Tuesday, February 17, 2015

3D Basketball

Thank you Sandy Swart for the great blog post for today!

Got a call late on Thursday night for a 3D basketball cake for the beginning of the next week.  I panicked.  I've never done a 3D round ball.  I tried talking the customer into half a 3D basketball but the daughter had her mind set on 3D.  They only wanted 15-12 servings.  After debating and deciding that the 6" sports ball pan was just too little.  I opted for using the Wilton Soccer Pan for my cake.

Wilton cake pans were designed for 1 cake mix.  I forgot about the cake companies' downsizing their cake mixes a few years ago. After I baked the cakes, I realized I would not have a round cake if I stacked them.  To get a sphere, I baked a 2" high 9" round cake pan to place in between to get the spherical shape that I wanted.  I did not want to have to carve a round sphere and opted to give the customer lots more cake (lots more---- like over twice as much cake as they needed.)  I just wanted to take the stress off myself.
Here is how I stacked and filled the cakes:

For supports I used a 3/8" dowel through the foam core and down into the triple thick cardboard on the bottom.  I also used 3 regular size straws for supports to hold up the foam core.  I didn't use bubble straw this time because they are so big they would weaken the cake and may cause it to split since they were in such a small space. I trimmed the bottom of the cake so that it was sitting on about a 3" diameter circle.  I didn't want my ball to roll away. 

I crumb coated the cake and allowed it to set overnight just in case the cake decided to settle.
The next day, I covered the entire cake with a crusting buttercream tinted a basketball color.   After it crusted slightly, I used the Texture Mat Lg2 - Football/Basketball Texture to texture the entire surface of the basketball.  Here is a close-up of the texture I achieved with the mat.

Any questions?  You can contact me through Sandy Swart Cakes on Facebook or at sewsweet2@hotmail.com
Albums of my decorated cakes can be seen at:  http://flickr.com/photos/sewsweet2/sets

DTC Products Used:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A little relief for some dry skin!

A huge Thank You to the best sister ever, Brenda Thomas, for the great blog post today!

Lotion Bars
Freezing temperatures, low humidity, and furnace-blasted dry air can leave your skin dry, flaky, itchy and in need of a little TLC.  Try using DTC molds to make these wonderful lotion bars to help keep your skin in great condition or use them as a great gift idea.

First get all of your supplies collected. 
  • The DTC molds of your choice
  • Beeswax
  • “Butter” of your choice (I used a combination of equal parts Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter)
  • Good carrier oil (I used Avocado Oil as I like the color and Avocado oil applied topically helps relieve dry and itchy skin. Once applied, avocado oil is deeply absorbed by the skin)
  • Essential oil of your choice (I used lemon and eucalyptus)
  • Digital Scale
  • Stir stick
  • Double boiler (I made one with the glass measure / pot of water with towel in the bottom)

Begin by melting equal parts by weight of beeswax, butter and oil.  You want as low heat as possible, stirring frequently to avoid burning the wax and butters.

This part might take a while so it might be time to pour yourself a mimosa!

When everything has melted (took mine 30 minutes) remove from heat and add 20-40 drops of essential oils and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the molds you have chosen.  

Once the bars are completely cooled you can pop them out of the mold!

Be sure to keep your lotion bars in a cool place. If they get too hot they will melt again.

DTC Products Used:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"O Tannenbaum" O Christmas Tree

Thank you Sandy Swart for the great blog post for today!

Christmas parties and what can I take? DTC has wonderful mini molds that are great for Christmas treats.  For this treat I used: Christmas- Mini #1 , Christmas- Mini #2Christmas- Reindeer Mini,  Christmas- Angels Mini,   Valentine- Heart set of 6, and a few of the buttons from Button- Large Set of 9

The first thing to make is the mini chocolates in the mini molds mentioned above.  After melting the almond bark in a disposable piping bag, I cut the tip off to make a small hole.
Fill each mold, piping the melted almond bark into the cavities. Be careful to not overfill.

Gently tap to even out the almond bark in the mold. Place in freezer for 5 minutes.

Carefully pop chocolate out of the molds after removing them from the freezer.  I dusted each chocolate with luster dust to highlight the details on each chocolate.   Below you can see the difference. The top snowflake is dusted and the bottom one was directly out of the mold.

Push chocolate back into bag away from the opening if you have the molds filled. This allows you to re-melt the chocolate in the microwave without it leaking out the cut end.  The chocolate molded minis can be made way ahead of time. 

As I went to bake my mini cupcakes, I noticed that my liners were too open.

Somewhere online, I remembered reading about someone "re-crimping" their cupcake liners. I picked out a round cutter from my Ateco round cutter set that was the size of the muffin cavities and the next size smaller.

