Where to begin.........how about.....it's 2:45am, cake was done at 2am.....should have been finished at 11pm!!!
How did this happen you ask? Simple, really. I started out with the original design for the cake, and like an idiot, decided to do something different. However....the new design was not coming out very good at all (uneven drop strings, anyone?), so, to avoid more aggravation (believe me, there was plenty!) I back-tracked and ended up doing the original design. This, by the way, added three HOURS to my working time!! In the end, of course, it's all worth it because the cake is friggin awesome!
Here's how my day went, lol!
I procrastinated on Thursday and decided there was plenty of time to bake Friday morning. I should have baked Thursday. So, I got up this morning, an hour later than I wanted to, had breakfast and got to work mixing up cake batter and baking cakes. Started about 11:30am, and by 2pm had all the cakes baked and the buttercreams made. Yes, I said buttercreamS. I make one for the filling and a different one to frost with. Pulled out my Agbay (this is by far the BEST $$ I've spent on this entire caking hobby!), leveled and torted my cakes, filled and crumb coated them. All went very smoothly and quickly. While waiting for the cakes to cool, I covered the cake board in fondant, crimped the outer edge, and embossed with a small forget-me-not patchwork cutter.
Then it all started to go to hell, lol. My icing was too stiff to frost with, and I couldn't use my filling to frost because it won't hold up under the fondant that I was putting on the cake. So....I mixed the two together. This actually didn't turn into a disaster thankfully! While mixing I thought the cake might look nice if the icing was a pale blue, so I added some blue to the bowl and let the mixer color it. The original plan was for white fondant with a navy candy-clay ribbon on it, and then drop strings piped in white over the navy ribbon. It's pretty obvious I totally forgot about the fondant (even though I weighed the amounts out and kneaded them this morning).
I fill my 16" bag, outfitted with the cake icer tip (#789), and blue icing. I proceed to ice the 12" cake. I get the icing all on the cake, and am starting to smooth it out when I realize that my original design was to use fondant. At this point I decide it might look good frosted in buttercream, with the rest of the design remaining the same. So I ice and smooth the 12" and 8", then stack the 8" on the 12". The candy clay ribbon is relatively easy to roll out and apply to the cake, except it won't adhere to the buttercream! It eventually does, so that's good.
I get the ribbon applied and decide it would look nice if the drop strings are pale blue like the icing. So I load a bag up with the pale blue buttercream and proceed to pipe drop strings. Only thing is.....this buttercream apparently has a lot of air bubbles in it, so the strings keep breaking. Add this to the fact that I apparently can't seem to pipe consistent drop strings, and you get one aggravated po'd person! I lose it.....the strings look horrendous, the candy clay looks WET where it's touching the buttercream, and it's not looking as pretty and it was supposed to. I actually started crying. Oh, and somewhere in there, I assembled the bow for the top with buttercream.
I realized I wouldn't be happy, nor satisfied unless the I went ahead with my original design. So, I pulled the drop strings off, unpealed the candy clay, took the bow off the top of the cake, and took the 8" cake off the 12" one (not for the faint of heart!). Pulled out my silicone mat and silicone rolling pin, and the pre-weighed fondant. Rolled out the fondant and covered each cake. Re-stacked the cakes, re-rolled more candy clay and attached it to each tier. I spritzed the candy clay with a light mist of water to help it adhere to the fondant. It worked pretty well, and they adhered nicely. I also made a batch of royal icing, since I knew I'd have better luck piping drop strings with it. Outfitted a bag with a coupler and a PME tip 1.5 with the royal icing and started piping drop strings. After a few I realized they were still uneven, so I took them off and made a template with some parchment paper, so I knew how long each string should be. Then marked pin holes along the top of each ribbon at 1.25" intervals. Piped the drop strings with no real trouble this time - YAY!
So this brings us back to where we were when I basically ripped apart the cake......3 HOURS ago! However, it looked much better done with the original design. I also pulled apart the bow, since the buttercream it was put together with wasn't going to harden and hold it together. I re-assembled it using royal icing and set it aside.
Then I got to do the fun/pretty stuff, lol! I pulled out the candy clay rose I made a few days ago, along with some hydrangeas that were made a few years ago, some forget-me-not's from the Alaska cake I brought to Maryland, and a small package of royal icing daisies I bought the other day (hey, they looked good!).
There were six places on the cake that had to have flowers (the seams in the candy clay), so I started there. I put together some arrangements, I don't think there are any two that are the same. To do the arrangements I had to pull apart the hydrangeas and forget-me-not's so I had small bunches rather than big ones. I put the six arrangements on the cake and it looked really nice! I thought putting more flowers might detract from the cake, so I pulled out my glitter dust and dusted the cake to make it purdy :D.
I put the bow in a 12" round pan and put it in a box for transport, the extra flowers and tools went into another box in cake I decide more flowers are needed tomorrow when the bow is put on the cake, and the cake itself got boxed up in a cardboard box for transport.
Sorry that there are no pictures....I didn't realize the camera was upstairs until I came up here at 2:45am (OMG, that was an hour ago!)
Will take copious pictures tomorrow when the bow is put on the cake!!!