Thursday, July 23, 2009

down the shore

Onto a 3-tier sandcastle cake for a bridal shower. The industry secret is to use crushed Nilla Wafers [or similar generic brand, of course] for sand. So I food-processed a box and I was left with a bowl of beautifully fine grained sand that smelled much more delicious than the real thing.

Assembled and iced the cake, then came time to "apply" the sand. First I tried patting small patches but it kept slipping off. Then came a "throwing" or "splatting" technique, but that didn't get me anywhere either. I think what finally worked was grabbing a handful of sand, pretty much cupping the side of the cake, and smushing. Started at the top and worked my way down, and it's a bit uneven and splotchy, but hey - no sandcastle is perfect. Mmm, maybe I take that back.
Then time to accessorize. Iced and sanded my sugar cone turrets and made some sand dollars out of fondant. Joan also has these nifty white chocolate shells that I slightly airbrushed afterwards [there's a ton of nifty things around the shop]
Added a few more details:
And then scattered the shells, etc. in the excess sand around the base. You'll have to excuse the closet background, I'm planning on taking better pictures tomorrow before it goes out.
I had a good time with this one, I generally like beach-themed things so this cake was right up my alley. I think that sand castles are usually more crenellated based on the buckets and tools you use to make them, but obviously easier out of sand than cake and icing [though they do sell elaborate cake pans that make perfect castles]. Still, very fun and summery overall.

I am also really excited for this next cake. The story started a few weeks when a woman came in to request a fish cake for her son, but not just any fish. Her son is turning 5 and love loves anglerfish. Now of all cuddly creatures that a child could fall in love with, this boy likes a fish and more specifically one like this:
Yeah, that's a little terrifying. Especially when they go after little clown fish ... Anywho, last year the mother had a special stuffed animal made for the boy's birthday:
Aww that's better. And, the woman who made the stuffed animal is actually an architect who has this little creative business on the side. Hmm... So we'll be making a cake based on the stuffed animal and she brought it in so we could photograph it. Started with a big round cake and a small square one:
Cut off the sides of the round, stacked the square, added fins, and used the excess to shape it out:
Prepped with icing and set in the back to finish tomorrow:
Carving cakes is easily becoming one of my favorite things to do at the shop. To start with whatever Joan puts in front of me, it's like a puzzle to figure out which cuts to make and how to use each piece, and it always looks like a mess until it's prepped and iced. But I'm finding it is possible to fulfill most people's cake requests, no matter what they may be.

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