My BFF's daughter is celebrating her 11th birthday tomorrow and I was asked to make the cake.
I don't have much experience in cake decorating so much of this was trial and error... There is MUCH room for improvement, so I'll be sharing how I proceeded and the lessons learned.
The perfectionist in me is fighting the urge to NOT present this to the large group attending - but it's still very cute and time does not permit a remake (though I would gladly eat this one all to myself). It looks like I'll have to step on my ego a bit, taking comfort in knowing she'll love it!
First off, here are some pictures:
Steps & Recipes:
The birthday girl is allergic to lactose, so I replaced any milk in the recipes with vanilla almond milk and consequently omitted vanilla extract.
The cake recipe (the best & easiest chocolate cake recipe ever) can be found here. Sugar was lowered to 1 1/3 cups.
Baked in two round 8-inch cake pans. My oven is broken so I had to bake them one at a time in my convection toaster-oven and so, had to lower the baking temp to 325F.
The icing is my mom's recipe, flavoured with almond extract and coloured blue.
Between the two cake layers is some rosehip jam mixed in with some icing (before colouring).
The cat's "fur" is make with toasted coconut, to which I added some sugar & a little water, and boiled to the soft ball stage.
The cat's eyes, nose, mouth and whiskers (outlined with white piping gel), as well as the goldfish and the fishbowl's "rim" are made of (store-bought) marizipan, which I coloured.
For the watery effect, I mixed in some agar-agar with water and sugar (1tbsp agar flakes for 1 cup of liquid), boiled until fully dissolved, then spooned on when partially set (mostly filling in cavities between the cat and the fish) but covering everything; then I allowed to cool completely. I then made another, smaller, batch which was more concentrated in agar-agar (about 1 tbsp for a 1/2 cup of liquid), and brushed it over top with a pastry brush, making sure everything was covered.
I then made another, smaller, batch which was more concentrated in agar-agar (about 1 tbsp for a 1/2 cup of liquid), and brushed it over top with a pastry brush, making sure everything was covered.
The sides were made to look like waves using a fork.
I had intended on making the cat lick its lips, but I forgot to add the tongue prior to the agar-agar mixture.
Next time, I would make the whole picture with different items/candy because the marzipan's colours had a tendency to bleed once the agar was added.
I would also omit the piping gel, which clouded up the "water".
I'll also try using an apricot glaze prior to frosting because I had a hard time to not have cake crumbs in the icing.
I liked the coconut, but the water & sugar made it loose much of its colour. Maybe use coloured coconut instead of toasted?
Hope my "adventure" can inspire and/or enhance your next cake decorating endeavor. Your expertise and suggestions are more than welcome!
My grandmother (81) who is a rather classy lady, asked me to make her a necklace to go with a sweater (which has a square neckline) she received at mother's day. It touches me deeply that she would buy and want to wear something handmade by a non-professional.
I used mainly glass beads, but there are two Swarovski (sp?) crystals and the green round beads are adventurines. Here are pictures of what I came up with (forgive my acne clad skin):
Comments, constructive criticism, and suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks for looking
There I was, feeling miserable, when the phone rang... I was going to ignore it, but then I remembered that I have a lot of swap packages due this week, so I answered and it was the postman with a great big box from GrindHouseHussy19!
I must say, we (as in the cat & I) were totally spoiled (now I feel kinda cheap with what I sent...)
Here are pictures of the wonderful package she sent me (there are lots of them):
My fav has got to be that clock, and Daisy's favourite is the glove (what a neat idea)!!!