Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Commencement Week

Two graduation cakes.

Two huge graduation cakes, in fact. For the most part, I was happy with the results although the dang chocolate plaques "bloomed" on me. It happened because either the chocolate was heated too quickly or I didn't stir it enough as it melted, so the fat in the chocolate separated. Remember ladies...don't let your fat separate. I'll never do it again, honest. It tastes the same.....it just isn't as pretty. Drat that fat.

Was it that long ago that I graduated? And the answer to that question is........yes. Even though I can remember it like it was yesterday.....it wasn't. Although it feels like it sometimes.....geez, I'm still getting an occasional zit. (Sigh). That's me...smiling at the camera. It was so long ago or as my nephew calls it, "back in the olden days". I told him that Pa had just parked the buckboard when this picture was taken. To which he replied, "What's a buckboard?". Kids.

My first cakes this week were for two girls (who are also cousins) graduating from two different high schools. The party is for both of them, so the girls will be recognized separately, but also together. Capisce?

Initially, I was going to do a large sheet cake....enough to feed 60-80 people, but then I opted (at the last minute) to make two separate cakes. See, this is the thing...one of the girls graduated from a school with black and orange school colors and the other school colors are maroon and gold. Picture these colors together.....revolting, right? Now, picture all of these colors on a cake....together...........precisely my reaction too. Hideous. Someone needs to get word to these high schools that the school colors don't need to symbolize anything other than being complimentary when they are presented in buttercream. So I ended up completely ignoring both school colors. How's that for brazen?

I used jumbo "nut cups" (from my baking supplier) to bake cupcakes for the party. I really like using these little suckers. They have a really contemporary and unique look about them and since you can line them all up on cookie sheets, you can bake about four dozen cupcakes in one shot.

After leveling off one of the cupcakes, I thought the base would make a dandy cap for the mortarboard. (Hmmm...nice manicure, right?) I backed the mortarboard with a thin piece of cardboard until the fondant had completely dried. Note to self: Next time......use gumpaste.

I rolled out a nice thin piece of fondant and using a pastry cutter, I sliced off thin pieces for the mortarboard tassles.

I don't use any Crisco in my buttercream frostings. Ever. I use all butter baby........lots and lots of butter.

Pucker up Buttercup!!

These cakes were twelve inches around and three layers high. So in baking terms..............huge. They needed lots of buttercream.

Changing the subject for just a second.....I have to tell you that I discovered a new flavored candy wafer this week.

Peanut Butter. (giggle, giggle)

Just looking at the bag makes me giddy with excitement. Of course I had to test it out, so in between making graduation cakes, I made some random cakeballs.... I brought them into work with me last Saturday and gleefully watched all thirty-six of them disappear in seconds.

Emily would love a cakeball. Whenever I make them, she sits quietly across the room and just stares, hoping and praying that I'll accidentally drop one on the floor.

Most times she just gives up and retreats to the porch to look for bugs. That's her hot button. Just point to the ground and say "buggy", then back away as fast as you can. She's all over it. She stomps them to death.

Then, of course after a strenuous "bug-hunt" comes a nap.

I am working on two more huge cakes for next weekend and I'm trying to take as many photos as possible. But in between baking, I took my camera outside and snapped a few shots of the first blooms from my garden. It's all perenials and it has taken me three years to get it the way I want it.

It's coming along nicely, don't you think?...............

Have a great week everyone!


One of many cuzzins! said...

The garden looks beautiful and so do those cakes.
Looking forward to next weeks pictures!!! Hope you are having fun with your weekend projects.
See you soon!

The Amazing Trips said...

The garden does look beautiful ... but oh ... those cakes!!! What about "Congratulations Margaret, Charlie and Jen" on a big CHOCOLATE cake?

We'll be in SC next month. Maybe you should plan a road trip south?? :)

Aunt Grace said...

Oh boy Dad would love that garden. This all looks like a labor of love, what beautiful cakes, my gosh Ann how do you find the time to work?????? Were back home, but still not down to earth, I think Jenny sugestion is good, why don't you plan a trip to the rainy south, your room is ready!

Joycee said...

Little slice of Heaven!