My sweet baby girl turned 9 years old last week!! OH my goodness…NINE!!
Life, time, treasured moments, babies cuddling in my arms, sweet girls drawing me pictures, my adorable son wanting to marry me…all those precious moments are passing so quickly before my eyes it’s incredible!!
Even more now than ever I feel like I need to be “present”…to be still, to look at, to see my kids, and to watch them grow up!
They are such amazing gifts…their hearts are treasure boxes.
With love, sacrifice, patience and a lot of prayer, I get to pour into those little “boxes” messages of love, grace and truth. I get to give them my time, my attention, my praise, the Word of God. Through my love and training, I get to fill their hearts with security, comfort, integrity and joy.
I get to shape and mold their lives forever…what a calling…what a privilege, what an honor! – and one never to be taken lightly.
My prayer is that I…that we…would capture these moments and not let them pass. These precious few years that we have left to hold them, tell them we love them, tell them how amazing they are, how important they are and how the Lord has created each one of them for an incredible purpose and an incredible story…
…and we get to be apart of watching it unfold! – to watch them unwrap it!
Here is my beauty! My precious girl…the first treasure box God gave me. She has a heart of tenderness, a deep soul that desires to know the Lord more, a precious ability to discern the needs of those around her, and a hilarious laugh that makes me want to tell her another funny story!! :) She has a profound talent for writing and for encouraging others…she is going to do great and marvelous things for Jesus!!! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her.
Raquelle…thank you for making me a better mom. Thank you for your tender heart, your compassion and love for me. Thank you for forgiving me when I fail and for desiring to be the best daughter you can be! I love you more than the moon and the stars!!
OK…All that being said…
I started stacking my layers onto one of the foam core boards (using two half pieces of cake on the second level), weighing out 5oz of buttercream filling for each layer (crush up Butterfinger candy bars and put them in your vanilla buttercream for a taste of heaven). Continue stacking/filling until you like the height. I went for 5″ or so.
As you stack, make sure you are centering your cut layers and keeping things nicely lined up. See how nice and square everything is without even doing anything yet!!?? That’s the HUGE advantage with using frozen cake and cutting the squares out when it’s frozen. Everything cuts so beautifully!!!
Above, I am holding up a bench scraper to make sure that the cake is set inside the base foam core board by at least 1/8″ or so. When I go to smooth on my ganache, I use the bottom board as my guide so I can get a nice, straight, smooth ganache coating on it.
On the next board, add a little buttercream and add one cake layer to it. That’s your lid.
Now, wrap your cakes and put a light weight on them and let them rest at room temp overnight to settle as they come to room temp. The next morning, pop them in the fridge (keeping the weight on) and when they are nice and chilled and solid, you can start crumb coating…after you unwrap them of course!
Have fun ganaching those sweet little cakes!! – You CAN achieve those super sharp finishes in no time with the right techniques!!! If you’re wondering how in the world I do this…you really need to check out my Clean & Simple Cake Design Class I did for Craftsy. It’s an online class over 3 hours long where I show how to crumb coat a round and square cake with buttercream and ganache and SOOOO much more!! There is SO much technique to learn in that class I promise it’ll change the way you build your cakes and decorate your cakes or your money back!!
Here’s the link to get it 50% off…Click HERE!
Got to love the play-doh toys in the upper left!! When mama is a bak’n, the kiddos are a play’n!!
Once you’ve got your ganache coat on and it’s set up, brush it with sugar water or a mix of 50/50 corn syrup to water right before you cover it with fondant or modeling chocolate.
Now it’s time to make it pretty!!!
Roll out modeling chocolate to 1/16″ to 1/8″ thick.
Place the lid upside down on top of the modeling chocolate. NOW…one thing I didn’t do, that you should do is put the modeling chocolate piece on some wax paper first before flipping the cake upside down on it. Once you push the cake down a bit, it can be tricky to get the modeling chocolate and cake flipped back up if it’s slightly sticky and wants to keep kissing that counter!! – but if it’s on wax paper, you can just slide it off your counter onto your hand or a board and flip it back over when you’re done cutting the edges all nice and cleanly then pull off the wax paper!
