Monday, January 16, 2012

Oh, Baby!

Happy New Year! I know, I know... it's been awhile and I'm sorry. The last 3 weeks have been madness in my neck of the woods. We've traveled out of town every week since Christmas which hasn't left extra time for much. But now, I'm back. Get pumped.

Project Cupcake will be back very soon. In fact, there's a cupcake waiting in the wings. First however, in the spirit of the new year, new beginnings and all things new I thought what's newer than a baby? And, what do women have before they have a baby? Yep, that's right, a baby shower. And, what do women eat at a baby shower? Yep, right again, cake!
Please forgive the not-s0-great composition of this photo. It was taken quickly and on my phone with the intention of sending it to my friend who requested it and no one else. It was only after the cake was gone that I thought I should post it and wished I still had the cake to take prettier pictures. Hindsight. Always gets me.

On to the details. My friend asked me to make this cake for the baby shower of a co-worker of ours. I have made this particular cake for baby showers a couple of times before. Once for my future sister-in-law and another for the daughter of my boss from college. I'm not a professional anything when it comes to baking, but I feel particularly comfortable when I make this cake since I've done it before.

I made a double batch of my chocolate cake recipe and used 2 8-inch square pans to make the cakes. When all the baking was said and done I had 4 8-inch cakes. I layered them which gave me 2 layer cakes. After the cakes were leveled and layered I cut each layer cake into quarters so I had 8 blocks total. The shower wasn't going to be too big and I figured I wouldn't need more than 4 blocks total for the shower, but I always like to have back up just in case I need it. In this case I did because once a couple of the blocks were frosted they started to lean and didn't look as level. Instead of panicking I just made new blocks with my extra blocks. Like the Boy Scouts say (or at least I think they do)... always be prepared!

Although it wasn't particularly warm, I still put the frosted cakes in the freezer because they're easier to work with when they're firm. As per my normal routine, I made the fondant the day before while the cakes were baking. I made 3 batches because I always like to have extra just in case I need it. I had more than enough.

Since the mommy to be didn't want to know the gender of the baby I was asked to keep the colors neutral. I like the look of white blocks with pastel colors, so I kept the blocks white and incorporated light green and light yellow. I colored the fondant myself using green and yellow Wilton gel food coloring.

I printed out the letters from my computer, cut them out, put them on top of the fondant and traced around them with a knife giving me the shape of the letter in fondant form. For the shapes I used a star cookie cutter that I had on hand. For the edging of the blocks I just rolled out fondant and used a pizza cutter to cut out uniform strips that I placed around the edge of each block.

I didn't attend the baby shower myself, but I was told everyone loved it, and most importantly the mommy to be was very happy! Oh, I almost forgot... it's a boy!