What’s a Hokie Bird?

A mere 13 days after my birthday was my friend David’s…. and as a staunch VTech alumni, (yeah, he wears one of two VTech polos to work every casual Friday, alternating between Maroon on Orange and Orange on Maroon). So, what better to give him on his birthday than a little VTech Pride, in edible form?

We debated over this for a while… what represents the infamous Frix the best? He has a mini stuffed Hokie bird that sits on his desk, so we tried looking for ideas with that for a while. However, who would think that a bird like that is so difficult to recreate in cake?! Good-ness. If we did something like that, it’d either be a maroon turkey, or lame.

Needless to say, idea abandoned. We picked something a bit more simpler, and Laur and Nick had at it! Some frosting, tons of burgundy, red, brown, orange and violet food coloring, and a bit of manpower, and you get the proud Virginia Tech logo:

In the works- cupcakes all aligned, white piping on the edges in process:

The final product:

 

Laur did a most excellent job at piping. Nick, at coloring. 🙂 Happy Birthday David!

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Welcome to Scranton…

The latest creation is a surprise birthday cake for a huge Office fan. He got me sort of hooked on watching it, so I thought it pretty appropriate. He’s even got paraphernalia, and is known for wearing this blue Dunder Mifflin t-shirt… which he even donned under a sport coat for a FORMAL  Christmas party. That shows some dedication. So? Combine two favorite things- his favorite shirt, and my favorite hobby.

Happy 24th, Griff, from your friends at Dunder Mifflin:

Step 1: The bare t-shirt cake, made of a 9×13″ (2 layers) and the sleeves were cut from the corners of a (9×9 square).

Step 2: Plain White tee! (covered with buttercream)

Step 3: Covering the t-shirt with blue fondant. I tried a different coloring method this time- instead of making white fondant from the marshmallows and sugar and THEN dying it, I added the dye while the marshmallows were still in melted form. This was a lot easier as far as achieving uniform color. Just a tip! Then add powdered sugar, just be sure to overcompensate for the white of the powdered sugar, or else you’ll end up with a pastel.

Step 4: The block letters- made of white gum paste. I printed out the logo at work (what are the odds, one of my co-workers was standing in the copy room when I sprinted to grab them off the copier before anyone saw, so awkward. Luckily it prints face down… I love the guy who programmed privacy into corporate copiers. Needless to say I was flustered and awkward as I snatched the sheets off the printer.) So just cut out the letters and traced them with a knife on the gum paste.

Step 5: You can see this in the photo above, but took a close up just to be sure… check out those sculpted abs 🙂 So running joke is Griffin has amazing abs and on a group trip there were certain people always trying to de-shirt him. So thought I’d pop that little inside joke in. Why not?

Lastly: Cut open and eat 🙂 Nomnomnom….

“Cup” Cake

Another birthday this past weekend: my dear friend Megs, a lover of tea and coziness. What better than a tea theme!

This was truly my first real experience with fondant. Laur and I spent time agonizing in the kitchen about how to make a teacup cake… and then successfully cover it in fondant for that finished look.

Here’s our end result:

PA161050

Indeed! I am always rushing to do the last minute touch-ups, i.e. covering up mistakes with frosting, so the colors were a bit weird (to me). I think she loved it though, that’ s all that counts.

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On the bright side, this gave me a chance to purchase real gel food coloring! How exciting. I do get worked up about the little things.

I shall start practicing for the wedding cake soon. I have a feeling I’ll be throwing out tons of fondant! I am still experimenting with the idea of home-made, but thus far that has been FAIL. The pink mess is still sitting in an amorphous-saran-wrapped blob in my fridge. (Fondant above was store-bought… I’m not that good, yet 😉 ).

A big bite!

More birthdays! After the September lull, we are back in business. Two weeks ago we celebrated Ryen’s birthday with a ginormous burger cake. Having basically 2-3 hours to bake the entire thing, we quickly threw together the buns (cake), burger patty (giant soft double chocolate chip cookie), and lettuce, ketchup, and sesame seeds (butter cream frosting).

burger_complete

I learned that buttercream doesn’t really dye well with normal water-based foodcoloring, hence the light tints. Oh well 🙂

A baking success? The cookie was evenly cooked through. For a 9″ diameter, this was a feat. I was afraid the sides would cook faster than the middle, so shaped the raw cookie dough as such:

big cookie bake

Don’t know if you can really tell in the photo, but basically I built up the sides and made the middle into an indentation, so that the entire thing would cook evenly. Simple solutions, I like!

Here’s after we dug in- quite the layerage:

cut_cake

Next time I’ll plan ahead for fries!