Saturday, November 3, 2012

Old projects & new projects

Last night I took down all the Halloween decorations & pulled out all the Thanksgiving decorations.  When the kids make things for the holidays I try to keep them & pack them away with the decorations when the holiday is over.  In going through the Thanksgiving box, I pulled these out again.  I decided that since I haven't put them out on display since they made them, I'd take a picture of them & then throw the actual project away.  Saves space & mess but we can still look at it!

 It was fun to see these little hand prints.  Sam was three & Nash was not quite 1 1/2.  Seems like it was forever ago!  Where did the time go?  I think we might have to make new ones this year so we can have a picture of all four hand prints!

My goal today was to get two cakes made.  One was for my brother's friend, Scott, who had a birthday last Saturday.  I really wanted to get it made for his birthday but since I was trying to finish a Halloween costume, the cake had to wait.  The other cake I made is for my sister's best friend, Heidi.  Her son has a birthday this week.  I made her little girl a cake this past May and she loved it so she asked me to do one for Dawson.  Dawson really wanted a shark cake.  I've never done a shark before and don't have a pan for one.  I also haven't seen a pan at the store before.  I decided to just google "shark cake" and see what came up.  There were some really bad ones and some decent ones.  I finally found one I wanted to try to duplicate.
Not too bad for a first attempt I'd say!  The teeth and eyes are out of marshmallow fondant (so much easier than frosting since I had fondant already made & just begging to be used!).

 Scott really likes penguins (a lot).  I had seen a cake idea for a penguin online months ago and printed it just so I could do this cake for him when it was his birthday (I found a squid to do for my brother but didn't get it done this spring.  That will happen next May I guess!).  The directions on this cake told me to do two cakes that were 1 quart and two cakes that were 12 oz.  You then stack the quart size cakes on top of each other for the body.  The 12 oz. cakes go on top of the quart size cakes for the head.  Once I got the quart size cakes made I realized this "little" penguin was going to be HUGE if I did the 12 oz cakes on top of the quart size cakes.  So, I eliminated the 12 oz. cakes and just did the two quart size cakes.  I didn't shape the head/neck at all because I had to put skewers through the two quart size cakes to hold them together and upright.  I didn't want to end up cutting into the skewers when shaping his head/neck, so I just left him with a little bit of a flat head.  I'll have to figure out an adjustment if I make this cake again (like make two cakes that are smaller than a quart!).
The snow is shredded coconut.  His wings are fudge covered oreos (a new thing I discovered while looking for the actual chocolate cookies the directions told you to use.  These are not cheap oreos either - like $5 a bag!  Good thing Nash likes oreos!)  The beak and feet are the orange circus peanuts.  The white of the eyes are NECCOS and the brown of the eyes are m&ms.  I did use frosting on the white part of the belly.  I piped it on in order to avoid smearing it too much and lifting the chocolate frosting.

I also made cupcakes to go with Dawson's shark cake.  I wasn't sure if the shark would feed enough people so I did a batch of cupcakes & decorated them to look like water with a shark fin coming out.  The shark fin is made out of gumpaste & I just colored it grey.  I did put blue crystal/sugar sprinkles on too because I thought it would help it make the water look like it was sparkling.

It's my nephew's birthday this next week & my sister asked if I'd make some cupcakes for his birthday party.  I told her I'd be happy too.  Here's what I'm attempting....

Should be a good challenge for me!  I told her I could do a cake as a big angry bird too if she wanted me to.  I think I could just do an eight or ten inch round and make one of the angry bird cupcakes into a large cake.

Happy baking! :)