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My daughter Avery was nearing her 3rd birthday and we still had not made a decision about it’s theme.  One night over dinner, my then 2 year old, 5 year old, husband and myself brainstormed.  The outcome:  pink panther.  It was a brilliant idea considering Avery’s all time favorite color is pink.  She loves to watch the pink panther, and it was so original.  Who knew Wal Mart would have pink panther PJ’s and Barnes and Noble would sell stuffed pink panthers to add to our totally “pink” pink panther party!

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Avery wanted a vanilla cake, which I colored pink, of course.  Icing in pink vanilla butter cream and topped with the pink panther himself, this two tier cake was totally awesome!

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One of the 1/2 sheet cakes the Library ordered for the community to eat if there were not enough desserts entered in the contest.

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There were five entries in the competition. The panel of judges were:

• Myrna Ballard – President of the Chamber of Commerce
• Amy Carter – Georgia State Representative
• Sue Cox – Owner of Covingtons
• Mayor Fretti – Mayor of Valdosta
• Kay Harris – Editor of the Valdosta Daily Times

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First place was The Cat in the Hat cookies made by 3 local children.

My cake took second place.

For my competition cake, I made a two-tier cake.  The base layer was an eight inch, three-layer white cake with Swiss butter cream filling. The second tier was a six inch, three-layer chocolate chiffon cake with Swiss butter cream filling.  I covered the cakes in a pale-blue fondant to match my Dr. Seuss’s theme of black, white, red and blue, just like the original book Horton Hears a Who! Earlier in the week, I made Horton and Vlad Vladikoff with white fondant and hand painted them in Seuss style, pen and ink.  Once the cake was assembled, I added the Jungle of Newell to the base layer, Horton’s pond, and foliage in white, red, pink, and royal blue.  To the second layer, I added the field of  clovers, the mountains Horton climbs in an effort to save his clover, and of course, Vlad with Horton’s clover.  The entire cake took about nine hours to make and was by far the best piece I had ever produced.

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Click here to see a picture of my daughter,Avery and myself after the competition in our local newspaper!

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I am going to be providing cake for the community to eat at our local library for a Dr. Seuss birthday party this Saturday.  If you live in Valdosta, please stop by for stories, games, bounce houses, and of course, cake!  The celebration is at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Library on March 7th from 1-3pm.

Now on to the good news, they are also hosting a dessert contest.  Not exactly a cake contest, however it is the first contest I will have entered.  I am quiet beside myself with excitement.  The only rule is to “create a dessert item that is Seuss-like”, how hard can that be?  My theme is Dr. Seuss’ book Horton Hears a Who! for all 3 cakes.  Yes that is right, 3.  Two sheet cakes for the community and 1 contest cake.  I am planning a two layer wonky cake.  This will be my first wonky attempt so we’ll see how it goes.  I though I should post my progress, as I have been working on this all week.  I hope to see you at the contest, and hope you enjoy my cake.  I will post the results Sunday!

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The List— WOW—

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Have you ever bought $30 worth of butter?  At one time?  Now I have.  I seriously need to find a supplier!

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This is 18 egg whites and 3 cups of sugar in my double boiler (home made of course)!

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The meringue almost spilled over the side of my 6 Quart bowl!

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Four quarts of Seuss blue.

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The mountains Vlad flew over.

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The one and only Black-bottomed eagle, Vlad Vlad-i-koff.

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Lastly but not least, the honorable Horton, whom we all can take a valuable lesson from……

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.

It is often called the Lunar New Year, especially by people in mainland China and Taiwan.  January 26th 2009 is the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, met with celebrations and observations by ethnic Chinese and others around the world. This year, we welcome the Year of the Ox, the sign representing solemn hard work and prosperity – an animal that appears aptly symbolic for these difficult times.  Here you can see some amazing pictures of the celebration across China.

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My daughters Pre-K class celebrated Chinese New Year.  They all learned how to say “Gung Hay Fat Choy”, happy new year in Chinese.  At snack time they ate noodles with chop sticks and enjoyed these chocolate chiffon cupcakes with Swiss buttercream and the word “ox” in English and Chinese on them from BC.   I am so amazed at the effort our schools put into educating our children and opening their eyes to other cultures and new things.  It was a wonderful day!

As previously stated, I have been working on my Gum Paste flowers.  Two weeks ago my new niece was born and I was busy keeping her brother. My mother-in-law was busy at the hospital with her daughter and new granddaughter.  It was a perfect time to sneak in an Anniversary cake for her and her husband.  In the previous month I had sent out a number of questions about her likes: favorite color, flower, and fruit.  Papa Stan had no idea why I was asking such odd questions with everything else going on.  I got working on some yellow tulips.  I did make them a few shades darker as gum paste will fade with time.  They only took me about 2 1/2 hours total working time over about 5 days, to allow for hardening.  I did some hand painting on these with chalk dust and vodka, as well as a small amount of luster dust followed with steam to seal it all on.  The cake was a cinch, basic yellow with a milk chocolate icing colored like terra cotta.

