‘Sound And Vision’ Birthday Cake

This birthday cake was inspired by my nephew, who is learning to become a sound engineer. The headset is made of a fondant/gumpaste band, two sets of gumpaste molded cups and ‘cupcakes’ made from those same silicon molds. The molds, called Wilton 3-Piece Prep Bowl Set are found here: http://www.wilton.com/wilton-3-piece-prep-bowl-set/2103-0131.html. They are basically flexible silicon measuring cups that have enough structure to dry your gumpaste on, but enough flexibility that you can spray them with baking spray and bake the ‘ear phone’ portion of the head set in the microwave. I also use them as measuring cups when I do my buttercream demo in my Course 1 classes at Michael’s, because I can easily squeeze the sides of the measuring cup and get all but a small portion of the shortening out. So the 1 cup size was used for the cupcake earphone, the 1 cup was also used for the cup to hold the cupcake in place, and the 1/2 cup was used with white gumpaste to form the white outer layer. Then when the cups were dry, I put two coats of vodka laced silver Wilton Shimmer Dust: http://www.wilton.com/elegant-shimmer-dust/703-212.html#q=shimmer+dust&start=8,  on the outside to make it look like silver.  Vodka moistens the shimmer dust to glide on easily, but dries quickly and doesn’t leave an aftertaste.

 

For the cake I used Wilton’s Checkerboard Cake Pan: http://www.wilton.com/checkerboard-cake-set/2105-9961.html and chocolate buttercream. The fondant/gumpaste bars are supposed to represent the sound bars on a mixing board, however I wasn’t happy with the color or size of them. As my niece said, “They look like bubble gum.” Next time I do a cake like this I will either use chocolate shards or make narrower, multi-colored bars instead. I’d also do a true border, because in this version, I attempted to use licorice and it just never cooperated. The cords on the top connected to the head phones worked, but only because I split them and laid them into the buttercream. All-in-all, it wasn’t bad, but definitely not my finest creation.

Final list of lessons learned:

1. Use licorice only for electronics cords on cake. Not as a border.
2. Use chocolate shards or narrow multi-colored bars around the cake.
3. Any use of the checkerboard cake pan will mean you need a box for your final cake, not a cake caddy! The caddy can only hold two tiers and decorations comfortably.
4. Use Royal Icing to assemble head set. Plain water did not have enough hold to prevent pieces from sliding.
5. Checkerboard cake pan can be a pain, but do your homework before using it and you’ll be fine.

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