like, pressing them very lightly to get them to stick to the waxed paper. Use a template or just a ruler to cut them to the proper height/shape then lift the waxed paper with strips attached and apply it to the cake. After pressing lightly to the cake, which has been brushed lightly with vodka or water, simply peel off the waxed paper and, voila! Stripes! I had made my flowers ahead of time so they could dry with some shape, so after my stripes were on the cake, I simply attached the flowers to the edges with a little vodka. I was a little nervous that this wouldn't be enough to make them stick, but it worked really well and I only broke a couple of them! :)
On the top tier, I cut out leaves then cut the bottoms off to make a flat edge. I then placed them one by one onto the cake but did not press down the tops, so that they would curl a little bit away from the cake. I love how that turned out too! It gives some nice texture and color to that tier without taking away from the design on the top of the cake.
This is the most detail I've done for the top of the cake to-date. It was really time-consuming but also a lot of fun to put it all together. I think maybe the chameleon is a little big/not to scale, but I still like him. He was a little tricky to do and I really like how he turned out. I made him ahead of time, too, so that he could dry and harden. Everything is made of fondant except for the rocks, which are made of modeling chocolate. This is really only because I already had some grey modeling chocolate. A little toothpick is holding the chameleon onto the rocks and a dowel is holding the tree in place. I also really like how the details of the butterflies, the little fish, and all the colors came together.
The cake itself is white cake with chocolate ganache under the chocolate fondant and fondant decorations. Yum! The party is going on as I write this, so I hope they are all enjoying my creation. I admit, it is a little hard to see the cakes go sometimes, though I feel truly blessed to be able to make people smile through the cakes that I make.
I hope you enjoyed looking at my cake and reading about it! As always, any comments you have are truly valued and appreciated! Come back again soon for some more recipes, some non-cake items (including cherry almond bagels and a super simple pasta sauce), and, of course, more cake!