cake balls

One of my internship goals is to come up with ways to use up the large amounts of cake trimmings we discard each week.  Every cake layer we bake gets leveled (so it’s nice and flat) and the excess goes in the trash can.  My fellow intern actually created the goal for the both of us, which may explain why I have some ambivalence about what really can be done with the scraps.  As the owner pointed out, the cake may not cost anything for us to use, but any additional ingredients we employ to create a sellable product will.

Misgivings aside, the cake scrap goal remains, so I experimented with making cake balls out of my own cake scraps at home.  Basically you crumble up some cake, smoosh the crumbs with some icing, and pack the mixture into balls.  After freezing the balls (so they are firmer and easily to work with), you dip them in melted coating chocolate and let set. If you want to make cake pops, you follow the same procedure, but place the balls on sticks (I know, kinda obvious… duh).

I was rather unenthused about this whole experiment as I suspected that making cake balls is too labor intensive and costly a way to repurpose the cake scraps.  But… surprise, surprise — the cake balls are YUMMY!  I used yellow cake with canned (sorry, I’m a busy girl) vanilla icing, and dipped them in melted Wilton Candy Melts.  I still don’t know if they are a good fit for the bakery, but they’ll make a delicious treat for my circle.

a sneaker

While I was making roller skate number 1 last week, my darling 13-year-old son sat alongside and crafted a fondant sneaker.  He’s amazing at modeling little objects — he’s also done a lot of work with Sculpey and modeling clay.

Love the bull’s eye detail on the back!

a tale of one, two, three, four! roller skates

The bakery where I am interning recently took an order for a small tiered birthday cake and the customer requested a fondant roller skate topper.  So I’ve been working on one.  Or a few.

I did attempt number one just as a total first draft without consulting my boss for specifics; I just whipped it up in my kitchen in about half an hour. 

This is roller skate number 1.  I also made a little bow to go on the laces, but it looked funny so I removed it. I brought it into work and the owner loved it!  She suggested that we just tweak it a little and use it.  Somehow that day I was uncharacteristically optimistic and told her, “Nah… I’ll make another one, better than the first!”  Easier said than done.  I made my second roller skate at the bakery and as I was lacking all the things I’m used to using — my usual fondant, tools, lighting, workspace… it all went pear-shaped.  And it took a long time to make that disaster too. Ugh.

Roller skate number 2.  It looks like a clown shoe. The brand of fondant we had at the bakery dries much faster than what I use at home, so the surface looked all slouchy and wrinkled.  Satin Ice, I don’t care how much the Cake Boss loves you… you made my afternoon a living hell.  The wheels are not attached because we removed them to dry (otherwise, they get kind of flat under the weight of the skate).  The one improvement I made was the addition of the tongue, which my boss had suggested. I hate, hate, HATE this one.

This weekend, I made two more skates at home.

This is number 3.  I liked it, although I thought it might be slightly too long for the 6-inch cake it’s topping and I wanted it to have a little more height.  I tried to get cute with my exacto-knife and made some stitching around the top collar and the tongue, but it ended up looking kind of meh.

Number 4 — my favorite; we’ll see what my boss says.  I haven’t attached the laces yet because I am thinking of putting them on after the wheels are attached, so the laces drape down the proper distance.  The toe of this skate is a little more contoured and maybe slightly less cartoonish than numbers 1 and 3.  I also made a variety of wheel sizes for this one (although they can go on any of the skates, really).

It’s been an interesting and worthwhile learning experience, but I really hope I don’t have to do another one, at least not for this particular cake!