It’s March Madness time again, and that can only mean one thing – my annual basketball cake extraordinaire. My husband, Scott, works for ESPN and along with a myriad of perks, one of the best days of the year is the first day of the NCAA tournament. His group (.com) gets together and organizes a food drive so that their two-day event of watching b-ball games all day (they claim they do some work here and there) can be fueled properly with the likes of 13 different kinds of chips, various cookies, baked goods, wings, pizza, and all other culinary delights that would make any chef’s stomach turn! My annual “showing” at this event started Scott’s first year working for ESPN when he called me at 4 pm on Wednesday afternoon and (an advance apology to all the men reading this blog) very typically asked “I need to bring in something for work tomorrow, can you go pick up some cookies or something?” I then patiently explained to Scott that I am a pastry chef, everyone knows this, and that I look like an idiot if I send him in with store-bought cookies! So off to the grocery store I went (at this point as a dutiful girlfriend, not even a ring on my finger!) to bake something for the ESPN.com group. The first year were basketball cupcakes (very do-able with short notice.) The second year – a sheet cake decorated as a basketball court. Each year I felt the pressure to one-up myself, so the third year I made the basketball hoop cake that many of you have seen already on the blog. The next year (last year) we had literally just moved the week or two before the tournament, so I, in trying to grow as a person, said that I was bowing out for the year – usually I can’t say “no” and take on much more than I can handle (to the joy of my family and friends around me!) Some of Scott’s colleagues, however, recently reminded us that I managed to send in basketball cookies (we sell them at the store) with a little personal message “GO ‘Cuse.” Yes, I am an Syracuse grad. So, this year, I needed to come back in a big way. So ta-da! This is it – I have decided this is my basketball cake swan song – I am not sure there is much more I can do with cake, fondant,a ball and a hoop. (Well…that’s not true…I have one more idea up my sleeve, but I am not promising anything…) (more…)
Chocolate flood work is a technique used most commonly in cake decoration. A one dimensional transfer is created by tracing an image with dark chocolate, then “flooding” in between the traced lines with colored white chocolate. The result is a fully edible, nearly perfect image that can be applied to cakes or cupcakes.
You will need the following supplies to create flood work:
Dark chocolate semper (chocolate that does not need to be tempered, available at cake & craft supply stores)
White chocolate semper
Candy color (oil based food coloring, available at cake supply & craft stores),
Cardboard cake board
Acetate (clear plastic sheets found in art supply stores)
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a flood work piece:
Choose an image. Flood work tends to work best on simple designs. The more complex, the more muddled the chocolate and therefore image can become. For a first project, stay with a simple design.
Flip the image horizontally. In other words, create a mirror image. Because you will be tracing the image, when the chocolate is removed, it will be a mirror of the copied image. This is not incredibly important when making characters, however if you are creating a logo with letters or writing, you will need to make sure you have flipped your image before you begin. This can be done with most graphic design programs, and is also available as a print option in the newer versions of Word.
Prepare the image. Cut out the image and tape it securely to a piece of cardboard (cake boards work well). Cut out a piece of acetate slightly larger than your image and tape that down.