Planets ... Ideas And Tips Needed!

Decorating By TheRaven Updated 16 Aug 2008 , 10:14pm by varika

TheRaven Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 6:57am
post #1 of 14

A little background on myself before I let you know what I've planned...
I've been baking forever...basic icing for cakes not so forever....and fondant with other stuff...total neophyte.

But I have notebooks of ideas!
And I'm ambitious....
and I tend to start projects waaaay huge....

So with that in mind it just makes sense that I would get in way over my head for my first public fondant showcase.

Scenario - About 2 weeks ago my highschool sophmore daughter came to me and begged me to make stuff for her band. They have alot of mothers that are always bringing in baked goods but she assures me that she knows I'm the most creative and yummy filled. (Yah she buttered me up well for this.)

At the time I was very excited to bake some basic cupcakes and a basic penant flag cake , throw some icing in ribbons on it...colorflow a few bulldog heads and prop them sideways in the cupcakes. And bam....I'm a hit.

Now the teenage unit has changed her mind. She says school spirit is way boring...and wouldn't I be the cooler mom to make cakes that fit in with the music that they are learning......that's where the new idea came in.

Planets...

Yah I want to beat her! Wasted a little money on a new penant cake pan.....oh and the royal blue and gold icing colors...and the other stuff.

Anyways..so now we are doing planets. I switch modes and get out a 4 tiered , clear cake holder that goes in different directions....each tier is a different size...and I thought I could throw some of those glowsticks that people wear for parties into the clear tubes to light up under the cakes. The glow sticks wouldn't be hot like light up christmas lights.....and would lessen the amount of melting....(that's my hope anyway.)

That's the start of the plans....and here are the rest...

Mars
- top , smallest tier/cake...red fondant with silver dust... yellow decorative ribbon around the bottom.

Venus - tier beside the top...(I think this one is 8 x8 I forget what the pan said) ... lime green fondant with pink dust... pink deco ribbon.

Mercury - second to last tier ....(I think this one is 8 x8 I forget what the pan said) ....teal fondant with silver dust....lime green ribbon.

Jupiter - last and largest base... largest circular pan... she wants yellowish white marble with a red dot fondant...I said we should do just plain white wth a red dot... and of course pink dust...with blue deco ribbon.

All of the ribbons are glittery......everything is very flashy...we only have 4 of the planets because there are only 4 sheets of music that they are playing to these certain planets right now.

Around Jupiter we plan to have 48 silver foil cupcakes with bc icing and those premade sugared stars that aren't very creative but super fast! to the side of each star we will have a planet symbol stuck in and sideways so that it protrudes from the cupcake. (one of the four planets in the music)

All of the above are must haves....
The rest below are Things that might happen....if I have time...
- upside down waffle bowl covered in fondant to look like a ufo
- fondant stars speared into the cakes and hanging over the edge of the other tiers.
- fondant aliens (I already have a small pic of their heads but I've never practiced sculpting them. They are lime green and teal)
- small cake rocket ship....made from two halves of a strange mold that I came into possession of somehow. Decorated.


Extra things
I came across a box of neon straws from 7-11 that someone gave me.....they match the cake colors perfectly..not sure what I can do with them...any ideas?

I also found a pack of neon same colored zip ties that would match...just keeping them off to the side in case my brain explodes.

I hope that wasn't too much info!
Please let me know if you have more ideas and of course think of me over the next two days...

The Summer dinner is friday.
She just changed her mind TODAY.
I've been re=planning all day today....and have two days and a few hours to begin baking, icing, and sculpting...

Will I have enough time?!?!? icon_eek.gif
or will I have a cake disaster on my hands.....and end up bringing a bag of chips...lol

Pictures to follow hopefully of my success!
Thanks for your help!
TheRaven

13 replies
SugarFrosted Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 7:31am
post #2 of 14

Sounds like you have great ideas! Good Luck!
Post pics when you are finished! icon_smile.gif

Joyful1216 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 7:44am
post #3 of 14

I've no idea on the time frame (hopefully someone else will be able to give you a recommendation)....but How fun! I love that the planets match the music! Good luck and please do post pics!

varika Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 8:23am
post #4 of 14

Doing marble fondant isn't very hard. You take your two colors in...roughly equal ammounts, make nice fat snakes, and sort of twist them together--like a braid, only two strands instead of one. Fold and repeat a few (dozen) times until it looks the way you want.

