Why I've been too busy to blog this last week

Okay it was more than just this cake. There was the first hot dog day at school (major problems I helped solve, but did not create,) the first Subway day (my responsibility and it went pretty well) and the first pizza day (which also went well.)

I went into this cake a) knowing about what I wanted it to look like and b) having not worked with fondant every before. As well as c) not having any fondant tools at all.

I managed to bake the cakes for this cake on the Thursday, with the party being on Saturday, allowing me to start the fondant on Friday night.

I very quickly learned that fondant is tougher to shape than I had thought it would be. I'm a big Ace of Cakes fan and love to see how they effortlessly roll and then smooth on their fondant. I'm sure if I ever make 30+ cakes a week, I too will find it effortless to roll and smooth out as well. But for now, rolling fondant is hard work! And kneading color into it is hard on the hands and wrists!

The package of Wilton fondant I used was very clear that to get a smooth finish with the fondant, you needed to have a perfectly smooth cake. Hahahaha Are they serious? Who gets a perfectly smooth cake without tonnes and tonnes of practice? Not me, that's for sure!

Still, I didn't end up with bumps all over the place, and think some of the rough spots on my cake could have been avoided if I had been willing to run out and buy a fondant smoother instead of using my hands and what tools I could improvise with.

Actually my biggest frustration was my missing cookie cutters. Turns out I had lent some of them to a friend, but I am still missing the star cutout from my linzer cookie set, with the itty bitty star, the one I wanted to use to ring the bottom of the cake with tiny stars. Oh well, I did with what I had and the birthday boy was happy.

I, on the other hand, was reasonably satisfied, but not exactly happy with my results. What I wanted and what I got were close enough. But just close enough.

For cakes I used recipes from Tish Boyle's Cake Book, which I've owned for awhile but had not used yet. The bottom round of the cake is the Sour Cream Chocolate Layers on page 124 (which actually ended up being a bit too crumbly for the buttercream.) The top round is the Basic White Cake Layers from page 119, which is a great cake for decorating with, sturdy and heavy enough, but a little bland flavor wise. Probably a completely different cake if you add the lemon zest to it, but as I was catering to a 5 year old, I took the option of omitting it.

This cake ended up being much bigger than I needed for the party we hosted on the day of my little guy's 5th birthday. Partially because the birthday boy chose the menu for his party and by the time we were ready for cake, only the kids were really interested in more "sweets."

Sorry, no pictures of that feast, but the menu broke down like this: double cream brie cheese with maple syrup, brown sugar and cashews, served with melba toast crackers, maple and brown sugar breakfast sausages, crispy bacon, hot waffles, strawberries in syrup, banana slices, apple brown sugar compote, homemade blueberry syrup, maple syrup, and whipped cream in both regular and chocolate. Yes, we had a waffle bar for my son's birthday dinner. Followed by cake and 3 different types of ice cream.

Then we cleaned everything up and got ready for the next party. More on that later!


Cheryl said...

Great cake, what a birthday. You are so right, kneading fondant to get the colors mixed is exhausting. Counts as a fantastic arm workout.

Gigi said...

Awesome cake! Loved the sparkler candle on the cake. Your arms must look buff :) from rolling the fondant!And I loved the waffle bar theme for dinner.

Brilynn said...

Well done on the cake! I know the difficulties of fondant and you did a gread job!

Deborah said...

This looks fantastic!! I've never used fondant before, but they do always make it look easy on tv. My brother-in-law got married last week, and their cake was covered in chocolate fondant, and I didn't think it was done very well. The whole time I was thinking that I could do a better job, but I guess it looks easier than it actually is!! I'm amazed that this is your first time, though!

Peabody said...

You cakes look really good.