Archive for 3-Dimensional

Somewhere over the rainbow…

My daughter loves rainbows, so for her 5th birthday party, it was not a surprise that she asked for a rainbow cake.  I happily obliged as she is my dearest, little rainbow.

As I planned for the party I quickly became rainbow crazy.  From party favors, to fruit trays, to invitations, and so on, I had rainbows upon rainbows of ideas.

For the cake itself, it was not hard at all.  I used a 15″ round cake pan to bake her favorite chocolate cake.  I cut the cake in half to form semi-circles, glued the two halves with frosting, and then stood the cake up on the flat side.  Since it seemed like we would have a lot of guests, I also made two hemispheres using my ball pan mold (can you guess why?).  I cut out a quarter slice from the two hemispheres and then placed them on the ends of the rainbows to make clouds.

I used whipped cream for the frosting and tinted them in the 6 rainbow colors and reserved some for the puffy, white clouds.  Using a flat tipped piping tip, I pipped the rainbow colors over the cake.  I plopped the white whipped cream over the hemisphere ends to give them a “fluffy” look.

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Here are all the crazy rainbow party ideas I had.

This first one is rainbow jello.  You will need plenty of space in the refrigerator for this, believe you me.  I made a package of purple jello (not the extra large packet size) and put about 1-2 tablespoons of the jello in a clear plastic cup.  Be careful not to splash the sides of the cup or the layers won’t turn out as crisp.  If you do, which I did, of course, just take a paper towel and wipe before setting in the fridge.  Because the layers are so thin, they set very quickly, so even though it was time intensive, it really wasn’t too bad.

To make the layers really stand out, I used white jello in between each color.  I had never made white jello before so searched the internet for some ideas.  There were two recipes I found, one using sour cream and the other using condensed milk.  I opted for the condensed milk because I love this stuff!  I know I shouldn’t admit it but we all have our weaknesses…and I figure sharing one of many, many that I have is probably okay.

Here is the white jello recipe:

1.  Dissolve 2 envelopes of Knox unflavored gelatin in 1/2 cup of cold water.  Let stand a few minutes until thick, then add 1/2 cup of boiling water.

2.  Mix 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup of boiling water.

3.  Combine the milk mixture w/ the dissolved gelatin mixture.  Cool to room temperature.

Make sure the milk mixture is cool and not hot or it will dissolve the colored jello layers and mix the colors.  You will need to warm the batch of milk mixture every so often if it starts to set while the other layers in the cups are setting in the fridge.

Pour 1-2 Tablespoons of the milk mixture over the purple Jello and then set in the fridge.  Dissolve the blue jello and repeat from above.

Here’s a close up of all that work.  If you have the time, do it as “oohs” and “ahhs” from kids are worth it.

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Here is what I included in the crazy rainbow party favors:

Using pretzel rods and melted chocolate, I made some pretzel crayons.  I took a pretzel rod, cut it in half, then dipped both ends in melted colored chocolate.  To cut the pretzels, use a serrated knife so they don’t break into shards.  I had to backward calculate how many total pretzel rods to use based on how many favors I needed, multiplied by the number different colors per set (in this case 6), and then divided by 2 (since I cut them in half).  Dip only the ends as you see below, letting the chocolate set on waxed paper.

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The kids had a lot of fun helping me with this.  To make the wrappers, I used MS PowerPoint only because I did not have my Mac set up to work w/ our old printer.  I would have used Keynote otherwise.  I just used the circle shape and pulled it out into an oblong.  I then typed the color inside the oblong and made many copies.  I got the cellophane bags from Michaels.  They were long, so I had to shorten them to fit the length of the pretzel crayons.  I also made the tags and used staples to seal the package.

I had to send an email to the parents after the party when one parent commented that her daughter loved using the crayons!  Most thought they were actual crayons and were delightfully surprised when they realized they were tasty treats.

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I also bought rainbow twizzlers to make a rainbow licorice treat.  I think I ended up cutting each licorice strip into 3 pieces.

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I was also able to find an online store that sells fruit flavored rainbow colored popcorn – Rainbow Popcorn – Popcorn Palace.  I think I ended up ordering two 3.5 Gallon tins which made more than enough packages for 30 guests.

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I was also able to get rainbow pinwheels from Cost Plus (I got lucky they were in stock!  I bought them all out!), rainbow pencils, stickers, notepads from Oriental Trading, and white favor bags from Michaels where I wrote “Thank You” in rainbow colors.

