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Everything posted by JSkilling

  1. I agree. Since my CI muffins turned out so well, I made the 'buckle' recipe to, and it was also great. Tonight I'm making yet another CI blueberry recipe, the blueberry lemon sour cream coffee cake. Its cooling right now, and looks good. Can't wait to try it. ← Is this one the buckle? Or is this the coffee cake?
  2. JSkilling

    Golf cake

    Here is a golf cake I did that had cookies with it. I used fondant on the cookies and used the larger ball end (you could use a marble) of a decorating tool to dimple the fondant as soon as I put it on. I did this on the side of another smaller golf cake and that was cute as well.... Also, I dimpled all the "golf balls" that surrounded the cake. I used fondant and gumpaste together to form the clubs so I'm sure you could do the same thing to cross yours on the side.
  3. Go back to your image and you'll see down on the right hand side "Show actual URL" If you click on that a box will come up. Highlight all the text and copy it. Then you can edit your original post here to put in the URL for the cake photo. Click on http:// and then paste your URL in the box that comes up there. Now it's a clickable URL to get your photo in your post.
  4. That ought to be required reading for anyone thinking of making his/her own cake! What a fun read and I have no recollection of it at all. I do, however, remember the cakes that you had to make look fabulous. Loved the chocolate roses! I'm one of those crafty folks who makes everything herself. I beaded my own dress, sewed on French lace, made the headpiece, dolled up my shoes, made my programs and favors but I would never, ever think of making my own cake. I was up at 2:00 a.m. as it was sewing on the last buttons on my sleeves so I can just imagine the panic at cake that's not turning out! Yikes. It would be cupcakes all the way.
  5. I think if you don't take your caramel up so high next time you'll avoid the burnt taste. I use a more light golden color when I'm making this and the chocolate caramel ganache and prefer the lighter taste. I'm all for burnt sugar in other applications, but here it's nice to just get a smooth caramel taste. I don't know how it will hold up outside in the July heat. Others have enough experience to know what will hold up and I'm sure they'll chime in. In our DC heat I'd be afraid of a puddle...
  6. Oh, my now I'm afraid to because I hear evil laughter in the background.....
  7. Since I'm just going to be a small time take the cakes that I want as well I likely won't get one of these printers soon, though they are not that expensive. I need an airbrush first! And lace stuff, and cutters, and, and, and..... I'm glad to live 5 mintues from DC in a large area with disposible income! I know for sure I couldn't get into this in a smaller area that doesn't support the costs associated with high end goods. Still I know it's going to be a tough market. Which is my next post.... What the heck do I do next?????
  8. I guess I just see it as yet another tool in your arsenal not a replacement of what you did before or a devaluation of any skill since these still require a good bit of skill to produce - I don't think many will tackle these in "kit" form. You still have to do something no matter what you choose so you are still charging for your own design time and labor. Even if you can click and get a striped pattern onto the transfer sheets, you still have to make it all work. The skill set is just transferred to what you can do on a computer vs what you can do by hand. Personally, I'd take the computer generated stripes over the hand rolled ones any day. I think they have that mod impact and and the look of perfection. But even in my inexperience I realize that I'd still have to deal with getting that frickin fondant on my cake perfectly. Not an easy task and I'll charge for it. What I love especially about the use of any of these is the layering of the different techniques to get depth and dimension on the cake - true little works of art. I think the same appreciation of the artist's worth and time applies to this conversation as it does in the chocolate thread - this much work whether by hand or computer is expensive and getting the general population to realize that is difficult. As these designs start to show up in Bride's Magazine it will be interesting to see how the trends change. Colleen, thanks for posting that cake since it shows me how I'd be able to curve around the outside of a round instead of using the flat edge of a hexagon. I'm intrigued by what I can do....
  9. I don't look at any of this work as more affordable! They are techniques put to good use in each of the cakes where they are done well. For some effects the painted look is good. For others the placed panel on top of fondant provides a beautiful scripted look - a la the green cake with the vows on it (now that I've seen the seams I understand the use of the pearl border straight down the side!). I don't think any of them took any less talent because someone had to conceive the idea and execute it the best way he or she knew how. I love seeing how creative each was in getting something to market. Now I realize how much work I have ahead of me! Chefette, I paint equally as well as Jan but slowly so pastillage will serve me well when I do this. I also decided that another way to use my own work would be to paint the design I want and then use that to transfer to the KK printer. Then I could use the sheet around the side of a cake since I'd have some flexibility. And the beauty is I could actually use that design again if I wanted to! I believe it will take me some time to get to this though! I might, um, have to at least make one wedding cake first I would not equate any of this to the Giant cakes which just take a sheet of edible design and put it on top of the cake and pipe a shell border around the top. That is where I think Wendy is talking about a busy production shop making use of edible transfers.
