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Anatomy of a Cake (Cliff's Notes Version)

My brother's girlfriend's birthday was yesterday and I volunteered to make a cake to help mark the occasion.  I had seen a photo of a cake design on another website and knew it would be perfect for her.  I believe that the original design is by Gateaux Inc., as seen here.  

Two thoughts occurred to me while working on this project.  First, I think I'll start naming some of my cakes after their recipients when applicable, and secondly, it'd be fun to document the assembly of my cakes step-by-step.  So allow me to share with you, "Lisa".  Of course the second thought didn't occur to me until a few steps into the process of this cake, so this is, as the title of this post suggests, a severely modified version of the whole show:

I start with two 8" round Chocolate Butter Cakes (recipe from "The Cake Bible") torted into 1" layers and filled with Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream.  We're standing almost 6" tall here already.


Next, it's covered in Buttercream out to the edge of the cake board that you can see about 1/4" of in the first photo. The Cake is then placed in the fridge to chill down for several hours.


Once the Buttercream is firm to the touch, the cake is ready for fondant.  I have covered this one in White Vanilla Fondant by Satin Ice.

Now for the fun stuff!!! 

I've used Black Vanilla Fondant and a pasta maker for the vertical stripes.  The Fettuccine setting is perfect!  The base border is cut from the same Fondant using a ribbon cutter set to 3/4".  This is where I got carried away in the decorating, lost sight of the fact that I was attempting to document it's progress ...

 ... and then realized that I was finished.  The monogram was formed the night before assembly to ensure it would stand up when it needed to.  The roses and leaves were made earlier in the day and left out to dry a bit.  All embellishments were dusted with Wilton Pearl Dust, then attached to the cake with Royal Icing (although I did use toothpicks for the larger roses).  "Happy Birthday" was piped with Royal Icing and then painted with Silver Pearl Dust/vodka "paint".

This is one of my top three cakes at the moment.  I had a blast putting this one together and I think it really does suit its recipient well.  Beautifully elegant, while being simply stated and completely fun!!!

Happy Birthday, Lisa!!!

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