Monday, June 10, 2013

Lego Cake

Happy Birthday to my sweet boy!!  He turned SIX last week!!

WOW, how time flies!!  Am I old enough to have three kids...really!?  Hmmm...life is moving too quickly!  I keep thinking I'm still 24!!  LOL!  - for the 13th time! :)
I am so thankful to be Easton's mommy!!  He is such a gift to our family and am thankful the Lord planned him so perfectly for me and for us!!  He is the sweetest boy with the brightest eyes and silliest smile and the BEST laugh!  He loves to get tickled, to laugh, to sing, to help his mama with everything!  He wants to play games all the time, loves sports and LOVES to play with Legos!!  He's my Lego boy and I love love love it because mama loves to play with them too!!
So, when I asked him what kind of party he wanted this year, the answer wasn't a surprise!!
LEGOS!!!
I thought it'd be fun to have him design his own cake.  So, I took out 6 Legos from his bin and handed them to him and said, design me your cake! :)

 This is what he came up with (below).  He is a tower builder and said he wanted two towers.  Perfect!  Nice and simple!  This will be great!!
 Then, a few days later while falling asleep late one night in bed (you know those nights when the brain just WILL NOT shut down) I got this wild-hair-brained-idea to do 6 individual cakes and stack them around a center dowel like this...see below.  How cool would that be?!?!?  I told my little guy about my idea the next morning and my 8 year old (who is also a HUGE Lego builder) was TOTALLY ecstatic about it and loved it!  Easton said, "Cool mom!"  So, away I run with "my" idea! ;) 
 I spent hours creating 6 identical RECTANGULAR cakes (not very easy to do).  I get them all crumb coated with ganache and set up to harden overnight.  The next day, before I start covering them in modeling chocolate (because I decided to panel them to get nice super sharp edges) I show them to him and re-tell him how cool it's going to be to have them stacked!!  He then says, "Oh, mom, I want the two towers!"  Seriously?!!  For real!?!  Oh, my sweet boy really, really wanted the two towers!! :)  

LOL!!  Hand me the mother of the year award!!  I had to remember...this is HIS cake! :) - and he built me two towers...that's what he wanted! :)  If I would have just shut down the brain, I would have saved myself HOURS worth of work!!  I could have just built two tall cakes...not SIX! :)  Oh well...I'm still learning to be the mom my kiddos need me/want me to be!!  I'm still learning that their ideas are JUST as cool as my wild-hair-brained-ideas-at-11pm-at-night ideas!!  

He wanted his two towers...so, that's what he got!! :)

 So, I took three cakes, added some bubble straws in there, then stacked them up on each other and re-ganached them to get them to "look" like they were all one piece.  They didn't fit "perfectly"...but, it was going to work!!  They would have been a lot straighter had I built them as one cake in the first place.  Oh well! :)  I had to jimmy-rig the heights by adding another board under one cake to get them both the same height...again, something I could have avoided.  I did save so much time though by only covering two towers instead of six small cakes!  That would have taken me forever!! :)
 *See the little Legos at the bottom of the board...those were his...the ones he built that inspired the cakes*

How did I do it?!
I bought six bags of Wilton candy melts for the color.  The only one I had to "adjust" was the blue.  Candy melts only come in a baby blue, so I added several drops of Americolor Royal Blue to the corn syrup before I mixed it into the melted chocolate.  It turned out perfect!

So, for the stripes, I ran all the rolled out modeling chocolate through the biggest size on my pasta machine to get all the stripes the exact same thickness.  I then cut out long rectangles that were 2.5" wide and started with the bottom stripe first.  For the picture above, I wrapped the green around the cake and made sure the seam was at the back corner and rubbed it out pretty good with the heat of my hands.  I pinched the edges around the cake and got them nice and sharp.  I chose to do it in one long stripe instead of paneling each side because I wanted to save time cutting and wanted to eliminate as many seams as I could.  It worked great!!

I then did the next color the same way...wrapping the black around as I laid it on top of the green so the seams would butt up to each other.  Again, the pasta machine was crucial because you want all the colors to have the exact same thickness! :)

For the top color, I cut out a rectangle for the top before I did the sides.  I cut it to fit perfectly.  Then, I added the side panel and trimmed off anything that stuck up off the top and using my fingers smoothed the seam together as best I could.  It doesn't disappear, but it doesn't look bad at all!  

For the top lego circles, I rolled out some thick modeling chocolate on some wax paper and used a 1" cutter to cut out the circles.  I left them on the wax paper and peeled off the excess around it.  I didn't want to touch the circles because when the chocolate is soft, it will ruin that nice circular look.  I put them in the fridge to firm up and then added them to the cake with a little sugar water.