  10. The de la Pava cake was one of my favorites so I love seeing this so close up. What do you mean by starting with a printed transfer? Is that the leaf design and then she built up from that? The stencil technique is easy for me to transfer to cake since I have a houseful of stenciled walls, so I'm going to try this in the coming week or so. Now, for the Kish cake.... I am soooooo slow at whatever I do so I've been trying to figure out how I'd get painting on the side of a cake without mold growing under me! Did she just paint on panels and then attach them to the cake? I know this was a dummy so she could have painted straight on this but for a real cake, there must be a way to prepare in advance the painted panels. I love that green and pink cake. I think it's just classic. The other one I loved was the square with the large red and blue flowers if I remember correctly. Very painterly and mod.
  11. I like the car analogy - a shiny Jaguar comes off the line exactly the same as the last one and the next one and a premium is charged for the care and exacting standards used to present that perfection. No matter how much technology was used to create it, the technicians had to be very good at their part of the job to create such a vehicle. And, no, I'd not consider a flaw in this artistic license. I guess I go back to no matter what tools you use to create your work, you will still imprint your own stamp on it. And with great care you'll get perfectly aligned transfers, straight lines or purposefully artful misalignment if you so choose. I love seeing how each person chooses to present chocolates in such a unique way and to present a flavor in such a design as to complement it. I'm a total technology user and have no problems using every single tool available to create in faster, better ways. If it's my product my brain conceived it, my hands created the first sketches of it, my creativity shaped it, and my perfectionism will guide it through whatever couse it takes to get to an end product. Educated consumers also have to be aware of the price points of art (and I don't think they generally are). Hand crafted, detailed work is expensive whether it be chocolate, cake, painting or drawing. We may understand how difficult this is to produce but very few people are discerning enough to appreciate the craftsmanship and be willing to pay a premium over and above what they are already paying for high end products. There is a compromise for everything. Hopefully it won't be as Wendy said with inferior products going out to avoid the pricing dilemma. I think that's a whole new post just on how to get value and price together!!! Yikes. I swear I keep having this same discussion with all my entrepreneur friends. How do we keep our products unique, high end and marketable where we can still make an income. I have yet to figure this out!
  12. I think the artistry and skill still play in because even with the use of all the technology and machinery possible, someone who doesn't understand the process can't produce the same product, never mind can't produce the same quality product. How you choose to color them, the shapes you use, the decoration all reflect the artistry used to produce your goods. For me as a consumer it doesn't matter how you achieved it but I do expect that high priced chocolates will taste scrumptious, look beautiful and be artfully presented. The ingredients chosen in the product probably play into the equation more than the methods for me. Fresh natural choices over preservatives and flavors would go a long way in enhancing the value of the artistry. That shows you know how to make the base and then when you present it well you highlight your own individuality and skill. I would choose truly beautiful generally over flashy.
  13. How about using some chocolate shells with a raspberry in the bottom and some piped mousse on top w/shavings? I usually use frozen raspberries and just sort of smash them into the bottom and fill with a firm chocolate mixture that I can quick pipe into the shells. They always go over big! And you can do dozens at a time...
  14. I like them beautiful and decorated if they are that expensive. Not that I won't eat the claylike lumps with just as much abandon
  15. I think this page on Wendy's blog is brilliant! Perhaps use a few of these ideas and see if either a recipe you already have for shortbread cookies or carrot cake, etc would fit the bill. Wendy's Blog
  16. need so much of chefette's list can't afford chefette's list shit
  17. Ok, now that I just spit all over my screen from laughing..... I was forced into this math to order some dessert rings. The scary part is I can do it, make it work and so totally understand it. And I am so not a math girl! My methods are actually quite similar to Anne's, though I'd have to insert cussing in there somewhere because *&%*^)$)) I don't have enough to fill this pan and need to get it baked in the next 15 minutes!!!!! Then I scream why didn't I just take the time to measure this so I'd know and wouldn't be short. AAAAGGHHHHHHH.....
  18. I find it easier to take this one step further and get it in fluid ounces so I can work from there. I glazed over as well, but in the end this is not hard math: 9" Pan - Formula Pi (3.14159) * (radius * radius) = square inches Square inches * height = cubic inches Cubic inches * fluid ounces per cubic inch (0.5542113) = fluid ounces That's how they figured the 9" pan holds ~6 cups. But I don't think this yet solves your problem because you still only know that your recipe will yield enough batter for 3 9" layers. It doesn't say how much to fill, how much rise you'll get, etc. And you don't fill the pans all the way to the top - probably half or 2/3 full. So here's the easy way I'd have done this: 9" pans at 6 cups each (but you'll fill halfway so 3 cups) 3 cups * 3 layers = 9 cups of batter you expect to yield for this recipe 8" pans at 4 cups each (but you'll fill halfway so 2 cups) 2 cups * 3 layers = 6 cups of batter required for the 3 8" layers You have 3 cups of batter left, enough for a 9" layer or one 6" and some cupcakes. When in doubt I just go the the kitchen and fill the measuring cup Patrick's math got you to the same place but I think it's harder to understand the square inches. If we can get this into units of measure we understand I think it's easier to grasp. After all, the president of Harvard said we poor women folk can't do math
  19. When I have to make black royal icing I just plop in some unsweetened chocolate to get started and then move to adding black. And it's yummy. I needed to use black the other day but in such small quantities that I colored it with paste. Next time I'll use Anne's trick and start with chocolate fondant since it works so well in royal icing. I have to say that I didn't notice any bad taste with both the black and the red I had to do on another Spiderman cake - and that took GOBS of red to get to the right color.
