Behind the Scenes @ Sweet & Saucy: Hipster Mermaid Photoshoot Cake

October 26th, 2014

Well hello there! We’ve had some excitement around the bakery lately, namely that a photoshoot we got to work on was featured on Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan AND Buzzfeed! And today is your chance to learn how the cake that was designed for that photoshoot was made, so you can have your very own mermaid cake! For context, we were asked to work with Your Cloud Parade on a photoshoot involving Traci Hines, AKA Hipster Little Mermaid. Kaytee took the task upon her and came up with a few designs based on a color palette and some photos. Once a design was decided upon, Kaytee went to work.

Here’s the finished product.

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Kaytee: So first things first, this was a dummy cake, so the time constraints on it were basically nonexistent. I say that to let you know that it was all styrofoam cake, and I worked on this over several weeks, so the regular timeline one would expect for making decorations, etc… was very flexible, as opposed to if you are working with a real cake.

Here are the sketches I drew that Melody decided to go with. She liked the idea of the tail wrapping around, but wanting to incorporate the shells, I mashed the two together.IMG_20140823_160011Once the design was figured out, I started off by cutting out a ton of circles of that beautiful shade of green fondant, wrapping them and putting them in the fridge, allowing them to maintain their flexibility.

IMG_20140823_163153 Then once I had all the tiers covered in white fondant and stacked, I began applying the circles, overlapping them so they give the look of scales (staggered in half increments).IMG_20140823_165833When I was ready to start working on the cake itself, I covered the top of the top tier in a circle of green fondant. Because I wanted to have the effect where it looks like scales were coming out of the white fondant, I cut into it. I then cut the tops of the circles (because the white fondant was hard and wasn’t allowing me to play with it) to fit into it, so it would appear to be coming from within the cake. If you were to repeat this with a real cake, you would theoretically have freshly applied fondant, which you would then be able to lift and tuck under as needed.

IMG_20140823_172152 I then began placing the scales along the bottom, creating the end of the tail. I made sure to make it thin, and cut the sides of the circles accordingly. IMG_20140829_154339 Here are progress shots.IMG_20140829_165353 I went up the second tier, widening the tail as I went.IMG_20140829_165357 Then I joined it with the top tier.IMG_20140829_165410

IMG_20140829_165417 Then I rolled out a lighter shade of green and cut out the shape of a tail fin, attaching it to the cake using melted white chocolate and freeze-sprayed to hold immediately.IMG_20140829_170219 I deepened the grooves of the fin using a small ball tool.IMG_20140829_170657Annnnnnnd here’s the moment when I show you that though we are exceptional human beings, we cake decorators sometimes make mistakes, and a lot of our job involves MacGuyvering our ways into something beautiful. So, for this cake, I thought I would use a gold strip doodad for the lines, which had worked very well for a semi-rustic marbled cake a while ago. While that machine worked for that cake, the results were too imprecise for what I wanted for this cake. So you see below, that is pre-fixing gold striping. Also, those are the shells I cut out of coral fondant and placed on the cake. I began with white painting in the crevices, later deciding gold was more appropriate.
IMG_20140830_122531This is the gold having been touched up with gold powder paint.IMG_20140903_141521After painting the gold, I applied pearl shine to the scales with pearl dust and vodka.

IMG_20140903_152819 Here is the gold in the shells. Much better choice, isn’t it?IMG_20140903_173849And here you are! These are the pictures of the cake used in the photoshoot, and I couldn’t be more proud! The pictures are gorgeous, as are the models. Everything was beautiful and I feel so fortunate to have been part of it.

Photos-Mark-Brooke-Photography-Mathieu-PhotoMark Brooke Photography & Mathieu Photo

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Until next time!

Behind the Scenes @ Sweet & Saucy: Basketball Cake

October 18th, 2014

Well hello! This post, we’re talking about a carved basketball cake that Kaytee made the other week. This was a 25 serving basketball for a University of Kentucky Wildcats fan. Kaytee’s here to show you how she got to this result.

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First – and a few days in advance of working on the cake –  I cover the cake drum with shortening to adhere the fondant wood strips. I place beige fondant down and measure out even, wide strips and lightly cut into them with my boning tool. To paint the wood grain, I use gel color diluted with vodka and a wide round brush. As we’ve discussed, vodka thins out paint, but we also use it to remove unwanted paint smudges from fondant. So when painting wood grain, this removal comes as an advantage, since the brush is simultaneously applying and removing the color in the patterns we choose.IMG_20141009_135534

Next, I cut out the letters from fondant, allowing them to dry beforehand.IMG_20141009_152355

Then, when the cakes have been baked and cooled down, I stack the layers on top of each other, carving around before crumb coating.

