What Happened to Spring and a Birthday Cake

Spring?

Today is the first day of spring, and yesterday I saw this little guy poking through my garden.


Is it Finally Spring in PA - Balancing Bites


And today, this is happening. Where I come from this isn’t spring. Sigh.



First Day of Spring in PA - Balancing Bites


A Friend’s Birthday Cake

Most of the cakes I made in Austin did not turn out great. I blame the humidity. They were always too dense and the frosting didn't hold up.

One of the few cakes that turned out okay, was a cake I made for my friend’s birthday. The cake reflected her love of dogs and tattoos.

Tattoo and Dog Birthday Cake
I made a french vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and covered  it in Satin Ice fondant (my favorite store bought fondant).

The red hearts were made with gum paste and outlined using a black food marker. The ribbon was also made using gum paste.

The dog was made from half fondant/half gum paste, which dries quickly while allowing time to shape the pieces.

I wrapped the bottom of the cake with a thick black ribbon.

I wanted my friend to have this cake not only because it was her birthday, but also because she was separated from her husband and family due to relocating for work. I wanted her to have a nice birthday. She loved the cake.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful spring day.


2D Tip Border Tutorial Part Two

Can you believe it is March? It’s hard to believe when we’re still getting snow. I’m hoping the recent downpour of snow will be the last until next winter. The forecast is calling for temperatures in the 50’s next week. It’s going to feel like summer compared to negative and single digits temperature we’ve had recently. 

For the second part of the 2D tip tutorial, I'll walk you through six buttercream borders.


2D Tip Tutorial Part 2 - Balancing Bites


The first border is a tight zigzag design. Hold the bag at a 45-degree angle facing 9:00 with the tip lightly touching the cake. Squeeze the piping bag with steady pressure while moving your hand in an up and down motion. To end the design or take a break, stop squeezing the bag then pull away. Continue to create a border.


2D Tip Tutorial Part 2 - Balancing Bites


The second border design is a twisted star. Hold the bag perpendicular to the cake with the tip lightly touching the surface. Squeeze the bag to make a star then twist your wrist in a counterclockwise direction. After twisting your wrist, stop squeezing the bag and pull the tip straight up and away. Continue to make a border.


2D Tip Tutorial Part 2 - Balancing Bites


The next design is a relaxed zigzag. Follow the same directions above, but stretch the zigzags by increasing the width. Continue to make a border.


2D Tip Tutorial Part 2 - Balancing Bites


The next border is similar to a rope design. Hold the bag at a 45-degree angle and lightly touching the surface. While squeezing the piping bag, make a sideways “S” then stop squeezing and pull the tip away. Next, place the tip on the bottom curve of the “S” and squeeze the bag to make another sideways “S.” The middle of the “S” should touch the tail end of the first “S.” Continue until your border is complete.

 2D Tip Tutorial Part 2 - Balancing Bites


The last border looks like a continuous cursive lower case “e.” Hold the bag at a 45-degree angle and lightly touching the surface. Squeeze the bag with steady pressure while moving it up around and to the right as if writing a cursive lower case “e.” Continue until the border is complete.

 2D Tip Tutorial Part 2 - Balancing Bites


The only border I forgot to add is a reverse shell border. Hold the bag at a 45-degree angle and lightly touching the surface. The first shell will look like a sideways question mark. Squeeze the bag with steady pressure allowing the buttercream to start fanning out and make a small curve like the top of a question mark. Continue to squeeze the bag and bring the tip back down. Gently relax the pressure and pull the tip away to finish the tail of the question mark. 

The next shell will be reversed like a backward question mark. Follow the same directions as the first shell. Below is a picture of a cake with a reverse shell from a Cake Central upload. Doesn’t the chocolate cake look delicious?


Reverse Shell Border


I hope this tutorial helps. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.


A Single Packet of Fondant

The other day I ran into Wal-mart to grab a few toiletries and stumbled upon this little gem.


A Single Packet of Fondant - Balancing Bites


A single packet of fondant! They also had it in red. If you can’t tell, I’m excited. Woot, Woot.

Now when I’m making a buttercream cake and want to add fondant accents, I won’t need to make/buy a pound of fondant. I can buy a small packet or two of fondant and not worry about wasting it or rushing to make another cake before it expires.

Wilton isn’t my favorite brand of fondant, but when I need a small amount it works.

Oh, happy days.

Have a great weekend.

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