Also, be VERY VERY CAREFUL with those glow necklaces! They're filled with chemicals that are pretty toxic if ingested! I would put a shallow glass (or clear plastic) bowl under them--just in case!

I would also buy the fondant pre-tinted, if you can. I found out the hard way that it can take FOREVER to color fondant--and I pulled the major muscle in my right arm doing it, too. icon_cry.gif

This sounds fairly doable to me, especially if you put the daughter what changed her mind to work kneading fondant for you! icon_twisted.gif

SugarFrosted Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 9:01am
post #5 of 14

Actually, Glow Sticks have been found to be basically non-toxic, according to a poison control study (see link below)
They were found to seldom/rarely ever cause even a mild reaction in people sensitive to that sort of thing. In fact, some types of Glow-Sticks are available to fit inside the mouth. My son is a DJ and all sorts of those things are sold at concerts and parties he has worked. My husband is a scoutmaster, and in all the years we have been involved with Boy Scouts, we have used many glow sticks and have seen many get broken, but have never seen anyone have a reaction of any kind.
Here's a professional opinion:
http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/156/9/901.pdf

That being said, of course you don't want to eat them, or drink the liquid, or contaminate your cake with anything like that.

TheRaven Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 9:05am
post #6 of 14

Thank you for all of the encouraging replies!
And especially thank you varika!
I wasn't sure how to do the marbling...but that helps me alot!

Just a note about the necklaces......they aren't touching the cakes at all...instead they are inserted into the clear plastic tubes that attach the clear tiers to the largest clear base. None of the tiers are connected. It's sort of a strange cake display that I've never seen before. I'm sure that when I get pictures of it alot of people will be able to recognize it. I happened to get lucky and buy it at Goodwill for only $9.99!

I didn't think it would ever come in handy since I haven't started making anything close to wedding cakes or for other large functions. I guess it came to me right when I needed it!

Pics to come soon when I get started..... 20 vanilla cupcakes are baked and being stored inside of a plastic cake saver. I know it's a little early to get to baking....I just want to make sure I don't run out of time before Friday at 5pm. And I still have alot to do!

I'll keep updating! icon_smile.gif

varika Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 9:29am
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarFrosted

Actually, Glow Sticks have been found to be basically non-toxic, according to a poison control study (see link below)
They were found to seldom/rarely ever cause even a mild reaction in people sensitive to that sort of thing. In fact, some types of Glow-Sticks are available to fit inside the mouth. My son is a DJ and all sorts of those things are sold at concerts and parties he has worked. My husband is a scoutmaster, and in all the years we have been involved with Boy Scouts, we have used many glow sticks and have seen many get broken, but have never seen anyone have a reaction of any kind.
Here's a professional opinion:
http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/156/9/901.pdf

That being said, of course you don't want to eat them, or drink the liquid, or contaminate your cake with anything like that.




Huh. Cool. When I was a kid the package always said "TOXIC--DO NOT EAT" all over it. I guess they either changed the formulas since then (it's been a while after all!) or found that they're not toxic after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRaven

Just a note about the necklaces......they aren't touching the cakes at all...instead they are inserted into the clear plastic tubes that attach the clear tiers to the largest clear base. None of the tiers are connected. It's sort of a strange cake display that I've never seen before. I'm sure that when I get pictures of it alot of people will be able to recognize it. I happened to get lucky and buy it at Goodwill for only $9.99!

I didn't think it would ever come in handy since I haven't started making anything close to wedding cakes or for other large functions. I guess it came to me right when I needed it!

Pics to come soon when I get started..... 20 vanilla cupcakes are baked and being stored inside of a plastic cake saver. I know it's a little early to get to baking....I just want to make sure I don't run out of time before Friday at 5pm. And I still have alot to do!




Sounds awesome! Yeah, if the necklaces are in the tubes, it's definitely no huhu. I can't wait to see the pic!

Also, if you wrap your cupcakes in some plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, you can freeze them until you're ready to frost. Just get them out a few hours beforehand and let them thaw in the wrapping, and they'll have no problems at all AND there'll be no worries about staleness.

TheRaven Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 7:42pm
post #8 of 14

*UPDATE*


I needed a break....
and I promised you an update.

Ok so I should have started last night. Lesson learned.
I had a million things to do this morning and couldn't start until noon.
This left a 5 hour count down.
icon_cry.gif

I resigned myself to the fact that I might not even have one cake done...and that 20 cupcakes might be all that gets done. Sad...but I know when I push myself I make huge mistakes. Better to have 20 deent cupcakes than 4 cake disasters.