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Then when I have my approximate shape figured out, I fill between the layers. I place the cake on a 6″ board, so that it’s easier to transfer onto the pre-fondanted board once the cake is covered. Also, since it’s a cake with more than 4 layers, we use a cake board in the middle and dowel it for structure. I crumb coated both the to and the bottom of the cake separately, making sure to get buttercream all around, sealing in the crumbs. IMG_20141009_110335

While the cake is setting up, I mix up my color. I use a mixture of modeling chocolate and fondant to allow me more time to work with it without it drying.IMG_20141009_102335

Here’s what the cake looks like once I put the top cake on the bottom. I then frost the entirety with Swiss meringue buttercream.IMG_20141009_110621

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I then put the cake back in the fridge, allowing the buttercream to set up. Then I put on gloves and smooth the hardened buttercream with the heat of my hands.IMG_20141009_132913

Then I cover the cake with the fondant/modeling chocolate mix, smoothing with my hands and corn starch. I immediately put a dowel in on both sides of the ball, to stabilize the cake, filling in the dowel holes with fondant. IMG_20141009_140432

At this point, I transfer the cake onto the board I have pre-covered. Then I use an impression mat to give the cake its basketball texture.IMG_20141009_141825

Then I use a ball tool to indent the lines.IMG_20141009_143358

I put the cake back in the fridge, and then I turn my attention to the edible images I’m using for the logos. I roll out a very thin piece of white fondant, apply water and place the image down, cutting around it with an x-acto knife. In case you’ve not worked with edible images, we use them on white fondant when the background color isn’t white, as the background color will show through otherwise. But on plain white buttercream, it’s totally fine to apply it directly. Remember to use edible ink, or have a professional printer do it for you using edible ink. Otherwise you will have to warn your clients that they will be ingesting inedible (though non-toxic) ink.IMG_20141009_150539
I steam the cake before applying the edible images, as the water will destroy them. I apply the letters I had onto the board.IMG_20141009_152604

Then I paint in the lines I had indented, using gel color diluted with vodka.IMG_20141009_154526

And there you go! Your very own basketball cake! These techniques can be used for almost any other ball shaped cake, so feel free to improvise with your own soccer ball cake (though you’re on your own for getting those pentagons and hexagons just right!) haha ;) IMG_20141009_155832

 

See you next time!!

Behind the Scenes @ Sweet & Saucy: Diagonal Ruffle Cake

October 10th, 2014

Hey there! How are you guys doing? We’re just having the first semi-not-insane week in months, and let me tell you, we are reveling in it! Not to say that we don’t enjoy working on all sorts of beautiful cakes you bring us, but when the end of wedding season is in sight, cake decorators everywhere rejoice, as do our blood pressures.

Anyway, here’s a little gem I forgot about from a few weeks ago. It’s a totally simple guy, but when we were first shown a picture of it, all of us cocked our heads to the side and went, “huh.” We’ somehow managed to avoid making this in all of our times, but it wasn’t going to daunt us.  Kaytee‘s here to share with you folks how she put this beauty together:

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First off, after all the colors are mixed accordingly, I rolled out a bit of fondant to a thickness of 4 on the pasta roller. I then used our metal strip cutters to cut strips. As you’ll see, the cake was most styrofoam dummies, so it made it a lot easier, not having to worry about the buttercream melting during assembly.

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IMG_20140919_111230Next, I covered the dummies with shortening, allowing the fondant to have an adhering surface, since there’s no buttercream. Then when I went to place the strips down, I made sure to angle the fondant, then placed each ruffle half onto the dummy, half onto the next ruffle. At the end of the circumference, I made sure to tuck the last ruffle into the first one, giving a seamless appearance.

Then, I folded back the ruffle part, and at the midpoint, poked with my finger against the half fold, giving a semi-scalloped look to the ruffles.

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To stick the strips to each other, I used a paintbrush with a bit of water along the bottom and the edge.

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For the top, I made sure the strips were longer, and when I folded them, I made sure to fold them completely over at the top. If the fondant was too long in either width or height, I sliced it off with my x-acto knife.

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There ya go! Pretty easy, hey?

See you next time!

Behind the Scenes @ Sweet & Saucy: Oldsmobile Carved Cake

October 4th, 2014

Well hello there! Every few months, we get requests for carved car cakes – usually for grooms’ cakes. They often are classic cars, such as Monte Carlo’s or Chevy’s. This post, we’re talking about a carved caked that Kasey made a few weeks back, which was a 1960′s Oldsmobile. She did such a great job with it, that we wanted to share with you how she did, step by step!

Here’s the final result: Photo Aug 23, 11 46 29 AM

Now let’s get to it!

First thing, there is some math involved in our car cakes. Luckily, car specs are easily found on the internet, so it’s simply a matter of scaling them down depending upon the amount of servings required.

For our car cakes, we have supports built for us out of Masonite boards, allowing there to be room underneath, like a real car.

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Then Kasey builds the layers on top of it, filling it as she goes. Then she crumb coats it, placing it in the fridge to set up.

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At this point, Kasey cuts out spots for the wheels.

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Then she frosts the cake, finding the shape underneath the buttercream.

