Monday, May 28, 2012
Michael Kors Gift Box Birthday Cake
A client contacted me asking for a Disney princess themed cake for a small birthday party. Immediately assuming this was for a child, I suggested making a castle cake or a cake with a tiara on it. When I asked for the birthday girl's age, I was told 23! I was expecting him to say 6 or 8 or something? Turns out this was for the client's girlfriend and she was into Disney. Given the short time to prepare this cake (I was contacted on a Tuesday for a Saturday delivery), I advised that I needed to keep the decorations somewhat simple since I didn't have time, nor did the client have the budget, to sculpt princesses for the cake. Somehow our conversation evolved to doing a Michael Kors themed cake instead... I said I'd think of something and email him some ideas. I came up with a gift box and he was all for it!!! Yay, I had only done a gift box cake previously as a display piece only so I was so excited to do it on a real cake. The client asked that I incorporate coral and teal since those were his girlfriend's favorite colors and to just incorporate the MK logo somewhere. Aside from that, I had free reign over the rest of it.
Since the cake was a small 6" square cake, I wanted to make the gift match the gift box, hence a shoe or purse was out of the question. So I thought, maybe a wallet, key chain, or scarf would be fitting. So I opted for a key chain and scarf. My wonderful husband cut some templates out of a thin hard plastic, at his job, of the MK logo of various sizes for me to use for the fondant logos on the box and key chain (fondant), as well as impress into the scarf (modelling chocolate- my first time using it - kind of like it). The box logo and key chain where dusted with super gold luster dust and left to dry overnight. I prepared the box lid by hot gluing 4 layers of foam core cut to 6" squares - this gave me the depth of the box lid I needed. I rolled out some marshmallow coral fondant and laid on the lid which I prepared with crisco. I pressed the corners and snipped them with kitchen shears to make the corners, just like in Pink Box's Shoebox video. I let this dry a couple of nights as well.
The client wanted the cake to be a brownie cake since that was his girlfriend's favorite and also asked for gluten free since two of his party guests has gluten allergies. I gladly accommodated that as I am very familiar with gluten free baking (I sell gluten free cupcakes at a farmer's market on Sundays). So the cake was a gluten free brownie cake with chocolate ganache filling and also covered with ganache. I let the cake set overnight before I started decorating it.
Rather than covering the entire cake in fondant, I decided to panel it, just like Pink Box, because I knew I was going to place fondant tissue paper on the top anyway. So I precut panels for each side and put them in the freezer a few hours to harden. Well, I was very surprised to see how quickly they soften up once I take them up and really only had about a minute to work with them before they softened up. Maybe it was too warm in the kitchen? Or maybe my marshmallow fondant was just too sticky to begin with- which I'm finding to be a problem lately (I'm convinced my marshmallow manufacturer has changed their recipe because my fondant is very different from what it used to be but MY recipe didn't change). I digress...
I wet the ganached cake with vodka and laid each panel on, butting the ends together to resemble a box as much as possible. I think it came out well and much easier to panel a cake than to apply the fondant in one shot. The tissue paper was made by rolling out fondant very thinly and just draping it randomly on the cake. The ribbon was made of fondant and left to dry overnight before adhering to the lid. The ribbons were applied directly to the lid so that I can shape them as I like, then I secured them with some rolled up paper towels so that they can dry in place. This is my favorite bow I've made to date, I think it looks great! The gift tag is 50/50 mixture of fondant/gumpaste so that it would harden quickly.
I wet the backside of the key chain with vodka and stuck it to the box and draped the chain onto the top so it is an added detail when the client removed the lid. I rolled out a square of white modelling chocolate and impressed it the MK logo template and painted randomly some logos gold or teal. I draped this on the box. I added more tissue paper randomly to complete the top of the cake. I glued the MK logo to the box lid using more vodka and this cake is ready for delivery. I was just thrilled how this cake turned out and the client seemed blown away by it as well. He texted me after the delivery and said "I can't tell you enough how much I love the cake!" YAY, that is always so rewarding to create something and have your client love it as much as you do.