One of the nurses in our office was leaving us to go to another location AND since we are really going to miss her AND since one of the other nurses in our office likes to throw an office party for everything, we did.  Caught in my perpetual struggle between spending my free time on my hobby or my kids I hemmed and hawed about making Crystal’s cake for a few days. But, of course, I made it and during baby boy’s nap so I didn’t feel too guilty.

I had 4 one-inch layers of chocolate mud cake with vanilla SMBC filling and icing.  I have been ignoring my favorite-tasting buttercream for a while because it is not my favorite icing with which to work. The last time I used it as an icing it was too soft under my fondant so I was sticking with reliable ganache.  After taking a class with Lucy Martin here in Orlando I decided to try it again.

First of all, SMBC is lovely. It tastes amazing and it’s very easy to smooth.  But I had the same problems I did before when it came to decorating the cake.  1) You have to firm up the iced cake in the fridge so you’re going to deal with the possibilities of air bubbles under the fondant as the cake warms up a little;  2) you’re going to have to keep popping the cake in and out of the fridge as you’re working with it so it doesn’t get too soft and dentable; 3) it’s ultimately better to keep your decorated cake in the fridge to keep it firm and keep things from moving but if you’ve got dark-colored decorations (especially modeling chocolate) this is not always ideal. Not practical for me either.  My extra “cake fridge” is in the garage so I keep having to run in and out of the garage.  In the end the cake was super cute but had two pinholes on the top from air bubble repair and one dent in the side from when my husband tried to move it to take a picture.

Oof! Give me ganache any time.  Although SMBC is yummy for a filling.  The girls at the office said it was “so fluffy!”  By the way, Annette’s Cakes in Orlando just added a cake supply store which has a fantastic stock of cutters, textured rollers and stencils that I have only been able to find online. I felt quite justified when the baker there told me they only use American buttercream on their cakes AND that no one has ever asked for anything else.  Yes, yes, I know — the American palate for sweets is rubbish but at least I know I can use it under my fondant without feeling like a failure.

I made the rainbow by rolling out modeling chocolate snakes in different colors and wrapping them around a round cutter (with edible glue to stick the ropes together) to get the arc shape.  Its really best to give it at least a day to dry if its modeling chocolate and even longer if its fondant.  Since I only had a day and it wasn’t totally stable yet I attached some popsicle sticks to the back of the rainbow with piping gel and pushed them into the clouds.  I made the clouds by rolling up balls of white fondant.  I dusted the rainbow and clouds with silver dust but I think I went a little crazy.

P.S. DH got me a photo box for Valentine’s day so enjoy the new and improved photos!


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