Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teddy Bear Argyle Cake

This is the cake I made for my sister-in-law's baby shower, featured HERE.

The cake was my old standby - Martha's One Bowl Chocolate Cake/Cupcake recipe. It's the best. I made two 12 inch cakes, and put my classic swiss meringue buttercream icing in between and for the crumb layer. The cake is super moist and chocolately - dense, but not heavy. The buttercream complements it perfectly.

The bear was also made with the same cake batter. I've never used one of those molded 3D cake pans before but it was really easy.

For the fondant I made my homemade fondant from the usual recipe from the Food Network. I made two whole batches, and only used about one and a half. 

The argyle was just diamonds cut with a rotary cutter - after I had colored the fondant using gel food coloring. I probably should have measured them and pulled out my skills from high school geometry, but I just eyeballed it :)

Once the argyle was in place, I painted each diamond with pearl dust mixed with vodka. Not sure if you can see the shimmer...

For the "stitches" I just made a small batch of royal icing and piped it with a #2 round tip. I obviously didn't use a ruler!

The bear cake was piped in chocolate buttercream icing using a small star tip. The pads on his hands and feet were piped with royal icing, as were his eyes. His brown pupils are the underside of mini chocolate chips, and his nose is a regular chocolate chip.

Love the end result!

My sister-in-law, Alison, a cake and cupcake baker herself, really loved the cake - and of course it was delicious also!

Once the cake was cut, our young cousin, Holly, requested the bear for her plate. I think she liked it :)

She ate a pretty large portion of that bear all by herself!

The cupcakes to accompany the cake were vanilla buttercream cupcakes from Martha's Cupcake book.

Simply decorated with a swirl of chocolate buttercream (same as the bear) and a fondant cutout placed on top.

Another successful day of baking!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Alison's Baby Shower

My sister-in-law, Alison, is having a baby boy in April. We planned a surprise shower for her last weekend that went off without a hitch!

The nursery decor is blue, tan, brown and white argyle, so we took our shower decor cue from that, and added the teddy bear theme as Alison and Matt have temporarily named the baby "Ted" until his debut.

My talented friend Danielle designed the lovely invitations.

We had the shower at one of Alison's favorite restaurants, City Kitchen, and it was a great choice! We had the entire restaurant for the private party, had plenty of time to set up, and were given a wonderful staff to work with. On top of all of that, the food was delicious as usual!

The Sunday before the shower, we, the hosts, got together at my house for a craft day where we assembled the favors, made the diaper cakes, sewed the pennant banners, and assembled the take-home cupcake boxes.

The favors were chocolate covered pretzels made by my other sister-in-law, Carol. She makes these yummy treats every Christmas, so we asked her to make them with blue tinted white chocolate drizzled on top for the occasion.

I searched everywhere for the argyle scrapbook paper for the tops of the bags, but eventually found it!

I made the pennant banner for the shower, but hope that Alison will hang it in the baby's room in the future...

We had lots of fun games, courtesy of our game master, Claudine.

And we had a lot of fun creating the two diaper cakes.

The day before the shower I did the baking and flower arranging...

I had a lot of fun creating the cake and cupcakes for the shower. Details on the cake will come in a separate post tomorrow :)

The cupcakes were equally delicious and we made up single cupcake boxes so that everyone could take one home.

Loved the dessert tables and surrounding decorations!

The gift table was overflowing...

Happy Shower, Alison!