Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Purse-onal Journey

Morning came much too early today!!!

By the time the girls woke up, I had at least gotten the cake finished...or mostly, anyway.  I made half of it triple chocolate fudge, and the other half, butter recipe yellow:
I actually had the cake turned when I took this picture.  I should have turned it back to match the picture any case, the chocolate cake had the chocolate frosting, the butter recipe yellow had the white frosting:

Once the fondant was on, I didn't take a picture of the whole cake at this point because I still hadn't put the tote "straps" on yet, so it wasn't complete.  But I DID take a picture of the emblem on the cake.  I thought it came out great!  I was very happy with the results and loved that I was able to learn a new skill!

Another new skill I learned while making this cake was that of working with modeling chocolate.  I watch cake-making shows as much as I can (Cake Boss, Ace of Cakes, Amazing Wedding Cakes, Ultimate Cake Challenge, etc...), and they use modeling chocolate a lot.  I have, in the past, just made any figures for my cakes with fondant, but not everyone is a fan of biting into a chunk of hardened sugar paste, so I decided to try a more yummy approach for this cake and get modeling chocolate to make the mini purses with.

Well...I googled "where to buy modeling chocolate" and instead found a lot of recipes for MAKING modeling chocolate!  It seemed like the more economical route, so I decided to try it.  The brown square beneath the Relief Society emblem in the picture above is modeling chocolate made from semi-sweet Ghirardelli baking squares.

I wish I had had time to take pictures of the step-by-step process of making the modeling was super easy!!!...but I didn't, so I'll have to do that the next time I work with it, for those who are interested.


Like I mentioned earlier, the girls woke up before I was done.  So, we played in Alegria's room for a little while.  I tried not to stress over the fact that the cake wasn't completely done and enjoyed our little girls in all of their cuteness:

Alegria having a tea party with both her Brown Bear and Odette's Brown Bear:

Throughout the day, I tried making progress on the cake, but it was difficult (we even skipped playgroup today so that I could try to work on the cake as much as possible).  All I had left to do were the small details, but the small details add up to a lot of work (time-wise).  Odette would only handle a small amount of time in her swing or in the walker until she wanted me to hold her again, so I didn't get much done.

Once Odette was down for a nap, though, I had a little more freedom.  I popped a movie in for Alegria and she watched nicely while I worked on the modeling chocolate mini-purses.  Of course, she was also curious and would come watch and want to eat some!  I gave her a taste here and there.  :)  She approved!  Haha!

At about 5, I was still not done with the cake.  Odette had been up for a few hours and so I hadn't been able to do much. 

I finally could no longer work (it was about 5:45)...I was at a standstill...Odette just could not hold out any longer and was screaming her head off, so I got her out of her swing and called Abilehi (knowing that she was home from work by then) and asked her to please come over.

Abilehi was my angel that night!!!  As soon as I got off the phone with her, I had a diaper mishap with Alegria and was in the middle of getting that in order when Abilehi showed up.  Of course, I needed both hands and had placed Odette in her crib and she was screaming bloody murder, so as soon as Abilehi walked in the door, she immediately went and got Odette, who was extremely was I.

Once Alegria was all cleaned up, Abilehi got both girls dressed and ready while I finished the cake (yes, I washed my hands before working on the cake again!  In fact, whenever I'm working on a cake, I wash my hands so much that they get so chapped and dry and it takes a week of lots of lotioning to get them back to being soft!). 

When the cake was finally done and steamed to give it a shiny effect, and just in case there were any incidents on the way to the church building, I took pictures of the cake on our dining room table:

Since the cake was for the Relief Society birthday activity and so the common "purse" we all carry as Sisters in Zion is our "church bag/tote," that's why I chose that particular bag as the big bag made out of cake (it's life-size!  I had a tote bag that size and even that color that I used as my inspiration/model!).  Spilling out of the church bag are miniature chocolate "purses" of varying activities/character traits/stages in a woman's life that may or may not apply to all:

Finally at church, there was a special table already set up for the Relief Society birthday cake!

These are the purses I made (I tried putting them in some sort of order of when they're used): brown and green polka-dotted diaper bag, complete with a diaper in one outside pocket and a bottle in another outside pocket and a green baby blankie (We were all babies once! It can also be placed later in order, too, when a lot of us become mothers.); yellow little girl's bag; green backpack (with a Math book coming out of it!  Funny that I should put a Math book, when Math was my least favorite subject...but it was the shortest subject name to write!  Haha!); orange make-up bag, complete with green compact and pink lipstick; pink heart-shaped prom purse; white temple garment bag; pink briefcase; salmon travel bag; sky-blue craft bag, complete with ball of yarn and knitting needles.  All of the purses are white chocolate, except for the diaper bag, which is semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate.  The chocolate disks underneath the letters are also the semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate.  The letters are fondant.

Alegria was in the child care class while Odette stayed with Abilehi and me at the dinner.  They served yummy sandwiches and fruits and was all delicious! 

There was a good turnout!

Here are the many bags that a few of the sisters brought to display.  They also each had a speaking part during the program, explaining the virtues and qualities that we gain through each "purse" that we carry.  It was all awesome!

After the program, three sisters sang an awesome song about all of the purses.  I should ask for a was sweet...and fun!

Then we all got to choose a "birthday gift."  We had each brought a small, wrapped item that one would normally carry in one's purse.  All of the items were placed in various baskets and we all got to choose one to take home!  I chose a gift bag that was a little larger than most...and in it there was a bar of Dove chocolate...and a Victoria's Secret Vanilla Lace lotion!!!  WOW!!!  I LOVE Victoria's Secret (it's my FAVORITE store!) and so I was so happy to have gotten that particular gift!  Plus, it made all of the hard work of making the cake that much sweeter.  :)

Next we sang Happy Birthday to the Relief Society and had some cake!

Since I don't ever cut into my own cakes, Sister Tralle stepped up to the plate!  :)

As the sisters came to get a piece of cake, they got to choose what flavor they wanted...and they could even choose to take one of the chocolate purses if they so desired!  Abilehi called dibs on the diaper bag and we couldn't help but dare her to bite into that hunk of chocolate right then and there...not wait til she got home!  Haha!

After the activity, Brother Trexler brought Alegria out to me from the child care class, and she finally got to choose one of the purses to eat...she'd been waiting all day!  Alegria chose the craft bag!  Is it any wonder?  She LOVES crafts!  Haha!  And no, she didn't actually eat it all!

Luckily, most of the cake was gone before heading home. 

Once home, I got both girls in bed and now I'm ready to head off to dreamland as well...I'm exhausted!!!

Good night everyone!!!  :)

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