Monday, November 5, 2007

Turtlemania


My niece Caitlin turned three this weekend and her inexplicable obsession with turtles was the obvious inspiration for this year's cake. Last year, cats were the primary focus but these days, turtles are undeniably superior creatures. (Photo below taken by my sister Michelle)


The cake itself is the dome of the turtle which I simply constructed with chocolate cake and vanilla buttercream in a plastic-wrap lined mixing bowl. Giving the turtle life and character with rolled fondant details only took me two hours which means I must be improving compared to my previous fondant experience this spring. The birthday hat was my favorite detail, even though Eric commented that, before the polka dots were added, it looked like a hat that Dumbledore would wear.


Rolled fondant (in small 1 kilogram batches) is easy to make at home thanks to my KitchenAid; however, at work, preparing just 6 kilograms is like arm-wrestling with a sticky reluctant octopus. Unfortunately, I overestimated the quantity of green fondant required and so perhaps, green Christmas themed fondant items (holly leaves? trees?) will be this week's project.


What I did not expect was how attached I became to my Turtle Cake creation and how I actually dreaded carving it up for its execution... I mean, consumption. Being so new to the pastry industry, I wonder whether others share the same attachment to certain products of which they are particularly proud. Maybe it is just me, the sentimental fool, who will never be entirely able to let go without some small hint of sadness.

12 comments:

Eddie said...

Wow Charmaine! The cake is really cute! Is the head, tail, etc all made of rolled fondant?

Charmaine said...

Hi Eddie! Thanks! Yes, all the details are made of rolled fondant except the yellow writing and black eyes are royal icing.

prairieox said...

Wah, Charmaine, turtle is AWESOME. You've got art, sister!

p/s Didn't know you were a sentimental fool. Awww. Did you turn away when the "carving" happened?

Charmaine said...

Thanks Fionna! I ended up carving the poor turtle but in a way that left it's head, tail, and appendages intact. Still, it was traumatic :(

Manggy said...

That's so cute Charmaine! And so is your niece! (I woulda guessed you overestimated the fondant-- how convenient that the holidays are coming up then :)

MishC said...

Thanks for the cake. Turtle is still doing well in the fridge (with a green bowl in place of the shell). I have the "carving" on Youtube.

Kelly said...

Your cake is fabulous! someday I hope to be able to do similar things...I am very new to pastry but have dreams of being a pastry chef. Anywho i just wanted to say your cake was adorable and I would have been scared to have it cut up too.

Imogen Callaway said...

This is an amazing cake!

Kevin and Katrina said...

That is a darling turtle. I love it. One of my sons turns one on Sunday and I want to start him collecting turtles (he has one stuffed one and a green bedroom with a 4 year old brother who loves frogs) and was looking at turtle cakes online. Yours is amazing! I, unfortunately, don't have that much talent. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

Laure Moyle (Chardon) said...

hi Charmaine, just discovered your blog, trying desperately to get maracons sent to my dad for Father's Day...without having to pay 19 EUROS P&P like Pierre Hermé wants! but that cake, mate, just WOW!
Do you live in Lyon now? I come from there, now living in England but missing it SO much.

mom's homemade said...

hello charmaine...surprised when see your turtle cake, i love it so cute...hmmm could i follow your design to carving a turtle cake

Anonymous said...

Hi Charmaine. The turtle cake is very cute. As far as your comment about being attached to your work, yes, most decorators hate to chop into a cute work of art. I also have the same problem when I made something that is too cute or nice.