Friday, July 8, 2011

Tiered Cake Construction

Mel... this post is for you!!!  I will try to give you a step by step break down of how to make a tiered cake, but if you have any questions.... CALL ME or send me an email!

After you have baked and cooled all your cakes, tort them for filling.  Before I start filling the, I use toothpicks to mark reference points so that all the layers line up and give me a level cake.

OH... make sure you place EACH cake on it's own regular, plain cake board... as if you were going to just make it all own it's own.  This allows for easy movement of the cake, AND when they cake is cut, the person cutting the cake doesn't have to worry about cutting into the lower tiers!!!!  ALSO the weight of the cakes will be supported by wooden dowels from underneath... and you need the cake boards to do this.

Next I crumb coat them all and put them in the fridge so that the buttercream hardens a bit.  If you are making a multi tiered BUTTERCREAM cake, let the tiers chill for at least 15-30 minutes.  This will allow the buttercream to stiffen so that you can manipulate the cakes without destroying the frosting.

For FONDANT covered cakes, I like to chill the crumb coated cakes before I put the fondant on them.  I do this only because I have found that after smoothing the fondant with my hands, the icing will tend to ooze out from the bottom of the fondant or move around under the fondant.  So this helps in preventing that.

For multi tiered cakes, I like to use FOAM CORE BOARDS as a base.  I get them at Michael's in the framing dept, they are usually on a shelf with other boards of different thicknesses.  I prefer to use Elmer's Foam Board 20 x 30 x 1/2 inch.  I like them because I can cut them to any size and shape with an Exacto knife, and they will support the weight of the multi-tiered cakes.  Next I use some of Wilton's decorative paper to cover the board and make it look pretty.  I often get ribbon to match the color theme of the cake and them either glue it or use straight pins to cover the edge of the cake board.  I just think that it "finishes" the board and adds to the cuteness.

Start with your bottom tier, and cover it with your fondant, add any fondant decorations that may end up under your next tier.  I know this sound silly, BUT if you'd be suprised how many times I didn't think of that when I made my first couple of cakes!

Once you have your bottom tier covered in fondant and ready for placement.  Take a little buttercream and smear it on the cake board where you want to place your cake.  Place your bottom tier and then get some wooden dowels (I use Wilton's) and measure them against the tier.  Cut them so that they are either level to the height of the tier or a little (I'm talking a smidge) over.  I then get a pencil sharpener (I have one solely for my cakes) and I sharpen one end.  I then place 4 wooden dowels into the cake in a square into the tier.  These will then support the weight of the next tier.  Your dowels should end up level to the top of the cake, or just a bit above.  If they stick out too much you will end up with a gap between the tiers.  This is ok, if you will be placing gumpaste flowers or fresh flowers inbetween the tiers.

You now have your bottom tier ready and done. 

Now you can start working on your second tier.  Now you just repeat what you did for the bottom tier on all the following tiers you have to make for your cake.  

The only thing you won't need to do is putting buttercream inbetween the tiers, your cakes will stay put because you will be placing one long dowel down the center of your cake once all the tiers are in place.

I unfortunately did not take a picture of the center dowel, but all you do is take one regular dowel, I have found that these will generally be long enough to stake the cake, or you can get a longer one from the modelling section of Michaels.  Then you just take it, hold it against the height of the cake, mark it off like if you did when cutting them for the lower tiers.  You will want this one to be slightly shorter than the actual height of the cake, because once you drive it in, you can not pull it out to cut down.  (I've done this before and it sucks!!!)  Now that you have your center dowel cut to size, use your pencil sharpener to sharpen one end, like you did with the other dowels, and drive the pointed end into the center of the cake.  By sharpening the end you will be able to drive the tip through the cake boards and anchor it into the foam core board!

This center dowel will keep the tiers from sliding around or shifting. 
I forgot to place the center dowel in a two tier cake once and the top tier SLID OFF THE CAKE as I transported the cake for delivery.

So there you have it... how to make a multi-tiered cake step by step.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Product update: Motts for Tots

Did you know that Mott's for Tots® has 40% less sugar than 100% apple juice and a great taste kids love—it's an easy and healthy way to spoil 'em.

It's true!!!  My kids love this juice... and not just the tot!!!  It's delicious and you can taste the difference 100% real fruit juice makes!  It also contains vitamins A, C, and E to help support a healthy immune system

and with calcium and vitamin D to help support healthy bones... and who doesn't want that for their kids!

Available in five yummy flavors: Apple, Apple White Grape, NEW Immune Support Fruit Punch, NEW Bone Health Grape, and NEW Mixed Berry!

AND what's best, it also comes in convenient juice boxes for small hands and when you are on the go!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

O' summer weather... how I love thee....

FINALLY, it seems that Mother Nature has had enough fun laughing at us northerners and has decided to bless us with sun and warmth... and DO I NEED IT!!!  I am by no means winter person, I do not really like the cold, I do not like the snow for more than a month and God knows I need my fair share of sunshine to keep me happy.

