Here's what I was working on, and I loved how it turned out:
Our cousin, Ethan, just celebrated his 9th birthday in Southern California (he and his family live up north, and they had a big family party down here at his grandparents' house). His mom asked me to make a chocolate/chocolate cake with either a Lego or a sports theme. Ethan is a rabid Yankees fan, so it was an easy choice: a pinstriped jersey with his name on the back and the number 9. But I wanted to work in the Yankees' logo somehow, so a little pennant at the bottom of the cake was just the thing.
To create realistic-looking letters and numbers and a kick-ass logo, I started with online research. I found a font that mimicked the writing on the back of the team jerseys, sketched the letters on a piece of paper so they were all the same height, used an x-acto knife to cut a template, and traced the template onto the fondant. I was able to print the logo reasonably small and cut it out. The x-acto was perfect for cutting out the fondant, too; the fine, sharp blade handles detail beautifully. Making the pinstripes was a pain; it was easy enough to slice long, thin pieces of fondant, but it was hard to transfer them to the cake without stretching or breaking. Next time, I'll probably tint and pipe royal icing or even slightly-thinned buttercream.
My new favorite recipe, Martha Stewart's one bowl chocolate cake, paired with chocolate fudge frosting, met the birthday boy's chocolate expectations. The fondant was still the big winner, though, with all the kids gathering to scoop up stray bits from the cake plate.
Happy birthday, Ethan! I was happy to be part of your celebration!