While Janet was in Japan getting her cultural heritage on with R2 in tow, I spent my days baking a beautiful cake. Ok, it was only 2 days, and the cake is by no means beautiful. But it has a great personality. Sort of a butterface, or in this case, a butterfondant.
This seems to happen to me a lot. I love baking, and the stuff I make tastes really fucking good, but I’m kind of a failure when it comes to decorating. Case in point: Giant Cuppycake. That one tasted bad too, but whatevs. A couple months ago I went crazy for a party Logo and I were hosting and made a shit-ton of desserts and the results were astoundingly lovely. Alas, that was not the case this time.
I decided to make this cake after a request from Eggroll to make a glorious dessert for a weekend away in Arrowhead for the Tough Mudder and Lisa’s/David’s birthdays. For those who don’t know, the Tough Mudder is a ridiculous display of manliness and stupidity under the guise of a 10 miles race with obstacles. Obstacles like diving in ice water and running through electrical wires charged with 10,000 volts. SUPER FUN!!!!1!
My inspiration for this cake was the amazingly beautiful Canuck cake blog Sweetapolita. That woman makes some gorgeous cakes. And gorgeous babies, just look at the pictures of her children on there! And she married a gorgeous man. Some people have all the luck. I figured it would be fun to make a fun, surprising cake and have everyone write all over the pristine, smoothly fondant-ed outside.
I made the cake part of the cake the Wednesday before the weekend because I didn’t want to bake at high altitude–tried that in Mammoth without making adjustments and the cake was deflated and dry. Still edible, but this one had to be gorgeous and thus I baked the cakes early and froze them. The recipe is super easy. I used cake flour instead of regular flour because I wanted to and mine says it’s expired so I need to use it up. Apparently cake flour is treated with chlorine so it’s really soft and results in a lovely, soft, light crumb. I subbed 1 c. + 2 T. of cake flour for each cup of regular flour and it worked out fine.
Rewind to my initial preparations for this cake. I went to the only cake decorating supply place in West LA, Gloria’s (silly side note: their URL spells it “suplys” hehe). I think it was under construction because the right side of the store looked like a bomb had exploded. Still, the place had everything! I enjoyed rummaging immensely and spent a lot of time looking at the gel food colors. SO pretty. Ended up with the Americolor “school training kit,” so I’ll be set if I ever go to cake school. AND I got these awesome food coloring markers so everyone could draw on the cake.
There was no way I was going to make my own fondant so I bought a fancier-looking one than Wilton because Wilton is the cake decorating devil and they’ve taken over everything with their cheapy fondant cutters and shit! I made a good choice, too, because this fondant was actually tasty instead of tasting like sweet plastic.
After making the batter, you have to weigh it and then split it into 6 bowls for dyeing. I thought this would be pretty difficult but it went quickly, though I used all of our cereal bowls and all of our forks for stirring the colors. Logo was like “what happened I just did dishes?!” and I was like “Sorrrryyyyyy……” Good story, huh? Here’s a picture of the pretty batter. Some of it, at least.
And here’s a couple pictures of the cakes cooling. The layers are super super thin so I was glad I parchment-papered the bottoms of the pans to prevent any cake-butt loss. The blue layer is missing because I had to rescue it from overcooking due its runtiness. I’m like the mom that pushes aside that baby that won’t make it because it’s too small. But the purple layer looks blue so pretend it’s both blue AND purple! Yay!
I wrapped each layer in plastic wrap after cooling and realized when I stacked them that one of my cake pans was actually a pie pan and was slightly less than 9″. So two layers were littler than the others on top of blue being super thin and yellow having a weird hump. Not an auspicious beginning. At least the colors are vibrant, right?
Always use protection.
Fast-forward to assembling the cake: everyone was at the Tough Mudder except me and Stosh. We went to breakfast (I had chicken-fried steak and eggs–I won) while the layers defrosted and then I made cream cheese frosting–Lisa’s favorite!–and frosted the cake. I forgot to take pictures of this part, probably because I was having major issues getting it smooth because the layers were so lopsided. Eventually I gave up, figuring that it didn’t have to look good since I was just going to cover it in fondant. That was a poor decision. Just so you know, fondant will form to whatever shape is underneath it. Even weird cake lumps and gooshy frosting.
I did ok rolling the fondant out because it was very pliable and easy to work with. But then when I put it on the cake, I didn’t cut off the excess soon enough and the bottom slowly ripped off, leaving a large hole in the fondant. I tried using the remaining fondant to make another layer, but I didn’t have quite enough.
That’s when I got the brilliant idea to make a bow! It didn’t turn out half bad, but while I was making it the fondant already on the cake continued to settle and got lumpier and lumpier. Eventually, the bottom of the cake looked like cellulite and when I tried to smooth it, the frosting underneath would squish out around the bottom. Grossssss and delicious on my fingers nom.
Everyone else said the cake was lovely, but they’re just nice friends. They dutifully signed it and drew some fun pictures, including a lovely peen drawn by Eggroll’s brother.
Complete with veins and hair.
Please compare my decorating skillz to those of my sister-in-law, who made the cake below for her friend’s wedding. It’s breathtaking–all buttercream!! Such sharp edges! But then I learned that it took like 27 hours to do and she ended up crying in the kitchen more than once and I felt better about my 3-hour cake. I could make it perfect if I spent 27 hours too!
We FINALLY got to cut into the cake after all those hours of labor, and it was truly beautiful. All the nasty fondant was forgotten and the cake was deliciously sweet and vanilla-ey. With everyone getting drunker as the evening progressed, appetites increased and the cake slowly disappeared. Aftermath. Looks nom.
Ultimately, it was a success. A delicious, colorful, lumpy success. Make this shit for a fun time and an impressive reveal.