Last weekend, we all managed to put together the most funnest birthday cake ever (so far).
Aurora's daughter Jaden wanted a monster party and found this picture on Flickr. We gave it our best shot, adapting it to our skill level. I think it turned out pretty great considering that we've never really worked with fondant or gumpaste before and had no idea what we were doing (well, Jeff and I did a fondant cake for Joey, but it didn't involve rolling it or anything).
This was a huge collaborative effort.
This second picture shows the stitches and brain a bit better.
My suggestion about learning to work with fondant is to start with a monster or halloween type cake. That way, when you screw up, it looks like you meant to. Or at least it's easier to hide and/or incorporate into your working theme. Like deciding to make the unfortunate seam in the fondant into a stitched up scar. I think that turned out pretty cool.
And here's a summary of the various components...
Who Did It and What It Was Made From
(aka Too Many Links to Pictures)
-Homemade Marshmallow Fondant (Joey and I made it from this recipe which is so much less nasty than the store bought fondant)
-Cake (Aurora and I made it from a red velvet box mix)
-Buttercream (Jeff made it from a recipe in Baking Illustrated.)
-Assembled and frosted (by me)
-Covered in homemade, purple fondant (by Allison and me)
-Lips (unprofessionally piped by me using buttercream)
-Teeth (formed out of gumpaste by Allison and the girls)
-Ears (formed out of gumpaste by Allison)
-Bow (formed out of store bought fondant by Kenzie and Joey)
-Horns (marbled and formed out of gumpaste by Allison)
-Stitches (piped with buttercream by Allison)
-Brain (formed out of store bought fondant and attached by me- This addition was Jeff's idea. My execution of his idea can be seen here and here and here and here and here- in case you're curious about how to make and attach a brain. Oh, and that mold I used, we bought it online from Educational Innovations Inc. which has some really great stuff. It also makes awesome Jell-O.)
-Eyeballs (made out of homemade fondant by Jenny, Aurora and Joey)
-Joey and Kenzie made the snails and worms.
-And Jenny helped put everything in just the right place.
-Aurora took lots of pictures and gave advice.
-If you attempt anything like this, use long, wooden skewers for attaching each and every piece (the brain was the only thing without toothpicks or skewers). Put the skewers into the pieces before you set them aside to dry. After they're completely dry, you can add them to the cake.
-The homemade fondant seems a bit softer than the store bought stuff so it doesn't work as well for things that need to stand up and have much form. (This also could have been because I added too much Crisco when making it, though.)
-For anything that really needs structure, use gumpaste. Apparently, it's inedible (according to a couple of sources on the internet), but it really sets up much sturdier than fondant.
Now whose birthday is next and what kind of cake do they want?