Thursday, August 30, 2012

3 cherries in a row, jackpot!

"My aunt loves the jackpot, I want a jackpot-themed birthday surprise for her!"
And with that, I ventured into my first jackpot cake pops.

There's something for everyone, check out some other birthday themes:
> Coming of age: 10-years young!
> Golf for the boys
Elmo-lovin 2-year old 
> A mom who loves her dogs

I'm no gambling expert, but I do know my three cherries in a row, and when to jump and holler "JACKPOT!"

I decided we also needed to have the 7s in a row, some money bags and poker chips to set things right. It's just not a proper jackpot-do without these.

After letting the rum cake balls chill for a bit, I set to work bringing lady luck to the table.

The money bags were the most challenging.

I molded them to look like big fat teardrops, in hopes they would look like sacks. Hmm, not quite right. No bag of money is that symmetrical.

I pinched the sides a little, indented some parts.

There, better.

Next were the sack tops - molded individually, laid to dry out and stiffen, before getting fixed to the grey-coated cake pops.

1cm wide fondant circles marked with $$ signs left no doubt these were money bags; dusted with lustre pearl for the extra moolah-shine, and added.

Something was still missing.... Rope!

Rolled-out strings of pale beige fondant went round the top of the sacks.
Finally done.

Yay! One design down.... just oh, 3 more different types to go.
Yes, a little ambitions, I'm realising now.

Ah well, if I could get the toughest one out, the rest aian't gonna stop me.

Fondant add-ons waiting to join the party

Teeny cherries (half the size of a 5-cent coin!),
big on luck - 3 in a row, JACKPOT! 

Keep these poker chips in your pocket
for an extra bit of luck when you hit the casino!


The next time you're feeling in need of a lil' luck, head over for a Petite Pops boost, it could well make you a millionaire!

Monday, August 13, 2012

10 years young - the cake (Part 2)

The kids had their share of fun at the pool, now it was time for Gabby's family to get some!

Gabby wasn't tired of my chocolate yet, so here's the plan: top her 10 years with even more chocolate - a big ol' fudgy chocolate cake! 

If I could make her a chocolate hot tub to swim in, I would. She loves chocolate ... you might have figured that out by now.
> Another themed birthday cake: Hole in one, anybody?

Ok, so when her mom ordered the cake for 10 pax,  she mentioned Gabby would love some extras to eat over the next few days. I might... just possibly... have taken the 'extras' just a little overboard... 

You can't tell from this innocuous photo, but this is actually a 4+kg cake!

A few days before assembling the cake, I started on the centerpiece - the lime green ribbon that made this a 'present cake'. 

The loops were individually cut and shaped into giant teardrops, dried and hardened, and the center strip mint green applied.

The loops have to be fairly thick, about 1/8 inch, to hold their shape

Side view: Debossed texture added to each loop for richer look 

Then I started layering the loops and building the ribbon, usually 2-3 tiers, capped with a final loop towards the center. The weight of the loops all bear down on the bottom tier, so you have to work gingerly and lightly so the loops don't start cracking. 

Make sure you give plenty of time for all this because it's gonna to take a while for the drying to kick in, and give you a sturdy, pretty ribbon. 
> Rose Bakes has a good tutorial on how to make a fondant bow

Now we're ready - time to build us some cake!

Smother the cake in fudgy chocolate, it's a big cake so don't be cheap on the chocolate, we don't want any part tasting dry and leathery.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble... how all yummy fudges start

Keeping elements from the poolside cupcakes,
the 'gift tag' for cake was shaped like a sun

Shades of cloudy blue, also from the pool cupcakes

Top off with the bow - viola, done! 

Gabby's mum:" Gabby loves the cake. And oh, by the way - your cake could feed a small village!"

Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

10 years young - that's a whole decade! (Part 1)

Happy decade, Gabby!

10 years is a big deal. It's a whole decade, you gotta give it respect. 

Respect spelled OTT-c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e.

That was the reigning flavor in Gab's 10-year birthday celebrations. She loves chocolate, and the oozy gooey goodness is really the only fitting flavor to mark a decade.

We start off in the kitchen, mixing up a batch of chocolate cupcakes with chocolate chips. 

My pink mixing spoon somehow managed to sneak into shot...

You won't see these choc chips after they're baked in, but they're well worth adding - they make the cupcakes extra rich and chocolately.

Before hitting the oven: See how ooey, gooey they are?

Oh, there was a pool theme too, since it was a poolside party. 
I wanted something fun and cheery for the kids, since these cupcakes were going to be the take-home bags.


I started forming little sunbursts, stacking the yellow centers atop each lick of poppin' orange. 

I love the buck-toothed ones best!

Then the little faces went on. Eyes and mouths do wonders in upping the cute factor. 
Not all though... I've done some failed ones that looked more like maniacs and malformed witches, I shall spare you the horrors. 

Next: swim rings.

These look deceptively simple, but man oh man, did I see stars cutting each color ring out.

It's hard to tell the scale from here - let me assure you - cutting and picking up many half cm pieces does something to your fingers, and your mind. By the time I fixed all the pieces on, I felt confident I could perform surgery on ants.

Warning: these swim rings will NOT save you in a storm,
unless your waist is the size of a polo sweet

Sun and Swim Rings meet cupcakes!

Bagged, tagged and ready to go!
It made my day when the birthday girl told her mom," Look at the details, even the length of ribbons are matching!"

More on Gabby's birthday cake next week, stay tuned!