Around two years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Jen Ballint from Candy Ribbon Sweets. Her daughter and my son were enrolled in the same Kindergarten class. One day both of us were volunteering in the classroom and she brought in the most amazing cupcakes.. you can see them right here. I marveled at the details and how much thought she put into them. When I asked her about them, I could see that baking was her passion as much as running was mine. I am so honored to have her guest blogging today, Jen is incredibly talented and passionate about her craft.. take a look at what she has created.
Thanks for inviting me to guest post, Lisa! You are such an inspiration that I am flattered even to be asked. One small hitch; I am not a runner. No, I’ve adopted a much healthier and more productive hobby: BAKING!
Ok, maybe not healthier, but a passion, nonetheless.
So, I figured the closest I will come to running will be in the form of a running shoe cake. This one I created recently for a friend’s birthday. It was my first truly sculpted cake. I have made many sculpted figures and toppers for cakes, but sculpting the actual cake was a little too daunting. Like all first attempts, it didn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned, but overall I was happy with it and the birthday girl loved it. I learned lots of lessons, too, so the next time I make a shoe cake (?) it will be awesome 😉
To get the shape of the shoe without wasting lots of cake, I baked a chocolate box cake and separated it into two 9 x 5″ bread pans. TIP: When making a chocolate box cake I like to add approx. 2 Tbsp. brewed espresso to the mix. It adds a richness and you can’t even taste the coffee. If you want to make a REAL chocolate cake I suggest this one from The Pioneer Woman and can be found here: Life by Chocolate. I used a box for this one, because I was afraid the Pioneer Woman cake wouldn’t be dense enough for carving. Now, if only I can learn to take gorgeous pictures like her!
Once both layers were baked, I made a ganache for the filling and frosting. FOR THE GANACHE: Simply, melt chocolate chips and cream in a ratio 2:1 in a bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water. I used 1 bag of Ghiradelli (my favorite) semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of cream. Stir the cream/chocolate mixture until melted, then set aside to cool. Once the ganache is a peanut butter consistency it is ready to spread on the cake. I let mine cool for about 6 hours before I used it, but you can always stick it in the fridge to cool faster.
Spread about 1/2 inch of ganache on one layer of cake leaving about 1/2 empty on each side. Then, place the other layer on top. Stick the cake in the fridge for about 30 min to firm it up so it doesn’t crumble apart when you start sculpting.
I know my friend wears Saucony shoes, so I pulled up images to use as a guide. These images were great as they gave me perspective from every side of the shoe!
Once the shoe was carved, I iced the whole thing with more ganache. Then, I ate the rest. Maybe I should take up running…..
I colored some fondant in blue and gray and started mapping out the sections of the shoe. Next time, I’ll know which pieces to add first, but as this was my first time I had to wing it.
Once the main pieces were on I cut out the details and added them on top of the gray layers. Shoe laces were made by using strips of white fondant and pinching the edges to tuck into the holes.
For the final touches, I painted blue piping gel onto the heel and silver edible dust onto the top of the shoe.
If you would like to see more of Jen’s creations check out her site right here: candyribbonsweets.com
And be sure to follow her on Pinterest here: Jen@Pinterest