Halloween Baking

28 Oct

The first (and last) time I worked with fondant icing, I attempted an elaborate 3-D upright spotted blue dinosaur cake for my son’s seventh birthday. His birthday falls on June 21, the longest day of the year. That year, it was also the hottest.

My warm icing kept stretching and ripping. It took four attempts to give that dino a decent covering of skin. I had to strategically place yellow icing spots over the crumbs, blobs of jam and gobs of buttercream that worked their way into the icing each time I removed and re-rolled it. I thought I’d more or less made it work until I went to get the cake for candle time. All the neck and ankle skin had melted and slumped into loose, baggy skin rolls.

In the end, we just told the kids it was Jabba the Hutt.

Today I’m ready to take on cake decoration again, under the expert guidance of the Cake Star Girlz. They’ve successfully replicated everything from Toronto’s Honda Indy racing circuit…

to a Tiffany jewelery box…

to a tattooed and bodiced rockin’ bod for the Everything to Do with Sex Show.

Sisters Monja Chiara and Barbara Accogli were making cakes in their parents’ bakery before they could even reach the counter without the help of a footstool. They launched their own custom cake business there four years ago, and just this fall opened their own swanky boutique store in Etobicoke.

Self-taught and self-assured, they will take on pretty much any challenge.

“We lose our minds a lot when were super busy,” says Barbara. “We did a 5-tier black-and-white wedding cake last year and our air conditioning wasn’t working. I literally stuck Monja in the fridge and made her work there!”

As a fondant-icing-phobic, I’m filled with awe as I peer through the shopfront window at elaborate creations like this:

And I’m excited that the Cake Star Girlz are kindly sharing two of their Halloween recipes: one for red-velvet cupcake pumpkins…

and another for cake pop mummies…

These are great projects for beginners—not as scary as they look!

Happy Halloween!

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Click here for the recipe for Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes.

Click here for the recipe for Cake Pop Mummies.

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