Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Birthdays

Both kids have birthdays this week---the 14th and the 16th. We aren't having any birthday parties this year, but somehow I am running ragged from the preparations.

I ran around like a mad woman finishing last minute shopping for the kids birthdays. Uh, the flowers are for me.


Oliver is old enough now to have an opinion on his birthday, especially the cake. He told me he wanted a chocolate cake. He was also pretty specific when it came to birthday presents---he wants a truck, a car and a racecar bed. Every now and then we get a request for fish, but mostly the racecar bed. We're working on the racecar bed, it won't be here in time for his birthday.
Two guesses on one of Oliver's presents? Too easy?

Chloe requested a strawberry, go-kart cake. She got her kid kart for her birthday, so presents are pretty easy.

Last year I ordered Chloe's birthday cake. It was beautiful and she could have cared less. I thought about searching for a baker that could make a cake in the shape of a go-kart, but I just decided to tackle the project myself. I gathered ideas from Pinterest and off the internet. I knew it would be beyond me to make a go-kart shaped cake, so I stuck to a simpler plan, a cake in the shape of a number 8 (for Chloe's 8th birthday) and purchasing a scale go-kart (thanks EBay).

Here's the finished product:
The blobs on the left are to hold the 8 candles.


And, here's how I did it:

1. I spent a lot of money on fondant, food coloring, a pastry mat, a pastry roller and all the other necessities to bake the cake.
2. A few days before, I dyed the fondant and placed it in ziploc bags. This process wasn't as messy as I thought and I can definitely say the darker the color, the stickier it got. The black fondant was not easy.

I rolled the fondant into a ball, smashed a hole in the center and placed the food coloring in the center hole.

I then got a good forearm workout kneading the color into the fondant. I am making grey fondant for the track here.

The final fondant colorings.
3. I baked the cake--Chloe wanted strawberry and I found this recipe--

 I also used strawberries that the kids and I picked--


I mixed the batter, and baked it in two 8 inch round cake pans.

When the cake was cooled, I cut one side of each cake to make them fit neatly and then spread a layer of cream cheese frosting on the top of the cake for the fondant to stick to.


4. Fondant--I wouldn't have survived the cake making if I hadn't scoured the internet on fondant. Thanks to YouTube I learned how to dye fondant and how to properly roll it out. You have to move fast with the fondant and use powder sugar to keep it from sticking.

It took me several tries to master rolling the fondant. The pastry roller with the bands on it was a waste of money. I couldn't get it to roll very well or quick enough. The old-fashion rolling pin worked the best.

I used the cake pan to cut out the size and shape of the cakes.

I then layed the track/asphalt for the cake.

I made the grass.


I then placed the white fondant for the painted lines and to outline the cake.

 
I also frost the sides of the cake and then used black fondant to create a racing flag pattern.

5. The finished product--

Chloe doesn't know what her cake looks like. I hope she likes it. In total, I spent roughly 3.5 hours on this cake. I rushed a little as I had to go get Chloe from school and I wanted the cake put away. When Chloe came home, the kitchen looked like powdered sugar had exploded. She didn't say a word or ask what happened. I assume she knew I made her cake.

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