Thursday, February 23, 2012

Painting on Fondant

I hope you're not tired of seeing skateboard cakes, because I made another one.  It affords us a perfect opportunity to discuss painting on fondant.

First let's talk about the paint.  The paint mixture I use is very simple recipe with only two ingredients.  The first ingredient is food color.  My preference is powdered food color, but gel color works as well.  The second ingredient is vodka.  Vodka is a perfect thinner for the food color.  It is completely colorless and the high alcohol content will make it evaporate very quickly.  Don't feel as if you have to break the bank and purchase the best quality vodka.  The cheap stuff works quite well.
If you look closely at the picture above you can see how I set up my paint containers.  I put about a 1/4 teaspoon of color to one side and pour a small puddle of vodka.  Don't stir the mixture.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting rid of those ugly backgrounds with Paint.net or how to make a transparent background

Do you have any of those photos with a less than desirable background?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!  You know the kind.  You took a beautiful picture of the cake only to notice later that the coffee maker and toaster were in the shot.  How dare they try to sneak in there with your beautiful cake!  I finally have a solution.  Why not remove that pesky background all together.  That way nothing can upstage your masterpiece. A transparent background is really great when you are trying to put your cake pictures on a brochure or business card.

I found out a few weeks ago that the online software that I had been using to edit my photos is no longer going to be available.  Bye, bye Picnik.  That sent me searching for an alternative.  I know that Photoshop is very popular, but it can be a bit pricey.  I'm not willing to drop that kind of cash on my little hobby just yet.  Enter Paint.net.  I have read from some other bloggers that it works pretty well so I decided to give it a try.  After all, it's free.

My first look at Paint.net was a little intimidating.  I'm not even close to learning all of its capabilities just yet.  Here's a completely un-edited cake picture.  It gives you a great look at my kitchen counter tops but is a little too busy for my cake.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Skateboard Cake - Part 3 (painting)

 I have to tell you, this is my favorite part.  I enjoy the entire cake building process, but this is where it all comes together for me.  The vision in my head finally comes to life!  In case you've missed it, here's where you can find part 1 and part 2.

I haven't yet told you about the wheels for this skateboard.  I actually made these in advance.  You'll need  a circle of styrofoam that is approximately 2" in diameter and 1/2" thick for each wheel.  I cut them out of a large block of styrofoam with a serrated knife.  In order to mimic the skateboard wheel shape I rolled the fondant out with a dome in the middle.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Skateboard Cake - Part 2 (assembly)

There are times when I build a cake over and over in my head in preparation of the real deal.  This was one of those times.  Do you do that too?  I mull them over before I fall asleep at night.  Sometimes I even dream about them.  I usually obsess like this about cakes when they are an engineering challenge.  My puzzle with this skateboard cake was getting the cake the exact size of the board with a neat and clean finish.  You see, I usually wrap my cake boards in contact paper.  I couldn't do that with this cake because I didn't want the contact paper edge to show on the underneath side, which for this cake would be visible.  I also didn't want the cake to be in direct contact with the painted board.  I was rather pleased with my solution. 
As I showed you in part 1, I only covered the very top of the cake board with the contact paper.  Then, with a little frosting as glue, I attached a large piece of parchment paper to the top.  The paper completely covered the board with extra hanging off each side.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Skateboard Cake - Part 1

In my last post I told you about a birthday party that didn't happen.  Thankfully, the young man was right as rain in a few days and the party was rescheduled for the next weekend.  Would you like to see his cake?

This skateboard cake was life sized and actually rolled.  It would feed 35 - 40 people.  Shall we get started and I'll show you how I made it? For starters, this cake is all about the board you put it on.  When you really boil it down it's just a glorified sheet cake.  So I'll start with the heart of the cake.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Things Don't Always Go As Planned

My plan for this post was to show you a really fun birthday cake for a 9 year old friend.  Things didn't go as planned.  While the cake was cooling on my counter I got a phone call.  The party had to be cancelled.  The poor, young fellow was sick.  Somehow the flu and birthday parties just don't go together.  I decided to make him a simple cake for when he felt better.  He certainly deserved it after being sick for his birthday.  I'll have to save the fun cake for next week.
Oh...I also figured out a new picture editing technique.  See, no background.  What do you think?

Until next time,

Frostine