So, the first thing I do is find out how many guests will be served and what flavor combo is requested. Then I go to town brainstorming. In this case, I tried to think of as many iconic pirate images as I could, all the while trying to figure out how I could make them fit a sassy, girly cake. I contemplated going with a sculpted pirate ship design, but I probably would have had to resort to doing part of it in rice cereal treats, which I didn't want to do. For those who don't know, many of the sculpted "cakes" that you see on TV are actually largely made of rice cereal or even inedible construction materials covered in fondant in order to get the desired shape. There is often a sheet cake in the wings waiting to be cut and served for eating.
After the design is sketched out, I run it by the client, with a quote based on the type of execution involved. I typically need to have a green light to proceed at least 2 weeks from the event date. If fondant figures are involved, I need to time to make them and let them set so that they are stable. For this cake, I started building a figurine of Claire(as a pirate-ess) about a week and a half out. Then on to the parchment birthday banner, anchor, skull and crossbones flag, treasure chest and gold doubloons. All were hand-sculpted of fondant. The anchor and doubloons were painted with lustre dust after hardening.
Word from Marilyn is that it was a huge hit with both the birthday girl and the guests. Claire called me with a message of "you're amazing" and several adults said it was the "best cake they had ever had". Holy cow!! I feel like I have just found my own buried treasure!
Until next time...confectionately yours.