Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

The main thing to accomplish for The Child's Sweet 16 party was her cake. Which she envisioned in her chosen colors (chocolate brown and pink). Polka dots were involved. Despite my noteworthy stint as Worst Mother in the World, she seems to believe I can do anything. Like make a cake worthy of Duff Goldman. 'Cept the truth be told, I can barely ice a cake without embarrassing myself. (Reason number 13 Why I Love Pie: You don't have to ice it). But The Child, you see, wanted fondant. I knew exactly what she had in her head. I could see it, too. Just not so much with the execution. Also, I worked with fondant maybe a dozen years ago, in an effort to make "ribbons" for a cake for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary or something like that. And I had help. And it was just a decorative touch, not the entire set piece. Are you getting the picture?

First thing I did was buy fondant. I've made it. It can be made. But really, why would you when someone else has done the work already? That's right. And the woman who was selling the fondant had some in very hot pink. Which could be muted with some of the pure white fondant, thus saving me not so much time (still had to knead the stuff) but mess (like when I had to dye AND knead the brown fondant).

Here's the fondant in its larval state:

And this is how the pink turned out. Much toned down, right?

My original plan was just to cover each layer in fondant, decorate with the requested polka dots and let it go at that. The first layer of brown fondant was easy enough. But when it came to covering the round layers I was suddenly confronted with engineering issues. Like, how do you make the fondant all straight and flush to the cake when what it wants naturally to do is drape?

Well, if you're anything like me and you really don't have time to research the problem, you use your imagination. Hey! That looks like a skirt, doesn't it? A few polka dots, a nice bow at the back...

From a distance, and with plenty of distracting gee gawgery, it didn't look half bad.

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Blogger sageweb opined...

That is actually very cool..only missing peanut butter. Good Job!

February 04, 2010 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Syd opined...

Since I too would have wondered how to achieve the flush-to-the-cake look, I think your solution demonstrates imagination and ingenuity--and it looks lovely, too!

February 04, 2010 8:43 AM  
Blogger Caitlin opined...

My birthday is in November. :-)

February 04, 2010 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Never heard of fondant. Looks like bubble gum. That would be a horrible thing to put on top of a cake.

February 04, 2010 2:03 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

I know, Sage. Tried to move The Child in that direction but she was adamant about having vanilla and chocolate.

Thank you, Syd.

Even better, Caitlin. Any imperfections can be attributed to what happened in the mail.

JP: The key purpose of fondant is to make stuff look groovey. It isn't remotely edible, in my view. Fortunately, it peels off quite easily. (And then, you know, the person who went to such pains to do something spiffy falls on the floor and sobs to see all her handiwork reduced to nothing within minutes).

February 04, 2010 3:14 PM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

Aww, Rainey, that is too cute! :) By the way, I totally agree with you about pie--I would always choose pie over cake. ALWAYS. :)

February 04, 2010 7:19 PM  
Blogger Anne opined...

You need to watch "Cake Boss" on TLC. Monday's at 9 or 10, I think. Fondant is a staple there, it goes on everything. After I watch a couple episodes, I feel I could do anything, although I've never actually come close to the stuff. Which is why I think you've done a marvelous job, I could never do that. Where do you buy fondant, anyway?

February 05, 2010 4:52 AM  
Blogger Buck opined...

I am SO impressed! Totally groovy cake.
BTW - I don't know what fondant is either.

February 05, 2010 5:07 AM  
Blogger Doralong opined...

Bravo Cuz- well done indeed!

February 05, 2010 7:30 AM  
Blogger Bad Alice opined...

Love the way you recovered from a glitch. I would have sat down, cried, and eaten the fondant. But why isn't fondant edible? I think it was on my wedding cake. Surely I would have remember if it was icky. Or perhaps I was too giddy with love.

And yes, pie. Or cookies. I would always rather have cookies than cake.

February 05, 2010 10:42 AM  
Blogger Sling opined...

It's like carpeting floating stairs..Slice down the center of the folds,overlap one half over the other,and then cut the top piece to the bottom piece.
I'm guessin a wet brush would help blend the seam together (or,a row of polka dots)..
Of course,I think your solution was more than brilliant! :)

February 05, 2010 12:10 PM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

I love it....very 16ish and pretty. I'd wear it. my mom always made a cherry pie for my birthday. You could be my younger sister and could like me enough to do November...the 16th.

February 07, 2010 11:18 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Thanks, MHP. And here's some French apple pie for your trouble.

I've seen it, Anne. Don't like it as much as Ace of Cakes, mostly because they all yell too much. And I got my fondant at a store that has all things cake related. Dump of a place full of the most marvelous things.

Buck, it's basically sugar, water and corn starch cooked up to make a very pliable dough-like substance. Actually quite fun to work with.

Thank you, Cuz. Perhaps I'll try and do one with fondant pearls next.

Fondant IS edible, BA. I just think it's way too much sweetness-wise, hence inedible to moi.

Aw, Sling, where were you when I was messing with it. That makes perfect sense. Leave it to a handy man to solve the problem.

Tee, Rosie. I'd wear it, too! Cherry pie in November. Got it. I love cherry pie but don't make it very often because The Spouse doesn't care for it. Silly man.

February 07, 2010 11:58 AM  

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