Cupcakes are still good from the other day....ready to be iced and decorated with sugar stars. I'm thinking of bringing the icing with me and piping it on there before set up. That way I won't worry about them toppling in the car. Has anyone else ever done that? Plus it's like 100 degrees outside...

Things that are done:

Rhonda's MMF is finished...but I made a small change and put in vanilla extract instead of lemon....it tasted ok to me. But I've never had the lemon version.

1 souffle cup is cooking = mars
1 skillet (cooking now) was used to make a slightly smaller pan for = venus
1 9 inch Wilton pan is cooking for Jupiter

I filled a few small waffle bowls with batter to make some ufos if i have time. And the rest of the batter will make either another souffle bowl or another skillet for mercury.

Things to do:
Gather spplies for setup
Clean and wrap tiers
color icing for cupcakes (planet signs are out of the question at this point I just dont have time. But since they are doing planets for a few weeks this might be another option for the next dinner.)
Pick up glow sticks at Wally world on the way.

Get myself ready! I have to be as pretty as the cakes right?

One thing that really helped me with the fondant making was using a huge popcorn bowl to knead it in instead of using the counter. I knead bread that way and it makes less mess with the flour so I thought the same idea would apply to the sugar.

Ok time to check the cakes and start coloring icing....

Wish me luck!
The camera is charged and ready to take pics if this turns out so so!

xstitcher Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 11:04pm
post #9 of 14

Good Luck!!!

Looking forward to seeing the pics! icon_smile.gif

TheRaven Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 2:46am
post #10 of 14

icon_smile.gif

Finally!
It's over!

I can breathe again..
I kept telling myself ...."It's just a cake. There's nothing to be afraid of."
Boy was I wrong.

I was tense and scared and finally not to pleased when everything was done.
Since this was my first time using fondant I think I did ok. But I know if I had time if would have been better.
The cakes were breaking around the edges.
The fondant was too sticky and kept tearing small holes in it when I rolled it out....and the powdered sugar was EVERYWHERE.
Floors.......table....me.....small child + socks = powdered sugar foot prints allllll over the house.
but it was a lot of fun.

I finished about 20 cupcakes... whitish blue swirled icing with yellow sugared stars.
There was no time left to run to walmart for the glow sticks so I improvised and stuck the straws inside of the clear tubes to give the display some color.

I found that the powdered glitter was my favorite. I coldn't shake enough glitter on everything. I kept making it shinier and shinier.
We took pictures.......but I was so mortified at the end result that I'm embaressed to show them. Maybe ...when I see them developed. I forgot to bring my digital cam. icon_sad.gif


But let me tell you....I had so MANY oohs and ahs....even when I wasn't pleased the other people there were just amazed. They didn't know what to think. Some people had never seen fondant before so that was neat telling them about it.

And the best part was watching them eat it....
One of the college kids grabbed mars and took off with it.....lol. I told him he could have the whole souffle cake if he promised to tell me what he really thought about the taste.

One of the girls came to me and told me that she hates cake.....never eats the stuff...but that she is in love with mmvanillaf and wants a cake like that for her party.

So all in all it was a good show...I just know if I practice I can do better.

Thanks for all of the advice , encouragement and help!

xstitcher Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 3:38am
post #11 of 14

I'm so glad that it all turned out! The most important thing is that the folks your making it for like it (both to look at and eat!!!!).

I'm sure everything looked great, it's usually only us that see our own mistakes others just see the overall effect!!

Looking forward to the pics! icon_smile.gif

varika Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 4:26am
post #12 of 14

I found very quickly that if the mmf is getting sticky, the best thing to do is toss it in the fridge for five or ten minutes, it firms back up and is easier to work with again.

TheRaven Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 8:41pm
post #13 of 14

I tried that icon_sad.gif

It was left in the fridge for hours yesterday and last night and each time I took it out to play it was really sticky.
( I had leftover fondant from the cakes so I brought it to my work fridge and played while I answered phones...lol)

Maybe I need to add more sugar to them?

varika Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 10:14pm
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRaven

I tried that icon_sad.gif

It was left in the fridge for hours yesterday and last night and each time I took it out to play it was really sticky.
( I had leftover fondant from the cakes so I brought it to my work fridge and played while I answered phones...lol)

Maybe I need to add more sugar to them?




...in that case, yes. Add just a bit of powdered sugar and work it n. I use my sifter for that; I have a bunch of p. sugar in it and just sift a bit in at a time.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%