Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jungle theme baby cake!

I had the great pleasure this past week end to design, bake and decorate the shower cake for my new Grandson, Peter Dario. Named after his Grandfather, my husband, Peter. He is a bundle of joy and was a true blessing after all that my beautiful daughter went through in the past four months to ensure that this baby was born and to keep herself safe and healthy. God Bless Nancy, Janet and Baby Peter. They are truly a wonderful family.



There was a great deal of preparation before the actual day of the party.  I had to make the pea pod and flower,baby,baby blanket,  trees, clouds and the candy melts baby blocks ahead of time so they would dry. I live in Massachusetts and for those of you who do not know the climate in August around here can be very, very humid.  Even with  the AC on high the air is still damp.  I had to be sure they were made three days ahead to ensure they were dry. 

The trees on the cake and the clouds were made of fondant.
Clouds: simply roll a ball of fondant in your hand, flatten out and shape the ends to resemble clouds. Bend them in your hand so that when they dry they will be formed to the side of the round cake. If you were using square pans you would just let them dry flat.
Trees: Tint a batch of fondant brown and one green. Depending on the depth of the colors you want to use on the cake. From pastel to darker richer colors. I choose medium dark because I tinted the icing on the cake very pastel. Roll out a long rope of brown fondant. Cut into sections about four inches long. Shape into a trunk of a palm tree. With the flat side of a knife make alternating marks down both sides of the fondant. This will give the impression of the bark of a palm tree. To make the leaves you can do it two ways. If you have a leaf cookie cutter, cut out four leaves, press together and pinch one ends and mark with the flat edge of a knife and mark the veins in the palm leaves. If you do not have a leaf cookie cutter. Make four small ovals press them out, pinch one end and with the flat side of the knife mark to resemble the veins in the leaf. Then press them together and shape into flowing leaves. Attach to the top of the palm trunk with a bit of sticky fondant. They must be secured together or else when you stand them up the leaves will fall off.
Baby: spray the inside of the mold with vegetable non stick spray. Then wipe around to be sure that it has covered the inside completely. Press the white fondant into the mold tightly so that is gets into all the crevices to enhance the outcome of the figure. Let sit for about an hour, then remove gently from the mold. Set aside in cool dry area and let dry for a few days. After it has dried you can dry brush the baby's pajamas with a pastel food coloring, dry brush the hair the desired color and dry brush the face, hands, and feet the desired skin tone. If you prefer not to try to put on specific features on the baby's face you can leave it as is. Just put a little pink on the cheeks with a dry brush and pink food coloring.
Baby leaf blanket: I had fun making this. I used a large leaf  press mold. Painted it green and molded it over the baby's bottom. Let this dry for a day at least. Option: You can make a square of fondant and press in some markings to make it look like a quilt and dry brush different colors in the squares that you have marked out. Either way it will be adorable.
Candy Melts Baby Blocks: These were time consuming but not difficult. The mold only makes two blocks at a time. Because of this I ordered 3 molds. I will use them time and time again. You may not, so one will probably suffice for you. However; the cost of the molds is only about $2.00 each, so they are very reasonable.   I also used printed icing sheets from my edible printing system for the pictures of the jungle animals on some of the molds before I poured the melts. You can buy little Jungle animal cookie cutters(wilton.com) and make the animals from fondant and attache them on the blocks after they have hardened with icing. Melt your candy, pour into the mold and chill. When firm turn out. Smallest block is the foundation to build the block. When it is finished it will be the top of the block.  Melt a small bowl or a small squeeze bottle of candy melts to glue the sides on. Place the two largest squares opposite each other on the square. Place a rim of melted candy along the edge and hold in place till this is set. Then do the same for the two smaller squares. Fit into the two sides that have already been glued on and let dry.
Pea pod: With green fondant make three tiny peas by rolling a bit of fondant in your hand making a tiny pea. For the pod, make a ball of fondant, flatten out into an oval shape, pinch both ends and fold slightly, making the pod. Very simple process.  Place the peas into the pod. Make a couple of tiny leaves to go next to the pod.

  1. I made a three tiered round cake
  2. About 8 cups of icing for bottom layer. 4 cups for middle layer. 2 cups for top layer and 3 cups green for grass.  Ice the bottom green, the middle yellow and the top blue   
  3. Dust the top of the bottom layer with 10x sugar and place the middle layer on top.
  4. Dust the middle layer with 10x sugar and place the top layer on this.
  5. With your multi-opening tip in a pastry bag, pipe the grass around the inside edge of each layer. 
  6. Place the trees on the sides of the bottom two tiers. Hold in place with some icing on the back of the tree. Push a tooth pick through the tree to the cake to stabilize the trees on the cake.
  7. Place a couple of the blocks on the edges of the two bottom layers.
  8. Put the clouds on the sides of the top cake with a little icing and stabilize with a toothpick to hold it in place til the icing dries. 
  9. Place the baby on top.
  10. Place the tree next to the baby
  11. Place the pea pod, and leaves next to baby.
  12. Place the leaf blanket over the baby. 
  13. Place the banana runts near and around the trees


 EQUIPMENT/supplies
    
  • 14" ROUND/3"DEEP PAN
  • 10" ROUND/3"DEEP PAN
  • 6" ROUND//3" PAN
  • 16" BOARD OR HEAVY SERVING TRAY
  • BABY BLOCK MOLD (onestopcandle.com)
  • SLEEPING BABY MOLD (onestopcandle.com)
  • WHITE CANDY MELTS (WILTON.COM)
  • FONDANT (WILTON.COM)
  • WHITE MODEL MAGIC for the topper (ANY CRAFT STORE)
  • GREEN FOOD COLORING
  • BLUE FOOD COLORING
  • YELLOW FOOD COLORING
  • BROWN FOOD COLORING
  • PINK FOOD COLORING
  • MULTI OPENING TIP #234 (WILTON.COM) FOR THE GRASS 
  • ONE PASTRY BAG
  • OPTIONAL BLUE FEATHER BUTTERFLY (CRAFT STORE)
  • 2" WIDE RIBBON FOR BANNER APPROXIMATELY 8 " LONG
  • NON TOXIC MARKER TO WRITE ON BANNER
  • BANANA RUNTS CANDY (ANY STORE THAT SELLS CANDY)
  • WOODEN OR PLASTIC TOOTHPICKS TO HOLD THE TREES AND CLOUDS IN PLACE TILL THEY DRY AFTER PLACEMENT ON THE CAKE (BE SURE TO REMOVE THEM BEFORE YOU PRESENT THE CAKE)
  • WOODEN SKEWER TO PUT INTO THE TOP TREE TO HOLD IN PLACE 6" / 3" INSERTED INTO THE TREE AFTER IT HAS DRIED AND THEN 3" INSERTED INTO THE TOP OF THE CAKE BEFORE PRESENTING. 



Keep on Baking!!! Fondly, DCRose

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