  20. I think it looks like a big strawberry shortcake! What's not to love??? I can see the denseness of the cake and know that's what I'd be looking for so I'd be likely to make this (and will soon!). I wonder if those dried strawberries wouldn't do the trick. Although I did just go look at the compounds to see what they have. Yum.... I just put this recipe into MasterCook so I don't have to come searching again to see which version you ended up with. Now I want strawberry cake. But, um, I can't.eat.any.more.cake. Sigh....
  21. Fondant. Dear God. Fondant. I've hit this learning curve hard and fast and can tell you that I hate the fricking stuff beyond belief every time I roll it out and try to get it on a layer larger than 8". Right now I'm sweating trying to figure out how I'd get this in one try on a 15" layer. My family knows to steer clear when I start to pick it up. My first try was perfect as well. It's just been my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th that have given me fits! Granted, I make my own and probably don't quite have the blend down yet, but I will persist... or buy Pettinice What I just thought about after reading this is I'm not sure I'd want to see this kit with my name on it to get a designer cake out to the masses. I don't want to diminish the value of my name or my product by inferior results being passed off with the use of this kit. Starting from a Duncan Hines cake mix for the layers to difficulty rolling the fonant out well on each of the tiers. But no matter how it looks the bride can still say this is a GW cake and that's what would in the end steer me clear as a business person. Yes, you might get some extra $$ but could hurt your future high end sales. What I do like about her approach is that it would solve the chef who doesn't do this often problem if marketed correctly. It puts all the design elements into one place and tells someone who knows his/her way around a kitchen how to get a product put together. They don't have the time to research designs, mark cake websites, etc. But the price point is most likely the killer for this type of targeted marketing. The same "kit" approach struck the same nerve in the mural and art forum I pretend to be part of (not having picked up a paintbrush in eons!) Everyone feels that the artist's touch is what sets design apart. The kit is fine for getting you started but it's no solution for skill level. Still, more power to her. If she can move her business ahead with this and it works, then go for it.
  22. She does say it's for the savvy baker or for your professional baker, but still as a "savvy baker" I'd just copy her picture and make it mself I sure can't see someone without significant experience using even a kit. I'd bet it's just a small part of her business, though, sort of like selling her flowers or unique cake separators. But that wild rose cake is $600 and I'm too lazy to go and see how much 3-4 dozen roses would cost at one of the sugar flower places but I can already see lots 'o profit there. More power to her! Caveat emptor.
  23. I've done testing this week. Tried the SCW chocolate cake with a dark chocolate buttercream - added some cocoa for a richer flavor. This stayed out for days and never oozed out between the layers the way my castle cake did. It definitely had some deflation but it's chocolate after all and the temps have been warm. As I would cut a new slice (you know, for testing purposes) it would be fine inside but would have a slight bulge in the layer the next time we sliced it. So, so far so good. For those reading along, it has never been about the outside layer of buttercream causing the fondant to slide off, it's the inside layers that oozed and caused the cake to collapse on itself instead of allowing me to cut nice slices. Next. I made another version of the Swiss meringue but added 2 oz of egg whites per Keith's recipe. Since I'm using the Papetti, it took forever to get a meringue but once it's there the resulting buttercream is quite nice. I used 8 oz of bittersweet chocolate and got a very light, whippy chocolate filling. I put that between two layers of the SCW chocolate cake and one layer of the golden vanilla. Decorated Spongbob and then into the cooler overnight despite all warnings in every book to the contrary. Today I took it out 3 hours before the party, left it there (actually had to hide it so the kids at the next party wouldn't come over and eat it while it was unattended - I'm not kidding). Beautiful slices, great texture, yummy cake! I was able to very quickly slice the cake and plate it and had every piece hold exactly as I expected. My lessons: I believe letting chocolate fillings stay out over 24 hours means I'll have a softer filling that might not handle well. I don't think the milk chocolate was stable enough in the buttercream to hold up. The cooler is my friend even with fondant. I even had used a simple syrup on all the layers to keep them nice and moist and still had no problem with the structure. Granted, ole Spongebob (stupidest character on earth) didn't have any weight on top but I think I know better now about how much support I need to handle the sugar work on the cakes. Live and learn. Practice on your friends....
  24. I just added caramel to my regular buttercream until I thought the taste was strong enough. Chefette just posted a recipe that I'm going to try this weekend - basically in the proportion of caramel to buttercream I used but she uses a French meringue with the yolks. I'm anxious to try that.
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