Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Munchkin!

It's hard to belive it's already been a year! We celebrated the Munchkin's birthday this weekend, and in addition to reflecting on what a wonderful son we have, marveling at how he's grown and changed this year, and pondering our own evolution from childless couple to parents, it provided a great excuse to make a cake!

The Munchkin LOVES dogs, especially Thea, I decided to try to make him a puppy cake using Thea as my inspiration. Here's Thea:

And here's the Munchkin's birthday cake:

I was really happy with the way this cake turned out. I used Rose Levy Beranbaum's Perfect All American Chocolate Cake recipe, with Chocolate frosting. The face was carved from a 15" square cake, while the ears and tonge came from a 12" cake.

Once the cake was baked, carved, and assembled, it was time to decorate it. After talking to a cake decorator at another first birthday party a few months ago, I decided to try my hand at making marshmallow fondant. It was surprisingly easy! It came together very quickly and rolled out really smoothly. The only real problem I had was in dyeing the black fondant. For whatever reason, the amount of black dye I needed to add to the fondant to get such a rich black color seemed to affect the texture of the fondant. It tore really easily, and was just much more difficult to work with. I'll have to see if I can figure out why that was. I didn't have the same trouble with the red and brown dyes, but I didn't have to use nearly as much of those to get the color I wanted. But despite that, I'm really proud of this cake. There was a huge sense of accomplishment in coming up with the design, executing it, and having it come out the way I wanted it to.

All of our guests thought the cake looked amazing, and tasted even better. The Munchkin got his own cake, shaped like a bone.

He wasted no time digging in, not wanting to wait til we were done singing to grab his first fistful and shove it in his mouth. Once we set it in front of him, he went to town! It didn't take him long to decide he likes chocolate cake! I had a lot of fun working on this cake, and I loved seeing my guests (and my son) truly enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Happy Birthday Munchkin!!