Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Violin Cake

This was a first for me...a musical instrument!! A violin - complete with the scroll, the bridge and hand painted curly-ques on the body. What a fun, and challenging cake!

My daughter and I have had the privilege of knowing an incredible woman we call Mrs. A this past year! - she was my daughter's kindergarten teacher. The amount of joy, grace, and love that shines through this woman's eyes is inspiring! She loves Jesus with her whole heart and it shows in how she loves people...and especially children! So, I've been looking forward to her birthday ALL year...but unfortunately it falls in the summer...so, I had to wait all year to make her this cake! I'm so glad it's finally here because it was SUCH a special treat to surprise her!

Mrs. A brought in a very old and very special violin to my daughter's class this past year, and let the children each take a turn playing it. What I didn't know at the time (but learned today) was it was her grandfather's. He took a special interest in Mrs. A when she was growing up and fixed up his violin and gave it to her when she graduated the 8th grade. So, it has a very special place in her heart. That's what gave me inspiration for this cake...because Mrs. A is VERY dear to my daughter's heart!
Everything is edible except the strings. I was going to use wire, but I couldn't keep the wire totally straight. I found this yarn in a craft drawer and thought it would be perfect...and it was. If I was going to do a guitar or any stringed instrument again, I would use a metallic/pewter looking string. It was easy to use and so light weight that I was able to get it nice and tight without ruining the fondant. I didn't really plan for where it would go, so that was a "lessons learned". Next time, I need to "pre drill" the holes and figure out a method for attaching the strings! :) Oh well, by the grace of God, it all worked out!

The scroll/neck part was the absolute hardest thing I've had to figure out to date! I ended up having to re-do it several times because it's all one piece. It has so many features and contours that I couldn't quite figure out how to do it! I ended up taking some modeling chocolate and forming it as a base/resting place for the neck. I formed it to the "empty space" of the neck so I'd have something to help keep the shape of the neck as I molded it. I laid one thick piece of fondant on top of it, rolled up the top edge to get the scroll effect, cut the sides to fit the shape of my template and let it dry. After it was slightly dried, I took it off of the modeling chocolate form and it worked beautifully! Although, I didn't get it as smooth as I would have liked because I had to cut into the fondant when it was so thick...but, next time it'll be even better! :)
Here is a picture I found online that I used for my templates. I scaled it to the size I wanted and cut all the parts out from this in order to cut my fondant to the right size/shapes.

And, here we are delivering the cake and surprising Mrs. A!! The kids were so excited to go to her house and see where she lived! :) I remembered that as a kid...when you'd see your teacher away from school and realize they were a real person...with a life and family! :) So funny!!!

One thing I just have to mention...I was reading this morning during my quiet time about keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and not on ourselves, and how having this mindset brings us peace and joy. Not to get all spiritual on you all :) but experiencing this first hand today as we totally blessed another person reminded me that the joy that fills my heart by doing something kind for another is truly amazing and overflowing! Whenever you do something outside yourself to bless another, to truly bless them, you are blessed in return. It's the way we were wired! Sometimes it can be so easy to be down/depressed because of the world we live in and the stresses all around us. But when we stop looking inward, and start serving and looking outward, we find joy, peace and fullness like we could never know if we didn't take our eyes off ourselves. So, I encourage everyone...especially if you feel depressed, lonely or sad...look outside yourself and find someone to love on today...to truly bless - because you will be blessed in return and that sadness will leave you as you impact the lives of others! :)

Enjoy your week!! Thanks for looking!





33 comments:

  1. Wow! what a cake! What's even neater is the story, my son had such an awesome teacher this year so I understand you're wanting to give back. Even cooler is that I was just working on my bible study, learning about love, patient, kind, not self-seeking etc. I also love to bless others thru food/cake etc. All your work is beautiful! blessings from a caker just a wee bit north of ya! :-)

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  2. So beautiful and perfect, btw, I did the knitting basket, I will try to post it on my blog today. Thanks for the help with the knitting needle.

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  3. WOW!!! You are more then AMAZING!!!!! Looks way to good to even want to eat it!!! So cool that you had such a great teacher with your little girl!!!

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  4. All three of my children play the violin... I could not be more excited about a cake than this!!! You did an AMAZING job!!!

    Hmmm, I just started quilting... a quilt cake could be fun!

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  5. You are one of the most talented cake designers I have ever seen! Truly. Wow! Just beautiful, as is your message today!

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  6. You're amazing, Jessica! Mrs. A rocks!! I'm so glad she was blessed by you this way!

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  7. Me parece un trabajo impecable Jessica, creo que nunca he visto nada igual.
    Besitos.

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  8. Uowwww... I'm from Brazil and I am a musician... Your work is perfect... I'm impressed.

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  9. This is an amazing cake - it truly looks like a real violin!! Mrs. A must have been overwhelmed to receive such a work of art!

    Tara
    Heavenly Bites Cakes
    http://heavenlybitescakes.blogspot.com

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  10. wow! amazing, as are all of your cakes!!

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  11. Bless your heart for your thoughtfulness. Wow...the cake looks real. I hope you can do a tutorial on this someday because my daughter loves music- she plays the piano and violin. I'd love to make her a violin for her birthday in November. Any tips?

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  12. favefive: My tip would be to have templates made and cut out so you can just cut/carve everything to fit the templates. Preparation is the key to success! :) You can use the picture I posted above and scale it off to the size you want to make your cake...then, cut everything out to use as your templates. Good luck! :)

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  13. I'm a violinist... and I've made a few cakes... Great job! It's well done -- the violin is not an easy instrument to recreate as edible art!

