Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vultures & Buttercream

Vultures and Buttercream aren't usually two things you would associate with each other, but this week they paired up nicely for us at Plum Crazy Cake Co.

Continuing on our busy streak from our last post about being "officially" official and doing a cake for a friend's baby shower, we followed up with our popular Minnie Mouse cake.  This one was for little Emma and featured an added "eyelet lace" border on the bottom.

Happy Birthday, Emma!
Launa had about two minutes to catch her breath after the Minnie cake before our big week last week that started on Thursday morning -- which found us both there nice and early as we prepped for our first cake decorating class and cupcakes for an event that Saturday.

The decorating class, Basics in Buttercream, had room for eight people. We filled every spot, but due some last minute cancellations, we ended up having a manageable six. But before we knew that, on Thursday morning Launa mixed and baked eight 6" round cakes and mixed up two batches of buttercream icing. As sometimes happens, we had a little mishap and two cakes didn't cook all the way through. One was salvageable to be Launa's demo cake and the other one was used for cake pops for our Saturday event with Laura Roberts' Interiors. (Waste not, want not, right?)

Meanwhile, Heather focused in on mixing up and baking the cupcakes and then preparing the buttercream icing for later that evening.

And, so, when Thursday evening rolled around, Launa took on the decorating class, while Heather stayed in the kitchen and continued working on things for Saturday's event.  She was a little distracted so she didn't think about what might happen if she had her trusty KitchenAid stand mixer, Mabel, on high speed while adding in the confectioner's sugar.

On the other hand, Launa was cool, calm and collected and she instructed the students how to make the perfect buttercream icing and then how to professionally frost their cakes.

Launa, the cake diva, at work

She followed that up with some tips on how to do simple decorations and then had the students go for it.

Helen showing off the cake she decorated for her hubby

Before dismissing the class for the night at 9 p.m., Launa gave them some parting instructions on bringing back a fully frosted cake for Saturday's follow up class.  After some quick clean-up, Launa joined Heather in the kitchen. Heather had been busy frosting each cupcake and rolling it in the crushed up Pecan Sandies cookie crumbs (with some help from "sous chef," Marina).

Anyone like Pecan Sandies cookies?
Since our client was having what they called a "Vulture Sale," we went with a western/desert theme for our cupcakes and display. So, Launa started on the process of making the candy melt cacti and vultures to stick in the top of the larger cupcakes. First, she melted down the candy melts. Then she added the right amount of color we needed.

Green and brown candy melts ready to be bagged up
and then she started piping on the appropriate color on the wax paper she overlaid on the image she chose.

Filling in the white on the vultures.
Next, we worked on making cake pops with cake crumbles and icing. We put a small stick in each of them and then stuck it on to a small cupcake. From there, Launa piped on the cactus blossoms and a purple desert flower ("plum colored" actually).  And, then it started to fall apart a little.

The kitchen space we are renting is a/c free currently, so despite the fact that it was almost midnight in October, it was close to 90 degrees in there. And, the frosting and candy melts started...well, melting. So, we had to do what cake makers don't like to do...we had to refrigerate our cupcakes. Dry cupcakes vs. melted cupcakes. It's not really a tough decision, but a bit painful.

Early Friday morning found us stumbling out of there and headed for home. After a few little things to be done later that day, we set up our display that evening along with our friends at Encore Events & Party Planning.

Heather with Suzanne Devereaux from Encore

Suzanne and Janet helped work their magic and here's how it turned out....

Our spread for the 2nd Annual Vulture Sale
We think our display turned out pretty cute. Here are some close-ups.

Our "tablescape." Hopefully a desert landscape comes to mind.

Cactus Cake Pops, Cactus Candy Melt and mini cupcakes topped with chocolate candy rocks

People tripped out on these candy rocks. They were edible and yummy, we promise!

Close up of our cactus cake pop with thorns and plum colored bloom

Later that day, Launa finished up the second part of our "Basics in Buttercream" class. We're already planning on getting a "Fun with Fondant" class on the books for January. Stay tuned in to our Facebook Events Page for dates and times.

And, so we closed out another busy week and while all that was going on, we booked a wedding cake for this month and are meeting with a client to book one for December. The crazy thing is that we are actually booked up through the end of the year. Yes, we're only doing 2 cakes per month, but that's about all we can handle right now, and we feel very blessed...albeit a bit tired!