I know, I know. I've been bad at blogging this year. But I've been great about everything else! I've been working hard at work, my book, some art projects, and oh yeah, a ginormous cake that totally blows away anything else I've ever made!!!
That's right. The most epic cake ever, and totally a surprise for Kevin's 26th birthday (he thought I was making a tardis cake! Could we get any nerdier?)
I started this on Sunday and finally stacked it on Friday. It consists of 12 separate cake layers (chocolate and vanilla alternating) with buttercream filling, and about six pounds of homemade marshmallow fondant. People seem surprised when they discover how expensive wedding cakes are. I will guess that this barely made it under $100, especially when I take into account all the extra tools and supplies from Michaels I needed. It's almost creepy how much butter and sugar is in that thing...
I designed it months ago, knowing that Kevin's birthday falls only three days after our one-year anniversary (we always joke about our poor planning). I of course knew right away that I wanted to do Star Wars, because I thought it would work perfectly for the ambitious, multi-tiered design I had in mind.
Tier one was inspired by many of the google image results I got for "Star wars cake." It's a simple dark blue with yellow stars, and a white band around the bottom. I printed out his name in Star Wars font and used it as a stencil for the white letters.
They were originally on a grey background so the letters popped out, but my fondant dried out too quickly because of the weather and cracked. So I added some luster dust around the edges to make them stand out a bit. In the close up you can see quite a bit of cracking and lumpiness. This is only my second time working with fondant, so I'm still figuring out the techniques. Luckily a lot of my ceramics and sculpture methods transfer over well!
Layer two is an adorably plump death star. I covered it in marbled grey fondant, then added the panels by hand. Thankfully, the star wars world isn't a clean and sleek one. Everything is all dirty and dinged up, which helped me not feel bad about the lumps and irregularities
My new wilton fondant ribbon cutter set saved my life. It made cutting out the panels so easy, and I also noticed that my wilton tools had nice grooved textures on the handles. By rolling them over the fondant, I got that cool Death Star texture. I added touches of luster dust to make the panels metallic and shiny, and to individualize them.
And sitting on the very top is Boba Fett, Kevin's favorite character. When I made the Star Wars cookies awhile back, I hated Boba Fett because he had so many colors I had to royal ice. But I had a lot of fun sculpting this guy with the fondant.
Mr. Fett's helmet is delightfully banged up, so I got to add some "character" by smooshing it in and adding dents. Silver luster dust added to the effect by making it seem as if the paint was chipping away to reveal the metal underneath.
Personally, I'm shocked that his com unit antenna stayed upright. It's just fondant wrapped around a straw, shoved into the side of his head. Poor Boba himself didn't fare to well, however. I completed him on Thursday night, and by Saturday morning he was half as tall as when he started out. Admittedly, he looked pretty cute all squashed down, but I guess I'm still learning how much fondant a cake can take before collapsing.
All in all, I'm thrilled with how this turned out. As I texted Kevin on Thursday night (getting my phone covered in sugar and crisco in the process), "I couldn't think of anything I'd rather be doing than playing with cake." It's soothing for me to hyper-focus on something and get all detail oriented. I don't mind taking the time to make something challenging and new.
And the looks on his family's faces when I unwrapped each layer, one at a time, and stacked them, was pretty cool. His five year old niece in particular loved the stars. Not to mention Kevin's reaction ("It's too much!") followed immediately by ("I love it babe, thank you.) was fun, too.
Not too shabby, eh? Especially when you compare it to my first fondant cake:
Or my first decorated cake that I made one year ago:
What have you been up to so far in 2013? Any ambitious projects?