Saturday, March 09, 2013

Adventures in cake making and bargain shopping

This week has been another super busy one. I haven't had time to play with my paper and stamps. Instead I have been playing with flour and sugar!

Last week one of my favorite teenagers called me and asked me to make her birthday cake for her 18th birthday. Well, since I've known this girl since she was 7 years old and she is pretty much like one of my own I couldn't say no. When my older kids were young I used to make the Wilton shaped cakes and stand for hours piping in stars for Elmo and Pooh and Scooby Doo. Then one year if hit me. No one really cared how fancy it was except me. They were content with a plain cake and icing with a figurine on top. So, that is what I started doing, less stress for me and we were all happy campers. So, it has been several years since I have made a detailed cake. The request for this cake was one that was music themed. So, off to Pinterest I went. After all any excuse to go to Pinterest is a good excuse, right? I found the ideas and knew basically what I wanted to do. Next I went to Facebook because every cake I looked at was decorated with fondant. I had never made fondant and wasn't sure where to begin. I knew that the store bought kind has a terrible taste and even more terrible is the cost. So with the help of a a few online friends I had a starting point--the fondant recipe.

I began with a trial cake with a few pieces of fondant early in the week. It was scary to look at but apparently tasted fine because it was gone within 24 hours. I learned a few things from that.
Let the fondant refrigerate overnight.
Do *not* use 1/4" thick coat of buttercream.
Put the cake in the freezer over night.

Keeping all of that in mind I made the fondant and five cake layers. Of course, the cake only had to be for around 10 people but I was determined to have extra of everything just in case I messed up! Let everything cool/freeze overnight. Then yesterday began the decorating. First I have to say I like decorating with fondant MUCH better than piping in all those stars and lines! And here is what I cam e up with. 

My very first fondant decorated cake:

I also learned something else this week. I love my new KitchenAid mixer! I have always looked at them and thought seriously who needs a $250+ mixer!? I was happy with my $20 handheld. But every time I make buttercream I wish I had a stand mixer. This week when looking around I found that I could get a great deal on a KitchenAid so I went for it. After all, with all the looking I saw practically no bad reviews and many people having one last 20-30 years. With a track record like that I figured I'd give it a chance  One time using it and I knew why everyone loved it. I made an angel food cake and those eggs whites were perfect in minutes. I was hooked.

Here is what I ended up getting

And here is how!

Kohls sale price 229.99
(regular price most places, so not really a "sale" *yet*)
Next I got a 30% off coupon.
That brought the price down to around $161
Finally, this mixer has a $30 rebate available.
Price down to $131, barely more than a stand mixer of a much lesser quality.
And finally, Kohl's cash promotion giving me $30 in Kohl's cash to spend on extra attachments or other kitchen gadgets! :)
So far I have used it to make 2 angel food cakes, the birthday cake, 2 batches of buttercream icing and a second 2 layer cake. All since Wednesday :)

So that is what I have been doing this week!
It was a fun change of pace but next week it's back to paper and ink.

Have a great weekend!!


Laurie said...

Tami this is fabulous!! Awesome job!!

Vicki Dutcher said...

OMGosh! amazing cake - she is going to love it! Well done!!

Karen (TLgirl353) said...

What a beautiful cake Tami! I have had my KitchenAid for years and years and still love it. Now try making bread- oh, it smells so good. Before I got into making cards and such I made homemade bread- tons of it, and used to send it to the office with my dh. The employees loved it! I used to buy the flour at Sam's- 40 lbs at a time. Made dinner rolls too! The mixer comes in handy!!!!! Enjoy!

Jan said...

Very cool cake, and great deal on the mixer, wow! I am just trying my hand at baking and looking for some good cake mixes, so if you ever feel inclined to post some recipes, I would love it!

SmilynStef said...

I had the same mixer thought, but now that I have mine, I'll never go back ... love it. did you end-up getting an attachment?

Mary Ann T said...

Your cake is great. Can't believe it's your first with fondant. I've always told my husband that the best present he's ever bought me is me KitchenAide Mixer, better than all the jewelry and other stuff. Now, you've got to get the beater attachment that scrapes the bowl as it mixes.

Ava Gavloski said...

great share, love it

Sharon Underwood said...

Tami, I have the same mixer, for the very same reason! Can't "beat" it! (couldn't resist...) Keep on having fun with it; you'll never be disappointed!

Jingle said...

Your cake looks absolutely fantastic! As for the Kitchen Aid... I LOVE MINE!!!! It's totally worth it!

Lee said...

Wow!! That cake is fabulous!!! And our family is totally addicted to our KitchenAid....we're on our second one! LOL have some WEIRD spam comments! LOL