While it’s still upside down, using a very sharp blade (I prefer a #11 exacto or scalpel) trim the sides (below)
Once you’re done with the sides…flip over. See now I have it on the wax paper!! – because I almost couldn’t move it after I did all the trimming!!
Beautiful clean edges!! :) Now, take more modeling chocolate and roll it 1/16″-1/8″ (just make sure they are all the same) and cut them so they are 1/2″ longer than the sides of your cake x the height of your cake.
Brush the cake with a little sugar water and apply the sides first, then the front and back last. Work the top and one seam at a time by rubbing it with the warmth of your hands so you can barely see the seam anymore.
Now do the same thing again to the main “box” part of the cake.
Now, onto the decorations!! Sorry for my bum template you see in the picture below. I made it a little too short to fit my cake, so I revised one for you all!! Click HERE for a downloadable template of this polka dot design. Sorry, it’s in a pdf format…that’s all I got!! – so please don’t email me asking for another version.
To create this pattern, I used my Wilton #10 icing tip. The tiny circles are the top, and the larger circles are the base of the tip!! – double acting!! You’ll need a good 180+ pink circles and 130+ blue circles…but cut extra!!!!! – and depending upon your cake and it’s size, you might need more or less…so, just count!
Now, let me explain my wax paper transfer method!! You’ll start by taping the template to your counter. Then, tape a piece of wax paper on top of the template making sure to line up the bottom of the wax paper with the bottom of the template. Lightly coat the wax paper with shortening (Crisco or Trexx). Start placing your circles right side down on only side of the pattern (like I do above). Don’t do both sides because it’s harder to get all the tiny pieces on there. Working with the smaller panel is much better!! You’re going to cut half circles at the outside corners then seam the next panel to those tiny guys. The center ribbon gets measured/placed on afterwards when you’re done and see what kind of spacing there is left. My pink ribbon was 3/4″ wide…FYI.
Before you un-tape the wax paper with your design on it, brush the back of all the circles with sugar water (or a mix of 50/50 corn syrup and water). Then, un-tape it, line it up with the bottom of the cake and press onto the cake…like a sticker. I use a fondant smoother to help press it lightly. Once all the pieces are on, peel the wax paper off leaving the design. I ran out of blue dots and cut the last two I had in half to make it work…so, that’s why the right panel below looks short!! :) Whoops! But…thanks to tissue paper you’ll never notice!!
Keep going all the way around making sure to heat those tiny corner circles with your hands to join the seams and make them look like one circle. So beautiful and precise!! Trim the top edges a bit if you need to. The tissue paper will hide it, so don’t worry if it’s not perfect!
Next, cut your pink ribbons!! – I forgot to show that…got moving and forgot I needed to stop and take more pictures!
Now, for the “tissue” paper!!
I used a mix of modeling chocolate and fondant (50/50) because I wanted it elastic and wanted to roll it thin, but wanted it to have some rigidity to stay without sitting out for a while. I made these as I put them on the cake.
Roll the white fondant/MC blend really thin and cut into random squares about 2″x2″…but not exact. You can see the piece I have on the counter down below is a little rounded on the sides…no worries!
You are going to fold it gently in half, then in half again as you pinch the center of the square creating a ruffle effect. Add a little sugar water to the top of the box and place on there careful to hide the ganache top. I left it ganache and didn’t put a top panel of modeling chocolate on it because I knew I’d be covering it with the tissue and lid.
Continue all the way around adding a lot more tissue in the front and only one or two pieces in the back.
Now, add two bubble straws up front sticking up about 1/2″ and two in the back flush with the top of the ganache. I also wrapped the front bubble straws with the fondant/MC blend to hide them since they were yellow and in case you might see them.