Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I Could Have Danced All Night

So I'm skipping ahead a bit because I'm really excited about this particular cake.  Yes, I made my own birthday cake.  Not because I HAD to, but because I wanted to.

I have wanted to make a shoe cake for a very long time.  The only problem was that it didn't really fit anyone that I knew.  Then last November I started taking dance lessons from Brian Wong at Chicago Dance Factory.  And suddenly, I had a reason to make a shoe cake.

Almost every Wednesday you can find me swing dancing at West Coast Wednesdays at Galway in Elmhurst.  If you have ever wanted to learn to dance - you should come try it out!  There is often some kind of cake or dessert whenever someone has a birthday.  So when my birthday landed on a Wednesday - I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

A dancing shoe cake.

First I had to make the shoes.  Thank you so much to Christina who gave me some of her old dancing shoes to use as a model!

Started with a dancing shoe.
First, I cut apart the shoes.  This was kind of fun and kind of scary at the same time.

Dancing shoe cut into pieces.
Then I made a pattern using the shoes pieces.  The shoes were a little big for the size cake I was making, so I made the pattern a little smaller than the actual shoe.

I covered the real shoes with plastic wrap and laid the fondant piece on top of them.  That way they would dry in the correct shape.

Next I made a pattern for the back of the shoe.  Cut and paste.  I like to use plastic wrap to help the fondant hold its place because it is easy to form, comes off easily and holds its shape well.

Then I cut out strips for the front of the shoe and for the straps.  I used one of my tools to make stitching on the straps.  (I used this technique before on the baby converse shoes).  First I glued the straps together.  Then I carefully lifted it and placed it on top of the plastic wrap on top of the shoe.  I cut down the straps to the right size and glued them on.

And now they had to dry.

I made the cakes and they turned out great!  Yay for figuring out the new oven!

The usual late night.  Hem hem, I mean I went to bed really really on time!

I found a bunch of silhouettes of dancing couples online and printed them out.  I tried to pick ones that were simple so they wouldn't be too difficult to cut out of fondant.  I could hear my mother's voice in my ear saying, "Really, that's simple????"

Then I rolled out the white fondant, traced the silhouettes with a knife and voila!  Beautiful, simple decorations for my chocolate cake.  I did four on the sides and one on the top.  It took a lot longer to make them then it took for you to read this paragraph. 

I was a little worried that they were going to fall off the sides of the cake.  It is really really warm in my apartment and I wasn't sure the gum glue would hold.  But they managed to stay up!  I love how these turned out - especially with the contrast of the chocolate frosting.

Then I had to finish the shoes.  I took the fondant pieces off of the shoe and added the heels.  Then I glued on the strap and buckle.

The only problem was that the shoes looked, well, pink.  I had kind of been going for the black white and red look.

So then I had a brilliant idea.  Wilton sells this color spray for decorating purposes.  I figured I could spray the shoes red and that would be perfect!


Well, the spray didn't work exactly the way I thought it would.  It was very runny and the color ran down the shoe as I tried to make sure I covered the entire thing.  Oh well, I thought.  It made the shoe look more realistic and, well, used.

The finished shoe.
I had to cart the cake and the shoes (separately) to work, then to my dance lesson, and finally to Galway for West Coast Wednesdays.  And then I put the whole thing together.

Of course I forgot my Ipad at home that day, (you know, the Ipad that comes to work with me every single day of the week, so annoyed).  So I didn't have a camera with me to take pictures.  Instead, I borrowed my friend Ken's super awesome camera to take these shots (thanks Ken!).  These are probably the best cake pictures I will ever have.

The shoes looked so good, more than one person was concerned about eating the cake that had someone's dance shoes sitting on it . . . . .

Beautiful and realistic looking fondant dancing shoe.  It looks like you could try it on!

My friend Beth graciously offered to provide plates and forks.  She and Rosa helped me pass out the cake.  I cut about three quarters of it, left some slices on the counter and walked away for about 10 minutes.  When I came back, the cake had disappeared!  As always, it tasted as good as it looked.

Happy Birthday to me!

1 comment:

Duane Swab said...

Happy Birthday and thanks for the post. The shoes look realistic -- did you really dissect the shoe?