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Kasey then covers the cake with a mix of modeling chocolate and fondant. We use the mix to allow more time for the fondant not to dry on the cake. This gives more possibilities to have a seamless cover. She then extrudes fondant small enough to wrap around the edges of the car’s details.

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She then cuts out the spaces for the lights and grill, filling them in with black fondant.

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She adds details (excellently, might I add!).Photo Aug 22, 8 52 41 PM

She then fills the seat area with beige fondant – it Is a convertible, after all! And then adds silver paint to the details and grills.Photo Aug 23, 9 00 25 AM

She makes tires out of rice krispie and white chocolate, covering them in black fondant and painting the details in silver. She makes a tiny license plate (so cute!).Photo Aug 22, 3 01 08 PM

Then uses a fine point brush to finish the rest of the details.Photo Aug 23, 11 46 09 AM

She covers the board with black fondant and then she takes floral wire and attaches it to the back with a fondant bunting banner, painted on with gel colors diluted with vodka. Then she steams it for gloss.Photo Aug 23, 11 47 01 AMAnd voila! Here’re the final shots!

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See you next time!!

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes @Sweet & Saucy Shop: Kyong’s Wafer Paper Trio

September 27th, 2014

Hey there! How’s the beginning of fall treating you? Us, we’re suuuuper busy! The beginning of fall brings us tolerable temperatures, and everyone’s rushing to get their weddings in before it gets too cold, so we’ve been working our buns off!

So anyway, to the important stuff… This week, we’ve got a special treat:

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Though, we slightly misled you by the title; we’re not showing you a full step-by-step of all three cakes. However, we are going to show you some tricks Kyong used to create these beauties.

These are the sketches Kyong designed for the clients.

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Then, upon finding out which designs the client has chosen, we all made wafer paper flowers the weekend before, having learned from Stevi Auble on Craftsy.

IMG_20140822_230527Kyong made leaves by wrapping flower wire with floral tape, creating little branches, upon which she affixed the leaves she cut out from wafer paper, using piping gel.

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Since these cakes awere all styrofoam dummy cakes, this allowed Kyong to work on them at her leisure, as opposed to worrying about buttercream melting. After covering the dummies with fondant, here are some fun things she did!

For the middle cake, the edges were crimped. We use clamp-like crimping tools, and there are a variety of shapes one can choose. Kyong went with the scalloped look. Later, she wet the edges and attached gold leaf only to the crimped parts.

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IMG_20140808_204906For the cake on the right hand side, Kyong used Martha Stewart paper cutters to achieve the doily look in between tiers, using very thin fondant.

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IMG_20140830_195028For the cute little ropes, she extruded black and white fondant into thin tubes, then coiled them around each other.

IMG_20140830_195201She traced the line on the cake with piping gel, where she wanted the rope. Then, she attached the black and white rope to the cake.

IMG_20140830_194822She made little loops and attached them as so:

IMG_20140830_194917Isn’t it the cutest!?

IMG_20140830_194929She attached the wafer paper flowers to the cakes using melted modeling chocolate, as we use frequently.

She used a combination of these techniques on these cakes, and we can’t get enough of them! Hope they help inspire you for your future cake endeavors!

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IMG_20140902_204059Til next time!

Behind the Scenes @ Sweet & Saucy Shop: How to Make a Bow

September 14th, 2014

Hey there! This post in inspired by Kasey’s students. Kasey, one of our decorators, is teaching fondant classes (if you’re interested in attending, please email info@sweetandsaucyshop.com), and her students expressed great interest in how she made bows out of fondant. We make bows with such frequency, that it’s often easy to forget that at one point, we didn’t know how to make them either!

So here we go, and Kasey has taken pictures to show you the step-by-step.

First, we take a little blob of fondant.

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You then roll the fondant out with a rolling pin.

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We use a mechanical pasta machine, thereby rolling out the fondant completely evenly.

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If you don’t have a strip cutter that cuts in parallel on both sides, you use a transparent ruler and measure out both sides evenly, cutting them at your desired width.

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What you see below, is a pre-formed bow former, made of rolled up paper towel wrapped in masking tape. This can be made with anything, provided you’ve made yourself a round object around which the fondant can dry. Then you wrap your fondant around this former, and you cut just past where the fondant rolls over, allowing room to make a crease, as you’ll see below. Repeat for the other side.

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When you are making the creases, you fold the edges into each other three or so times. Using water to adhere it to itself.

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Repeat on the other edge.

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Then seal them together over the bow former with water.

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Repeat with the other piece of fondant you have cut.

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Touch both ends with water, and attach to each other.

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Cut a smaller piece of fondant, approximately half the width of the bow sides, run water along a side, then create a crease in itself.

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You then lay it over the joined pieces of bow.

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Flip the bow upside down, then pull the loose ends onto each other, sealing with water.

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And voila! There you have yourself a bow! Allow to air dry completely for a day or two, and it can be placed wherever you like. We like to use melted white chocolate to adhere them to fondant cakes.

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Have a great day!


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