Saturday, May 29, 2010

Baby animals and floral inspiration and whatnot

Now that it's finally made an appearance, springtime in Indiana, I've decided, is...amusing. Lovely, but amusing.

Picture this: a million and one days of COLD, and then, practically overnight, spring like they paint it in Disney movies: the brightest green fields and blue skies, flowers everywhere, and fluffy, big-eyed baby animals running amok. (Seriously. We've got bunnies, birds, squirrels, calves...even a pasture of lambs down the road.)

Sometimes I'm half suspicious that everything will suddenly bust out dancing and singing, "Sound of Music" -like. ("Spriiiing! Glorious spriiiing!" -- something like that.)

It's, like I said, very pretty...just sort of bordering on a spring parody. Which, like I said, amuses me.

Anyway...all this springtime-y-ness also means things like graduation open houses (which apparently are a big thing in the Midwest; who knew?) Last weekend I had two open house cakes to bake/decorate. The first one I didn't get a picture of, but it was a pretty basic sheet cake anyway (in DePauw University colors). The second one, though, I had been granted some "artistic freedom" with, and I decided that spring flowers were the inspiration.


This was a really fun cake to make, for several reasons.

(1) It was white chocolate, with white chocolate frosting, which means I got to make myself sick sampling the frosting. (This is a good kind of sick, IMHO, in case you were wondering.)

(2) I got to play with my "grown-up Play-Doh" (i.e., fondant) to make all the little spring flower cutouts. See (below)? (This was while watching the season finale of The Mentalist. Which could be another post entirely because of its awesomeness...except that it has nothing to do with baking. Though, come to think of it, neither does Chuck Norris, and I DID talk about him recently. Hm...)

(3) I LOVED making the tiny fondant flowers on floral wire to stick out of the top of the cake. It's an easy way to add dimension and height to a cake, plus it has sort of a jaunty, playful feel that I like a lot.

And (4) It was a combo cake and cupcakes, which I find fun, and I used pink icing for the cupcakes--which, yes, is girly, and, yes, makes me unreasonably happy.

They're fun, hm?

Close(r)-up shot:

So, all that to say that spring Yay. And congratulations on graduating, Sara and Will. So proud of y'all!