Place a stack of liners in the larger cutter and place the smaller cutter on top. I used the palm of my hand to push the liners down into the larger cutter.  Allow to set for an hour or two.

Here is the same method used on regular sized cupcake liners.

Here shows the mini liner on the left and the resized mini liner on the right.  It fits just fine down into the cavity. That helps prevent the outside of the liner kinking when the batter is put into the liner.

Set out the mini cupcakes into the shape of a Christmas tree.  I found that my large heart shaped cardboard worked fine for the shape

I reheated the remainder of the chocolate in the piping bag and "glued" the individual cupcakes to the foil board with a small bit of melted chocolate to prevent the cupcakes from moving.

I piped a swirl of green buttercream on each cupcake and placed one of the minis on each one. Looking at the picture you can see where I just piped a wide zigzag for the bottom part of the tree.  To show off the star that I piped on the top cupcake, I first placed a white fondant disk on the cupcake first.  The center of the green piped star was a green star.

With some of the extra minis from this project, I molded some red minis.  I piped a large green buttercream star on the cupcake before adding the chocolate mini.  I didn't care for the pearl dust on the red minis so I did not dust the red ones. Experiment and you'll know what you like the looks of.

I love Ritz crackers with peanut butter dipped in white almond bark.  I dipped some for our family Christmas treats.  This time I just used the mini hearts to accent the tops.

Any questions?  You can contact me through Sandy Swart Cakes on Facebook or at sewsweet2@hotmail.com
Albums of my decorated cakes can be seen at:  http://flickr.com/photos/sewsweet2/sets

DTC Products Used:
Christmas- Mini #1
Christmas- Mini #2
Christmas- Reindeer Mini
Christmas- Angels Mini
Valentine- Heart set of 6
Button- Large Set of 9

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Building Block Cupcakes

Build some great cupcakes for your next party.

Use the Small Building Block Texture Mat and fondant color of choice.

Roll out the fondant evenly across the mat.  Be careful when rolling to get a smooth impression - if the fondant shifts you can get a double impression.  If it keeps slipping you can use a fondant smoother and direct pressure down on the fondant. 

When finished, flip the mat over and peel back off the fondant.  See on the side area where there is a double impression from the fondant slipping?  Use a circle cutter (we are showing some with a circle cutter and a fluted circle cutter) to cut out discs from the center area.  Let them dry for a few days to hold their shape.

For the building blocks, use the building block mold and fondant or gumpaste.  Take a smooth ball of fondant and press into the mold cavity.

Smooth out the fondant while pressing into the mold to get a good impression.  I like to use my rolling pin for this step.

Using a palette knife or tool of choice, remove the excess.

Clean up the edges.

Invert the mold and pop out the building block.

Arrange onto cupcakes!

DTC Products Used:

Similar Products:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Aged Leaf Scroll

Many thanks to Chef Mitchie for this great blog post.

For a recent project, I needed something that looked aged/vintage, rococo, something you might find in an old mansion.  And the Small Leaf w/ Scroll made a perfect addition to my edible scene.

Materials and Ingredients Needed:
Silicone Mold - Small Leaf with Scroll
White and Black Fondant (or any colors to fit your project)
Tylose Powder
Paring Knife or cutting blade
Black petal dust
Assorted soft bristle brushes
Non-Stick work surface
Paper towel

To marble your fondant, roll the white fondant into a log and the black fondant into a thin rope.  Wrap the black rope around the white and then twist the two together until your fondant begins to resemble marbling.  Before fully incorporated add some tylose powder.   This will help your leaf scrolls to set up as you're working.  Knead until all of the powder is no longer visible.  If it becomes sticky use a little shortening on your fingers.

Size up a portion of your marbled fondant to resemble a 1 inch ball.  We want a deep impression from the mold so we are going to push the ball into the mold while trying to avoid any overhang.  Once the entire ball is in the mold, turn upside down and press firmly against your non-stick work surface with the heel of your hand or a rolling pin.

Remove your Leaf Scroll from the mold.  You can trim up your leaf if any overhang is visible or you can make slight adjustments by separating the leaves from Scroll; however you see fit for your project.  I picked up my leaf scrolls and gave them a pinch from top to bottom to add a little curve.  This helped me to avoid wrinkles and cracks later.

Place your Leaf Scroll atop a paper towel.  Use a smaller brush at first and dip into your black petal dust, tap off excess.  Use light strokes to ever so slightly highlight the details of your Leaf Scroll.  Once you can see the details, use your larger brush to dust sides and remove excess.

Wasn't that fun?  You could apply this method to a number of edible projects.  I used mine to decorate pillars in an edible scene as well as in part of a door frame.  Some other ideas:  a frame, border, chandelier cakes.

Michelle Currann AKA Chef Mitchie

DTC Products Used:
Small Leaf w/ Scroll