Happy Friday, Everyone!
Another new post series that I am excited about launching is called "Blogland Creations." This series will feature projects (recipes, crafts, etc) that I discovered on a blog and then attempted myself. As most of you have probably noticed, there is some GREAT stuff out there, especially if you make the rounds of the blog hops! I've tried out quite a few ideas now, and I've been wanting to post about them. However, I feel quite strongly about giving credit where it is due so I will be linking to the blog where I originally saw the project. I know that some projects have been making the rounds of Blogland for a long time, and their origins are long forgotten, but I am going to do my part to acknowledge the truly talented people who create and blog about it!
The first project I'm featuring knocked my socks off in terms of how absolutely perfect it was. A few weeks ago (OK, I think it's actually months now!) I was "hopping" one day and in the middle of all the thumbnails I saw a familiar face - Bender from Futurama! Intrigued, I clicked on the link and was promptly led to the blog I Design. Jackie, the author of this blog, had decided to host a "Booze and Cigar Party - Bender Style" for her boyfriend's birthday. (Those of you familiar with Futurama will understand; for those of you who are not, Bender is a cigar and booze loving robot. He's a hoot.) The shape, detail, colour, everything about this cake was absolutely perfect. In fact, it could be a model from the show. Since my husband is a huge Futurama fan, I thought that I would like to attempt this cake for his upcoming birthday. Luckily, this post appeared a few weeks prior to his birthday, so I had plenty of time to plan.
This was my first attempt at using rolled fondant, and I will admit that gave me pause. Was this really the cake to start with? Not only was it my first try at fondant, the fondant would need to be tinted silver, and the cake was quite big. I hemmed and hawed; I didn't want to end up with a very expensive disaster on my hands, and no birthday cake to boot. However, reasoning that fortune favours the brave, I plunged forward and made my plans.
Jackie gives some really good instructions (both in her post and in the related comments) about how she constructed her cake. I decided to forgo having a perfectly shaped head and instead of making several little cakes as she did, I made four layer cakes (orange and chocolate) and layered them together with chocolate-orange buttercream to make a base. Then, I took a small mixing bowl that was about the same size as my top layer and filled it with rice krispie treat mix. This formed the dome of Bender's head. I followed Jackie's technique of using Rice Krispie Treats to form Bender's eyes. Rice Krispie treats are incredibly versatile! Truth be told, I wasn't overly concerned about construction the actual cake; I had enough confidence in my abilities to pull that off. What really had me concerned was the fondant...
After much deliberation, and consultation with actual cake decorators, I decided to use homemade marshmallow fondant. All my worries had been in vain; this recipe was a dream and so fun to work with! Mixing and colouring it was like Play-doh for grown-ups, except that it was DELICIOUS when you ate it! I made a double batch and tinted one grey. I discovered that there is no such thing as grey food colouring; I was advised to use a small bit of black paste food colouring, mix it well, and build from there. Soon, I had perfect grey fondant. I had been trying to figure out how to make it look like metal, so I picked up a tube of Wilton's Elegant Shimmer Dust in Silver. Once I had my grey fondant draped over Bender's head, I took a clean artist's brush (only used for food) and lightly brushed the dust all over the cake. I attached the eyes using bamboo skewers (next time I'll use the suggested lollypop sticks). For the black detail, I just made a very thin black icing, kind of an edible paint. I wanted one of those food dye markers but couldn't find one in time. I found the suggested silver candles for his antenna, with a fondant detail.
Here is my completed interpretation of the I Design Bender cake:
Not too shabby, eh? Not perfect, but all things considered, I was quite pleased with myself! I am going to do a tutorial on making marshmallow fondant; I was so impressed with this recipe that I just have to share. If you've eaten (or spent a fortune) on store bought fondant and been turned off by it, this just may be the recipe to change your mind!
Be sure to check out I Design to see the original (and perfectly amazing) version of this cake! Thanks to Jackie, and all the other fabulously creative bloggers out there, for making Blogland such a fun place to hang out!
Have a wonderful weekend! See you on Monday!