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Topic: Suit Jacket, Shirt, and Tie Cake
IcingArtistry 06/16/2009 8:28 PM
This is a 12" x 18" cake I decorated this past weekend to celebrate that three of the financial advisors I support were awarded their Certified Portfolio Manager certificates by Columbia University, after months of intense studying. Only a handful of our firm's advisors were invited to participate, and even fewer were able to complete the course, so this was a very big deal and worth celebrating with something special. I was intrigued by the shirt cakes I've seen in the past, but I needed a jacket to put a "pin" on to signify the award. My other thought was to make a 3D hand holding a certificate, which would mean adding the end of a sleeve, etc.... too much layering of fondant and time needed so I went with the simpler version. The cake is French Vanilla, crumb-coated with buttercream (the white version with meringue powder added), and MMF on top. Only the areas above the shoulders and the lower parts of the sides were not covered in fondant. The pinstriping are strips cut with my large pizza cutter, eyeballing the size and placement. The "pin" on the lapel I had precut so it dried during the week. The design on the tie, pocket pouf and pin are buttercream. I added some luster dust to the pin, and a little radiating out from the pin to make it stand out, but when I tried to brush it on the tie it looked terrible and blotchy, so I quit.

While I was pleased with the finished cake, which seemed to Wow everyone, especially the three I really wanted to feel special, I have to say I had a terrible time with the MMF. Since I only use MMF occasionally I must be out of practice. Bunnywoman, if you're reading this post, maybe you or someone else experienced can tell me why so many issues: (1) the marshmallows didn't seem to want to melt, so repeated microwaving and stirring were necessary for the first batch - it takes almost a full minute in my microwave; (2) I couldn't work nearly the recipe amount of powdered sugar into either of the two batches; (3) when I rolled out the second side of the jacket before adding the lapels - it wanted to stick more (to itself and the countertop) than the first half of the same batch so I had to switch from Crisco on the countertop to cornstarch, and the Crisco made the gray darker, also when it rolled out there were little air bubbles here and there underneath (which I had thought would indicate too dry fondant). (4) Then when I lifed the cut piece and lay one end across the rolling pin with hubby holding that while I tried to place the top of the jacket just right, it started to stretch in lenth and shorten in width, which was funny until I saw that it wouldn't cover the side of the cake. LOL! I had to come up with Plan B for the sides! (Lesson learned: Always label your BC in the 'fridge as saved for a cake to keep hubby from eating it!) I hope you enjoy looking, and thank you!
Jeanne G 06/16/2009 8:34 PM
Oh my goodness! How clever, creative, personalized, professional, and absolutely outstanding! That pin is a wonderful way to honor the occasion. WooHoo! (Did I mention I like this cake? )
CJR4LSU 06/16/2009 8:35 PM
That's neat!
MARIE J 06/17/2009 12:40 AM
WOW - you did a great job
siob 06/17/2009 6:14 AM
looks really amazing...you did a wonderful job!
vthorse 06/17/2009 7:52 AM
Wow! Great job!
ladycatisadiva 06/17/2009 7:55 AM
Way to go. Unique. I like it a lot.
IcingArtistry 06/18/2009 8:48 PM
Thanks everyone! I've been really busy and couldn't get back right away to thank you for your kind comments and encouragement! Jeanne G - a big thanks to you! Your praise really means a lot! I don't see any suggestions about the MMF issues (darn!) so I guess I'll attach that to someone else's post. Maybe we'll see some more unique shirt cakes for Father's Day! Keep decorating and make it fun!
KTB 06/18/2009 9:08 PM
That looks amazing! I'm planning to do a shirt and tie one for my Dad for Father's Day.

I made my MMF yesterday and had the same problem as you - I only got about 6 cups of icing sugar mixed in, there was no way I was getting anymore in. We'll see what happens tomorrow when I go to roll it out and all.
dottiepark 06/18/2009 9:26 PM
About the MMF--were the bags of MM 16 oz or 10 or 12 oz? They ALL used to be 16 oz but not any longer.
KTB 06/18/2009 10:24 PM
As far as I know mine was 16oz - ours are by grams in Canada and I'm pretty sure 454g is equal to 16oz. Well, according to my husband it is :P
chachasep 06/19/2009 6:37 AM
WOW!! Thats fantastic!! Awesome job!!
topofthehill 06/19/2009 7:03 PM
When I make MMF, I don't worry about how many cups of powdered sugar I get worked in, I just work until the consistency feels right.

Am I understanding right that the bubbles underneath came when you rolled it out on the crisco? I think the bubbles may come from the way it pulls off the rolling surface.

Awesome cake. You did a great job.
IcingArtistry 06/24/2009 9:04 PM
Oh my gosh! Skip a few days looking at the posts and there's 6 new pages! I usually try to get back from lunch at work early enough to scan the new posts, but have to wait until evening when it gets quiet (rare) to log-in. KTB: I hope your Father's Day cake was a success! I'll look through postings in case there's a picture! Dottiepark: thanks for thinking of that - the size of the powdered sugar bag, but I checked and it's the Domino brand 2 lb bag, same as always for me. Topofthehill: It was weird.... the first side of the jacket rolled out fine and I didn't notice any pockets or bubbles, but the second jacket side was so different. I wondered if it had to do with Domino possibly changing the sugar mixture or something (after what we've experienced with Crisco). When I was mixing in the sugar by hand, the fondant would only take so much, and then just pack down the rest in the bottom of the bowl. I tried mixing it in by hand a little at a time, folding it over on itself so it would absorb the sugar and kneading it in. That could have created a problem, except that I only got to use about 2/3 of the bag of sugar, and the first side seemed so much easier to work with. I had to roll out the second side twice because it kept sticking to my countertop in spite of the Crisco, and that's when I really saw the bubbles. I've never had that kind of trouble with fondant before, and it was more noticeable because it was a dark gray. I'm open to suggestions. Now I'll have to experiment and see how the next batch goes I guess. Thanks for all the encouraging comments! I love seeing all your posts and pictures too.
Dustyrusty47 06/28/2009 11:09 PM
I work a little dab of hi ratio right into the mmf to condition it and they tell me the pits come from too much crisco on the rolling surface. And I was also told to use powdered sugar to roll it out and not corn starch- because corn starch makes a chemical change in fondant . Good luck with it .
cakes06 06/29/2009 1:00 AM
that is awesome! Great job.