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I also made rainbow invitations, however, I was not able to take a picture of those.  😦

 

More baby crib cakes

I’m very behind on posting!

Here are a couple of crib cakes I made for some baby showers.  Similar to previous crib cake posts, I used melted chocolate to make the crib.

Here is one using red and gray (the theme for the baby’s room):

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Here is another using blue and green (the theme for the baby shower):

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I speak for the trees!

On a  Saturday morning, I decided to bake

For my wonderful nephew, a big Lorax cake.

He was turning seven and was a Suess fan

So got my round pans and trusty ball pan.

I went straight to work by making the batter

I whipped it up fast, it began to splatter

I had to go fast, I couldn’t be late

Not being on time seemed always my fate.

I stacked the round cakes with the ball cake on top

I was making and baking and cleaning non-stop.

Using orange food color I tinted the icing

With spatula in hand I began frosting.

Yellow for mustache and eyebrows and aqua for eyes

Arms and legs made of Starbursts were molded to size.

I had to use skewers to hold up his arms

I positioned them carefully to cross his forearms.

I also baked cupcakes to help keep upright

Cotton candy Truffula trees, oh my what a sight!

Making the Lorax was such a delight

To see all the kids smiling big and so bright!

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Baggin’ it

For a friend’s daughter’s birthday party, I decided to make little handbags.  Since I’ve made a couple of cake purses already, I thought I might be cute to make mini-cake-purse-pops.  Note to self: thinking is always so much easier than doing and imagining how beautiful it will look like after is usually not the case.

But…I like to try different things and my friend loves cake pops, so pursed my lips, ran with it, and did not look back.  Also, these weren’t really cake pops in that they were not on sticks because they were too big and would fall off the sticks because of the weight.  They are cake pops in the sense that it is crumbled cake mixed with frosting for a denser consistency.

I baked lemon cakes and made cream cheese frosting.  You need to make sure the cake has cooled completely before crumbling and mixing with the frosting, otherwise, you’ll get mush.  I don’t really have a recipe to follow because I make my own cakes and frosting, so I what I do is put in frosting a bit at a time until I get a consistency that will allow me to press the crumbs together without falling apart.  This way I can make the purse cake shapes.  I made trapezoid type shapes for the purses, the big one being for the birthday girl, and the balls in the back I made into actual cake pops.

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I set them in the fridge for about an hour or two, so they would be easier to handle when dipping into the melted chocolate.  To coat them, I melted white chocolate tinted pink.  I used a wide fork to hold the cake purses on the bottom.  I then poured the melted chocolate over the cakes.  If the chocolate does not look smooth, gently tap the fork to even out the chocolate (it will drip down).  The first time I tried it, I tapped the fork roughly and I saw that my cake started crumbling, so adjusted my roughness, which was mostly attributed to me rushing to try to finish the cake on time.  One would think after a couple of years of cake making, I would be able to learn better time management skills.  But alas, it is not to be for me, though I have improved…really…I have improved.

Depending on how thin the chocolate looks on the cake, you may want to  dip/cover them twice.  I think I did.

For the handles, I rolled some starburst and poked toothpicks on either end to anchor them onto the cake.  I also rolled out some starburst and cut them out to make the purse flaps.  I lined the bottom w/ dots of icing and also decorated the purse flaps with icing dots.  For the button I used the large sugar pearls.

Here’s the final product.  They are by no means Louis Vuitton quality, but good enough to make the  little birthday girl smile with joy.  🙂

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Tricks for Jack-O-Lantern Treats

I can not…for the life of me…believe…that my last post…was well over…a year ago.

I’m not sure what happened exactly, except that time flew by along with my blogging.  It is now coming back to haunt me.

So here I am again, to document what I have created since my last entry.  It will be tough trying to remember what I did, but I think I tried harder to take more pictures to help me remember.

This post is not about cakes, but about rice krispies treats.  For Halloween, I decided to make little rice krispies jack-o-lanterns to give away at my children’s halloween school party.  They were a hit and were pretty easy to make.

Mostly everyone has made rice krispies treats before, so I’ll skip all the instructions since you can find it on a Rice Krispies box.

After melting the marshmallows, I used some orange wilton food coloring:

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I then folded in the rice krispies and shaped them into balls about the size of tennis balls.

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I then melted some dark chocolate to pipe in the eyes, nose, and mouth.  I melted green chocolate chips for the leaves and used caramels for the stub (?) or stem on top.

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Since I was going to give them out, I packaged them up in plastic for portability.

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