The base was fondant with circles done the same way as above but I had done it several days ahead of time and had it sitting up on a bookshelf out of site.  I should have compared the thickness of my board circles to my cake circles because the Lego circles on the board were thinner than what I cut out on the cake...so, FYI...make sure you roll them all the same!! :)

The white banner is gumpaste and the text is just black edible marker I used to write the text...crookedly I might add! - silly me!

One little thing that happened I wanted to share with you all...a lesson learned if you will!  I haven't done an entire cake in modeling chocolate like this. Usually the modeling chocolate is just the decorations.  I don't know why I did this (probably because it was so late), but I kept the ganache covered cakes in the fridge overnight and covered them in modeling chocolate, then put them back in the fridge.  My brain was turned off...you don't have to chill a ganache covered cake!!  I even tell you that in my Craftsy class!!! LOL!!  But, for some reason, I did.  Well, the next day when I stacked the cakes on the board and took them out from the fridge, it was a warm weekend and the cakes started sweating like CRAZY!!  There was condensation all over them...tiny tiny drops of water.  Well, on a fondant cake, I wouldn't touch it and it would eventually absorb and be fine.  Sometimes I'd have a little on the modeling chocolate decorations but once it's all dry, I could rub out any drops that were hardened or marks left by the condensation.   The problem this time was there was no fondant! :) - and the condensation did not go away very quickly...it took like 2 hours!!  And, there were tiny little marks all over it where the water had picked up some of the sugar and dried into little drops.  You can rub those out, but I couldn't get to all of them and when I rubbed some of them too early, I left marks on the chocolate.  SOOO, note to self!! - when working with that much modeling chocolate, use ganache and DON'T put your cakes in the fridge!! :)  Save yourself some headaches!! :)

And, yes...the cakes are not on the board straight...according to the circles on the board.  It's because they didn't line up with the circles on the cake!! :) LOL!!  So, my mini-me (my 8 year old daughter) says, "Mom, you should put the cake on there at an angle so you can't tell!"  So, that's what we did! :) - and my son loved that idea!! - He did...I promise! :) LOL!!

So, there you have it.  The crazy Lego cake that taught me once again that I have been called to be a mommy my kids need/want me to be!! :)  To praise their sweet simple little towers, to keep my life and my brain simplified so I'm not up late late late at night working on a cake my son didn't even want!!  I try to over-do and over achieve and my kids just want me...all of me...my mind, my attention, my praise, my encouragement, my love and my time!! :)  I'm still learning!  A work in progress, but I thank God that He promises in His word, 

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  Philippians 1:6

Praise the Lord for that promise!!  I am a work in progress...but He is not finished with me yet!  

I am thankful for His grace and the love of my children!!  Happy birthday son...I'm glad you got the cake you really wanted!! :)  I love you sweetheart!

I wish you all a wonderful week!!




11 comments:

  1. This is one amazing cake! I'm making a lego cake for the grooms cake for my friends wedding, and although I'll be decorating with fondant will be trying the pasta machine to get the long strips!x

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  2. Hi Ms Jessica! Love all your work and looking forward for your next class. Just a question did you put anything on the ganache cake before putting on the modeling chocolate to make it stick? Thank you

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    1. Thank you!
      I use a little 50/50 mix of corn syrup and water. Like a simple syrup. Works great!

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  3. Too sweet! I hope to do one of your crafty classes soon. My wife will kill me if I add a 4th class in a week's time.

    Hey, it's my first week of being a crafty member.
    :P

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    1. That's awesome! :) Remember my classes are always 50% off at the links above! :) So, it's like buy one get one free!

      Enjoy!
      Jessica

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  4. Thank you so much for this post! Not only the Lego, but the most important part... the reminder to give our kids what they need and want instead of trying out my ideas on them. Thank you. Amen!

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  5. I want to echo Melissa's comment! I love the cake, AND, I love your message. I have to remind myself at times that my kids don't care about my crazy ideas...all they want, and really need, is a birthday cake made by Mom.

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  6. Hello, I have to do a Lego cake and I was just wondering why you decided to go with modeling chocolate instead of fondant?

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    1. It's so much faster for me. All those colors are straight from a bag of Wilton candy melts. I didn't have to make six batches of colored fondant!! ��

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  7. Hi Jessica I love your work.
    I have a question.. When you stack the cakes you put bubble straws and also keep the cardboards? Thanks again. Love you!

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