Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Flowers, Hearts, & Stripes

When a novice attempts to decorate a cake in the style of a famous decorator, it can lead to disappointment.  For my birthday last year, my husband gave me Pretty Party Cakes by Peggy Porschen.

She gives step by step directions and photographs of how to make several cake designs.  Although a beginner should be able to make most of the cakes in the book, there is a certain amount of skill that comes from practice.

I chose to sort of modify one of her designs for this month's company cake.  She made a heart
 shaped cake with thin stripes down the sides and various flowers around the top edge of the
 cake.  Her flowers were in pinks, purples, yellows, and white.

I made a large round cake, and then set a small heart cake on top.  Originally I planned to do stripes down the sides of the heart and round cake, but I had a lot of trouble getting my royal icing to cooperate.  I think it was too thick, so the stripes ended up being only on the round part of the cake.  The flowers went around the base of the heart cake.

My husband walked in the door from work to a very frustrated Rachel.  My dog had been
 whining for 45 minutes to go outside, but he wouldn't go due to the snow.  My icing wasn't cooperating, and it was already 9:30.  I was ready to give up, but didn't.  It is so hard to remember that even the best decorators weren't perfect to begin with.

Anyway, things did come together.  The cake ended up looking a bit like a pink explosion, but I was happy with the results.  The pictures don't really do the cake justice.

I attempted to make a "zebra" cake out of strawberry and vanilla cake batters.  It turned out more like a marble cake, but it was still pretty.  The icing was strawberry buttercream.  I made 4 and 5 petal flowers out of royal icing a few days ahead of time.  The stripes are also royal icing.

My husband works in an engineering office where the men greatly outnumber the women, so it
 may be more pink than the office has ever seen at one time.  I think they will all enjoy the result though.  Besides, the women are the ones who cake what the cake looks like.

  • Things I would change: (1) I would make the stripes thinner and closer together.  (2) I will make my royal icing thinner next time.  (3) I wouldn't put the raised heart on the round cake, I think it looks too homemade.


Michel-lee said...

It's nice to see you posting again. You'll really like blogger. I love the heart cake and the marbel effect looks great. I'll need to buy a heart shape cake just so I can do it.

Monica H said...

I think it's pretty. When I saw it, I smiled :-)

I really like the flowers and even though it may be more pink than they've seen in a long time, it's Valentine's Day so it's okay!