Monday, April 18, 2011

Day of the Dead

October 2010

Of the cakes I've made so far, this one is one of my favorites (possibly my favorite).  My friend, Jona has her anniversary on Halloween so every year she celebrates- and celebrates BIG. 

I wanted to make some kind of contribution to the soiree so I volunteered a cake. Knowing Jona and her style, I knew it had to be something I've never done before. So I researched. I looked at magazines, I looked online I looked everywhere until I found a cake I thought would fit in well with her party.

Each layer of the cake is a black and white cake (one chocolate layer, one white) with butter cream icing and filling.  The red took For.Ev.Er to mix and was nearly a full bottle of food coloring. I also mixed in a little black to keep it from being bright, cherry red (or hooker red, however you want to see it).

It has a little black airbrushing on it as well to give it that gradient look. The skulls on the sides are white chocolate and black icing (hand piped, obviously) with silver luster dust eyes. The drippy looking stuff on the sides is also white chocolate. That did not turn out the way it was meant to. I wanted runny royal icing but I can't make just a little bit of it and I didn't want to make a whole batch. So the white chocolate was a compromise and it's the one thing I regret about the cake. No matter how much black I put in it, it still dried purple so I (gulp) painted straight food coloring on it to make it look darker. It turned out ok... not great... but I couldn't peel it off and start over cuz it had melted into the fondant. So I just had to go with it.

The skull and sombrero on top are formed from fondant. I was beside myself trying to figure out what to top the cake with and I just started playing with fondant and came up with the skull. Again, I used what I have at my disposal (toys) to make the sombrero. I used a ring from those baby stackable ring thingies. Washed the heck out of it then formed the sombrero to fit over it and down inside of it, taking the form of the inside of the ring and let it dry out a little over night then hand piped the decorations on it. I think the sombrero is my favorite part.

The spider webs and inner border are hand piped. On the back of the cake, if you look close, you'll see a little spider. I accidentally got a tear in the fondant and that little spider was covering my oopsy.  Anyway, I didn't get to go to the party, but Jona tells me people liked it. So I'll take it as a success. And for me to say anything nice about my own work is a bonus. I more than often think the things I produce are crap. But I'm told I'm my own worst critic.

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