So imagine my unbridled joy when I saw in the forecast 80's for the next week!!!  WOOO-HOOOO!!!!  As soon as my kids got home Tuesday, I said let's get out butts to the park!!  and off we went. 

Haaa, haaa, haaa... I absolutely love this sequence of pictures!  Especially Sebastians face on the last picture!  I think he thought Isabel was going to let him go!!

My baby... well... not so much anymore, but she is quite the flexible one!

Tyler went right for the twisty slide... this is my monkey!

I still find it hard to believe that Sebastian will be 2 years old in two months!!! 

Isabel is a great big sister, and was being SUPER protective of Sebastian... funny because he just wanted to run by himself.

Here she is again playing with her little baby....

Isn't he so big!!!

Too funny, because he has a hard time with stairs... never mind the cargo ropes!!!

So here are the pics from our park outing... I would have gotten more but I couldn't them to stand still for more than two seconds at a time!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where have I been???

OMG... I just realized that my last post was AUGUST 24th!!!!  I seriously thought I had posted after that, but maybe it was just that I had all the INTENTIONS of posting and never got around to it!

Well... I'm going to try to sum up the ongoings in my happy home over the last nine months and get us all up to speed! 

First of all, my cake business has taken off!!!  I am soooooo happy and BUSY!  I absolutely love it!!  It started off slow... such that I was worried that it was just going to stay a hobby.  But lo and behold, I have had cake orders every weekend for the last two months!  And not just one, I'm talking a minimum of two orders per weekend, up to four that I had to make for last weekend! 

I love it... my skills have improved so much over these months, and I am so much more confident with what I can do, and if I can't or haven't done it... I have no doubts I can do it!!! 

Chao Baby!!!  :O)

This is my first ever wedding cake....

Sorry to bombard you with pics... but this is a collage of my work over the last five months!!

I bet  you thought that this whole post was going to be pictures of cakes!!!  ;oP

So as you can see, I've been busy!!!  I'm not going to complain, I love that I can make some money at what I REALLY enjoy doing!

Now the other reason I have been MIA....  Isabel has been trying my patience!  This girl, I love her to pieces... but DEAR LORD she's gonna kill me!  This school year has been the absolute worst ever!!!  Not only has she had awful grades, but she is failing Math. I have met more times with her teachers this year than I have in her entire educational career !  I have lost all confidence in the public school system here.  I finally have a meeting with her teachers and the SPED tomorrow to see if MAYBE there is something that they can do to help her not fall behind.... Ummmmmm yeah... there is a month of school left and she has a D average in everything.  I think you're a bit late on the helping her not fall behind!!!!  But at least it's a start and we can get her started on the right path for next year.  At least that is my goal! 

Tyler has started cubscouts this year and he ABSOLUTELY loves it!  Tyler is one very social boy... and he likes to excel at all he does, so this has been an really great learning experience for him.  He did great in his first ever Raingutter Regatta in the fall... He placed 2nd in his den (they are only 3!!)  but he was really proud of himself, which to me is the best reward.  He has a great team player attitude and didn't get too upset when he didn't win.  What more can a mother ask for!

Isn't he handsome???

Tyler also did AWESOME in his first ever Pinewood Derby... placing 4th amongst all the participants in his pack!  He went to the council finals, but didn't do as great, yet he enjoyed it and never said a bad word about not winning.    I would love to post pics but his dad took him and I forgot to send Isabel with my camera... so no pics. 

Isabel has been doing EXCELLENT in dance this year, with a full schedule of Ballet, Jazz, Tap and HipHop... it's a full week for us.  Not to mention that she also partook in Girl Scouts all year too!
I can't snap pics of her in dance, mostly because Sebastian won't sit still when I go to watch her...   BUT I will habe pics in a few weeks as her end of the year recital will be on June 17-18!!!  I am so excited and can't wait to see her perform.  Every year she brings tears to my eyes when I see her on stage, it's absolutely amazing to see how much she has learned and how graceful she has become on stage.

Sebastian is now 22 months old... I have no idea where the time has gone!  He is such a smart boy... he now speaks a handful of words in both spanish and english!  He is a clown, he loves to make faces and run around and jump and dance.  Although he is a tv tyrant!  He loves to take control of the living room tv and watch "Oh Toodles" which is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse all day... or Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Amazing Mr. Fox, and Alice In Wonderland (the Johnny Depp version)!  I bought the kids all 3 Toy Story movies for Easter this year, and those are now all their favorite!!!

Oh, did I mention that I am also going to school too?  Yup, since I have been unemployed for just shy of two years, I went back to school a year ago and have been working on a Paralegal degree with a Business Administration degree.  Good thing I'm not busy!!! 

The hubs and I are both working hard on his car sales... which has been going well.  We aren't getting rich, but we atleast have enough to pay our bills!

So there you go....  a rather loooooong summary of where I have been and why I've been missing!  Now that I posted, I'm sure you will hear more from me on a regular basis!