It's Time to Give Back
Hello everyone! I wanted to drop a quick note to tell you about an auction that Lb Cakes' is fortunate enough to be a part of. Way back in the day, I was part of an awesome choir called the Grand Cities Children's Choir. They were just starting their second year when I joined. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the choir for two years and it really shaped who I am today. It helped my confidence, I made new friends, I learned to sing properly and how to work well with others.
9th grade is the last year you can be a part of the choir and I just couldn’t give it up so I chose the option to become a GG. GG’s are mentors for the choirs, where they help with choir practice and shuffling kids around at the concerts. I will admit, I was a little terrified because kids SCARE me, they all think I’m their age because they’re taller than I am. But I was able to mentor the 3rd graders in Poco Voce for three years, and it was a blast (I was taller than a few of them)! I made even more friends, was able to show my outgoing side, help kids learn how to sing and I had the opportunity to give back to the choir that meant so much to me.
Since I graduated high school, I have always wanted to give back even more. I mean, I was involved in this fantastic choir for 5 years. But I couldn’t figure out how they could use me so I gave up and didn’t really think about it for a while. Then, a few weeks ago, my choir teacher asked if I would donate to the auction they are putting on to help my former choir go to Washington DC! Of course I would! It’s finally my opportunity to give back! The point of this blog is for me to say go check out the auction and if you find something you like, bid on it, I promise it will go towards a great cause!
Demo: Volcano Cake
I'm still here! I haven't written a blog post in forever, sorry everyone! It's been a busy couple of months and it's going to get even crazier this summer as wedding season is coming up. I'll make up for my lack of posting by showing you how I made my volcano cake this weekend!
I wasn't sure how I was going to do this cake because I had never done a cake with a giant water bottle in the middle. I placed the water bottle in the center for two reasons, the main one being for dry ice and the other for stability. It turns out, you can't buy dry ice in Grand Forks, so after some research (a little too late but now I know for next time!), I found a directory here. The closest place to buy it is in Fargo at Continental Carbonic Products Inc.
From my research, I knew if I wanted a big enough cake to keep the shape around the water bottle, it had to be at least 5 layers high. I played around with different sizes of cakes and ended up going with one 12", two 10" and two 8" rounds.
I took the lid off a Voss water bottle (which is the perfect size, by the way) and placed it in the middle of the cake and pushed just hard enough to indent a circle. From there, I cut the center out, placed it on the board and stuck the water bottle in the hole to make sure it fit. So far so good! Don't forget to frost the cake board where the cake will sit and the top of the cake before placing the next layer!! It acts like the glue to hold the layers together and if it's not there, the cake could slip off the board or the layers could start shifting.
I repeated these same steps for the next four layers: find the center, cut the hole, place on lower layer and stick the water bottle in so you know it fits. After the third layer, the cake started to get stuck to the water bottle so I left it in once I placed the fourth layer.
I ended up cutting the top layer into a 6" round by the time I decided to put it on top. I think it would work best to do a 12", 10", 8" and two 6" rounds next time. Or maybe, a 12", 10", two 8" and a 6" round. I haven't quite decided yet. Having two layers the same size, makes it a little more difficult to shape into a volcano.
But I just kept shaving away at the sides and eventually it turned into a volcano shape! The trick is to keep the cake on a swivel and continuously turn it and cut each side equally. From there, you only have to cut the little pieces that you may have missed. The most tedious part of this task was wiping all the crumbs off the cake. I eventually used my empty airbrush to blow the crumbs off the cake and the board.
Once you get the desired shape you want and all of your crumbs off the cake and board, start frosting it like a normal cake. I found that I was trying to smooth the frosting out too much, but since it's a volcano and they're not perfectly smooth, I had to rough it up a bit.
Once I was happy with the texture of the volcano, it was time for the sand and lava. For the sand, I piped a border of chocolate frosting around the edge of the volcano and dropped graham cracker crumbs so they would stick to the frosting.
For the lava, I tried a couple techniques with the candy melt. First, I tried melting red and orange together but then it just mixed into a lighter shade of red. Next, I tried melting them separately but swirling them together as they dripped onto my test cake. I wasn't happy with that, so I stuck with the usual technique of drizzling the red candy melt on first, letting it cool a bit and then topping with the orange candy melt. This seemed to work the best and allowed me to cover any holes that were left from the red.
The second to last step was to create the waves on the board. I ended up making two different shades of blue buttercream (royal blue and sky blue). I placed them both in a bag with a large star tip so they would mix a little as they came out of the tip. The key here, is to make more frosting than you think is necessary. I made one loop around the base of the volcano and ran out of frosting and it is really difficult to match two different shades of blue. To create the waves, you just use the reverse shell technique and pipe it on until you think they look enough like waves.
The last step was to add the palm trees. I found these little guys on Amazon. As I was putting the trees on the volcano, I was reminded the nature is random and I should stop putting the trees on the volcano so perfectly. Oops!
All in all, I think this cake was a success. I learned a few things while making it and it didn't take me as long as I anticipated so I ended up having some free time this weekend. I haven't quite figured out what to do with this "free time" people speak of, so I ended up cleaning my apartment. Close enough right?
I am Lindsay, the owner of Lb Cakes, LLC. I will be updating my blog regarding my adventures of being a young entrepreneur in the bakery business.