However, the delivery was very hairy.  The cake itself was about 8″ tall.  I decided to deliver it when they were not home and leave a note.  So when they came home, the two love birds could enjoy the note and cake in each others company.  We had a tropical storm rolling through that day, August 20th.  We, Kaighty and I, made it and delivered it safely.  On the way home, a huge squall came through with a tornado warning.  It was pouring so hard that visibility was almost zero.  I was driving about 7 miles an hour in my Civic through 8″ of water.  It took us an hour to drive our normal 20 minute trip.  My knuckles were white when I finally pulled up in the driveway.  It was a close one!   Anyways, here are some shots of my handy work.  Enjoy.

I have been working on my sugar flowers a lot lately, trying to perfect them.  I had made some sweet peas the week before school started.  I decided to surprise Kaightlyn, my 4 year old, with a cake when she got home from her first day of school.  Now you may thing this is funny, pre-k, 3 hours a day, 3 mornings a week right?  A big deal?  Worth cake?  Well, here in the south, pre-k is full time, held at a regular Elementary school from 8am-2:45pm M-F.  It’s a big deal to us!  Luckally she LOVES it!  Really LOVES it!  I am getting off track, back to my story, I had also just bought some comma pans, which I really wanted to try.  So I decided to make a chocolate chiffon cake with buttercream filling and MMF topping.  This gave me an opportunity to practice my piping skills and gave me a place to put my sweet peas.  I think it turned out quiet nice.  She thought is was “amazing”! 

I made this Care Bear cake for my daughter’s 2nd Birthday.  She personally ate all the fondant roses. Unfortunately, she is not a big fan of cake.  How is that possible?  Having a Mom that wants to open her own cake bakery and two daughters that DON’T LIKE CAKE!  They may stick their fingers in the icing, but they don’t eat CAKE!  I know, it’s crazy.  Have I failed as a Mom?  Did I forget to introduce cake?  Well anyway, back to the post….

I made Best Friend Bear in Chocolate Chiffon cake with Swiss Buttercream filling, and MM Fondant icing.  It took me almost 3 days to prepare all the ingredients, as my 1st buttercream failed as well as my first fondant.  I know better than to bake with kids around. I leave the room to break up a fight and 45 minutes later I realize my eggs and sugar in the bain-marie are fried!  The actual construction, done after bed time, took only about 3 hours.  Enjoy the pics!

Otherwise known as MM Fondant (Marshmallow Fondant).  This is by far the easiest to make and color, as well as the best tasting.  It also has a very beautiful sheen.  My wonderful husband, soon to be professional kneader, did all the work for me late one evening two nights before my daughter’s 2nd birthday.  He really wants to be my right hand in this endeavor (no pun intended).  He is eager to help me with any “new” experiment!

HOWEVER, it is the hardest to roll out and then even harder to lift and apply.  It is very stretchy, so it pulled it self very thin as I lifted to drape it.  What was 1/8 inch thick rolled ended up only 1/16th of an inch thick on the cake.  It also does not dry out.  It would not work for building characters or figurines at all.  Once on a cake, luster dust is very difficult to add.  Due to the high fat content of Crisco, the dust sticks and does not spread evenly.  So back to square one.  How do I make somewhat stretchy, somewhat dense, tasty fondant?

My very supportive (loves to eat cake) husband, rolled the fondant for the first ever homemade fondant covered Bonobo cake.  It surprisingly only took us two tries.  A little gel coloring and we had ourselves a very pretty cake.  We ate it at a family get together and man was it delicious.  This is a Chocolate Chiffon cake with Oreo Swiss Buttercream filling and Rolled Vanilla Fondant icing.  We were both very proud!

My dear friend Jennifer offered to watch my girls while her Mother-in-law, a trained sugar artist, taught me a few things.   Gaynor Ernest, of Wales, has crafted more than 300 cakes of her own and is a very talented sugar artist.  I was more than willing to accept this generous offer and spent about two hours soaking up all the knowledge I could.  This was the flower I built from fondant while “in class” with Gaynor.

Not too shabby for someone with no rose petal, leaf, or calyx cutters.  I came home and practiced using her advice with gum paste this time, for round two.  As well as some wonderful tips from a fellow wordpress blogger and her you-tube “how to” videos.  Thanks Donna!  What do you think?  I need your feedback.  Am I any good at making sugar flowers?  Please leave a comment!

Hello reader, this Blog is a real time biography for Bonobo Cakes. BC will become an official bakery sooner than later. For now however, we are closed. With the addition of a 3rd child, life is to important to stop and spend 24 hours strait on a cake. Although we love cake, it will be a while before we get back into baking on a large scale. Enjoy the stories and photos, but please ask prior to using any of our original information on another site. Thank you and Enjoy the blog as it was!