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  14. Next time you do an instrument, would you video tape it for your blog? I looooovvveeee your work. Very clean and precise. I also love the same Jesus! He's awesome.
    Penny

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  15. Jessica, thank you for this post, I am making a fiddle cake for my teacher today and I am using your cake as my guide. Can u please tell me how u got the brown stain effect? It looks fantastic. You are so right that it fills your heart to do something for someone else. This has also inspired me to make fondant for the first time as well.

    Thank you.
    God Bless

    Stacy

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  16. Stacy: Thank you! :) God bless you too!

    I took a little dollop of brown gel coloring (from Wilton) and put it in a little cup. I poured vodka over it and mixed it up to create paint. I then used a medium sized brush and began brushing the fondant with the brown paint. The vodka evaporates leaving you with the painted wood effect. I also allowed the paint to "pool" in the creases at the edge to give it a darker/more aged look along the border a the edge. I hope that helps! :)

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  17. I just discovered your blog yesterday and i find your work amazing! I also bake and decorate cakes like you and have learned my skills through the internet! I agree with you that great joy comes when we bless others. May God continue to bless the works of your hand as you contnue your ministry to the people around you amd to us, readers who are blessed as you unselfishly share your God given talent! Blessings and Peace... Z!

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  18. it´s amazing, I´m from Spain and I play violin. It´s very real and I think it´s possible to play it!!!

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  19. Even though you posted this over a year ago your words of inspiration have found me today and lifted my spirits at a time when I was definitely feeling down, depressed, lonely and hopeless. Thanks for helping me to adjust my thinking and put the focus on others and not so much on myself.

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    1. Praise the Lord! You will be filled with joy and peace as you serve those around you with a heart to bless them! :) Thanks for letting me know! :)

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  20. Wow!! What a blessing!! I was looking to make a violin cake next year for my daughter's birthday, and i found your blog! Not only are you one talented cake maker but a Christian also it seems!! Praise GOD!! What a wonderful talent you have, i have never made a cake like this before and may have to call upon your expertise. Keep up the wonderful work you do, you are obviosly a blessing to many indeed. i am at my work computer but will endevour to contact you for some tips perhaps.
    I am in Sydney Australia. Take Care and God Bless,
    Julie-Anne :)

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  21. This is such a unique cake! So much detail it actually LOOKS like the real deal! Good job lady!! So am I'm looking through your blog enteries and cakes you've made, looks like you've carved a lot of cakes. Any suggestion (or recipes) for a durable yellow cake that isn't too dry but still dense enough to carve? I have to deliver a speed boat shaped cake next weekend and I don't even know where to start!! Help! Do I use a template to cute the cake out? Or just eyeball it?? Or...?? What's the base way to carve a cake? Partial frozen is what I've heard... Also would the swiss meringue you have work as a good outershell before I cover the cake in fondant? Any suggestions you have would be very helpful! Thankyou!!

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  22. In my most commonly asked questions there is a link to some recipes (top right of my blog). Or you can google "mermaid factory vanilla cake recipe) and you should get it to come up. This a yummy, slightly dense vanilla cake that is wonderful! I use that usually...or the chocolate mud cake recipe under my recipes...that's SUPER yummy and very dense and stable. I carve the cakes when they're really cold/slightly frozen. If you have a template or can make one, I usually use it so I don't mess it up! :) You can find some boat pics online and print them and cut them out for your templates. Swiss meringue buttercream or ganache is a great crumb coat before fondant.

    Have fun! :)

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  23. Your cake is beautiful and you are kind lady. Thank you for your generous tips. You are right, you make a living out of what you get and you make a life out of what you give.

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    1. LOVE that quote! :) Thank you Anne!! May the Lord bless you richly! :)

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  24. Just the fact that you love God and always thank him for your blessings and inspirations make me love. All the beautiful gifts He has blessed you with will continue to Blossom forever. God bless you greatly dear

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  25. Hi Jessica, what a stunning cake. I followed some of your instructions. I had to make a violin and oh did I struggle with the arm/handle, but it came out ok. At the end the painting was a problem. If you want to, take a look at it on www.facebook.com/trihanies I'm still a student though, you were really an inspiration. God bless.

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    1. This is such a hard cake to make but girl you did soooo good!!!! I am so proud of you!!!

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    2. Thank you thank you. Coming from you mean a lot. I prayed for this cake.Luckily everybody was Iimpressed. May God bless you in everything you do.

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  26. Hi, this cake is beautiful, how on earth do you get such beautiful wood markings, I guess you used a brown fondant base and I notice you use brown gel to paint, how did you do this, just random strokes. Also the neck of the violin - (the long narrow piece), how on did you make it looking so perfect. how did you stabilise this - and get the perfect shape. I need to make one this week and Im petrified. Love some help and advise of you . Hope you dont mind Nicola

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    1. Hi there!
      I actually used white fondant and painted the wood on in big brush strokes to get the lines/wood grain. I used brown gel color and vodka and layered it on. I wrote how I did the neck up in the post. It is hard to explain, so that's the best I can do. It's one piece I cut to shape, then rolled up the top half to get the scroll detail. I had to do it a few times to get the length right...so, just play with it and you'll get it. Blessings!

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  27. Oh, how we need a tutorial... :)

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