Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tank Cake

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Remember when I made those toy soldier cupcakes?  Well I also agreed to make a tank cake for my friend Karen's wedding rehearal dinner.  I have made thousands of cupcakes, but the number of cakes that I have baked I could count on my fingers.  It didn't seem like it could possibly be THAT hard to make a tank cake.  To make things a little bit more stressful (besides the fact that it was for a rehearsal dinner), I was out of town for residency interviews until the night before the cake needed to be completed.  That gave me about 14 hours to make 3 dozen cupcakes and the tank cake.

I found this great tutorial online on how to make a tank cake.  I think it was meant for people with more cake experience, because it estimated the amount of time to make a tank cake as a mere 45 minutes and then you finish up with airbrushing.  At any rate, it was a good start.  I made two 13"x9" yellow cakes.

First, I frosted one:

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Then I put the second one on top and cut it a little to give a more "tank-like" shape.  I decided what was "tank-like" not based on any experience with tanks, but thanks to Google Images.

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And frosted that:

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If I did it again, I would spend a little more time to go over the frosting and smooth things out.  I did a little bit, but not enough.

And then the fondant.  This was only the second time that I had worked with fondant.  I used Wilton moss green gel food coloring for the color.  It was my first time working with the Duff (of Charm City Cakes) Fondant that they sell at Michaels.  I didn't like that you had to heat it in the microwave to get it to a workable consistence.

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OK, so not the smoothest cake.... but I was still happy with it :)

I made the cannon by covering a pourette cookie in fondant.  I just sort of made little decdorations to give the tank some character, which were loosly based on pictures of tanks online and my imagination.  And voila! Tank cake:

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It wasn't perfect, but overall a success.

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 Carlene, posing with the cake and cupcakes

Congratulations to Karen and Owen!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Toy Soldier Cupcakes

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When my friend, Karen, asked me if I would make cupcakes for her wedding rehearal dinner, I excitedly said yes.  Her fiancee, Owen, attended West Point.  She wanted to surprise him with cupcakes with toy soldiers on them and a cutting cake that looked like a tank. 

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The cupcake part was easy.  Owen's favorite cake is yellow (it has always seemed weird to me that a flavor is a color) so I picked out Martha Stewart's Yellow Butter Cupcake recipe.  It had some yummy ingredients (namely butter) and also makes the perfect number of cupcakes that Karen requested (36).

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The cupcakes were topped with vanilla buttercream frosting.  I used crushed pirouette cookies to make it look like the soldiers were on dirt.  It also made the cupcakes a little crunchy.  The toy soldiers were from a local dollar store and washed in warm soapy water before placed on each cupcake.

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The cupcakes were a cinch to make (especially compared to the tank cake - great pictures of that to come) and well received by a surprised groom.  I feel so lucky to have been part of such an important event :)

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