Friday, August 30, 2013

The Making of Hunger Games Cake

In this post I share with you all what actually goes into these cakes and how we work together as a family to make them.  I took photos along the way of my most recent creation: a Hunger Games themed birthday cake for our good friend and babysitter.

This cake started about two weeks ago.  I molded the mockingjay topper out of modeling chocolate (which is just chocolate and corn syrup) and covered in in gold luster dust.  The "arrow" is an uncooked spaghetti noodle.  Into the fridge to cool, then down to the basement it goes!

Then to make the board.  The board is cardboard covered in fondant that is allowed to harden for several days.  This is also a make-ahead.  As you can see, Natalie helped me with this.  She brushed the board with piping gel while I rolled out the fondant, and then helped me texture it using a cobblestone mat, brush with black cake sparkles and brown petal dust, and paint the "cracks" so that the board would look like the coals that the flaming cake would go on.  She does a great job as a little helper!

Then today, the day before it is due, Mike baked the cakes, made the frosting and the filling.  This is critical - he does so much of the work while I am working.  The cake is chocolate with raspberry filling.  Yum!  My favorite trick at the moment to get really smooth buttercream frosting is to rotate several spatulas in hot water.  This melts the frosting as you are spreading it to get it nice and smooth.  Once the cake is frosted, VERY CAREFULLY moved the mockingjay into place. 

The flames and the berries on the sides are fondant.  Start with several fire colors and rope them together and roll out to make a tie-dyed effect.

Then hand cut the flames and stick to the side of the cake with a little water.

Leaves and berries the same.  Very carefully pipe the birthday message on top with black frosting (I'm skipping over the part where Mike dropped the bowl he was mixing the black in on the floor and it shattered all over, requiring him to vaccuum and wake the kids).

The finishing touch is hot gluing a ribbon to the edge of the board - and the cake is done and ready to photograph and deliver.  

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