Today is Friday, October 25, 2013.
A few months ago, knowing how much my niece Nellie likes to decorate cakes, I posted on her Facebook Timeline a picture of a cake in the shape of a cup of hot chocolate, and my niece said her daughter would probably love that for her next birthday, at which she was to turn 9. She has started a tradition of surprising her kids with a birthday cake made and decorated to look like something they like each year. The cake is always made the night before, and my niece is particularly good at using fondant frosting, which allows her to use bright colors in the frosting. A few days ago, on her daughter’s birthday, she posted a photo on Facebook of the cake. She did a pretty good job, don’t you think?
These days, the young women love to use fondant frosting, a thick paste made basically with sugar and water. The advantage of fondant over regular buttercream frosting is that it has a smooth finish, looks professional, and can be used to decorate cakes in fancy shapes, such as the “cup of hot chocolate” cake my niece made recently. Fondant has to be cooked, cooled and stirred at just the right time, and it can be poured on or rolled out and draped over a cake. Appliqué shapes can be cut out and added onto a base layer of fondant for decorative purposes. Some people use commercial fondant, while others make their own, sometimes out of marshmallows. Fondant doesn’t naturally taste very good, so many cooks add flavoring to their own fondant.
Wedding cakes used to be coated with marzipan, which is made with sugar or honey and almond meal, and some people put a layer of marzipan under the fondant. However, with the rising prevalence of nut allergies, bakeries are turning to fondant to decorate wedding cakes.
These days, women have cake decorating competitions, and the ones who truly enjoy decorating, even if they are not professionals, often make cakes for family and friends.
Here are a few more cakes for your viewing pleasure. Sorry, but they have all been eaten. 🙂