Thursday, March 31, 2011
The Cake Post, AKA Misadventures in Fondant and Frosting
Last week I blogged about making cakes for my husband's grandmother's birthday party. That was quite the adventure and let's just say Antoinette will NOT be going into the cake business any time soon!! At first I said I wouldn't make any more cakes for the next YEAR but then realized Dominic will be 1 in July so it won't be fair to him if I don't make his cake. I began on Wednesday by making the cake layers. Thursday I made the mocha buttercream, using a recipe from The Joy of Cooking. I also made the marshmallow fondant. The mocha buttercream was easy to make. The fondant is something I haven't worked with before, and it was quite easy. So, I frosted the big cake with the buttercream, which was huge by the way, enough for 108 people (!!!!!) and assembled both cakes. (Did I mention I made two cakes? One was a regular 2 layer round cake, that is the one that had the mocha buttercream but no fondant. The big one had coffee buttercream with an apricot filling.)
Moving on the Friday...I realized I wasn't going to have enough fondant, so I made more, made it just the right shade of the palest pink. I rolled everything out, and put the fondant on the cake. I realized TOO LATE that I had rolled it out too thin AND too short on the ends. That was the first time I wanted to cry. I knew I couldn't take it off and roll it out again so I took some of the leftover fondant and cut it to fit on the ends. I then piped icing on the borders and corners. I wanted it to look classy, almost like a gift box. I put a really pretty ribbon around the bottom (it was chocolate brown with a cream damask pattern). I put it in the cake box to protect it, because I needed to do something else.
Later that afternoon I got it out of the box to finish the decorations and saw that the fondant was settling into every crack and crevice and whatever other flaw there was. I seriously wanted to cry for the second time.) My husband was on his way home from work so I asked him to get a container of cream cheese frosting. What else was I going to do at the last minute? I pulled of the fondant carefully and then added some food coloring to the cream cheese frosting to make it pink and put it on the cake. It was just barely enough, but it worked. I decided to add the decorations on Saturday morning, after we arrived at the place where the party was going to be held. I didn't want to take any chances of the decorations getting messed up!! Well, sometime Saturday morning my husband realized that the box top had indeed gotten stuck on the frosting!!! Again, I wanted to cry. So, I did the only thing I could do. No, I didn't throw it in the trash and run to Wal-Mart and buy another cake. I got myself and the boys ready for the party and we stopped at the local grocery store and I bought more cream cheese frosting. When we arrived, I handed the baby over and got to work. Dyed the frosting pink (thank goodness it matched), frosted the cake and wrote Happy Birthday with chocolate piping gel. I added more of the pretty brown ribbon and got my mother-in -law to help me figure out where to put the edible roses and the little chocolate cameos I had made.
In the end, it reminded me of something Italian, with a stucco design or something. I kind of liked it to be honest. It wasn't the prettiest cake ever, or even how I envisioned it at all, but it turned out ok. The best part, few slices of cake were left, but everyone took them home. We didn't have a single piece left over!!! Of either cake!! I was so worried about how it looked but felt better after I received so many compliments on them. After about 12 cups (maybe 9, don't remember now) of powdered sugar, more sticks of butter than I care to say, 24 eggs (yes, TWENTY FOUR) and 8 boxes of cake mix (because I wasn't going to make that much cake from scratch like I usually do) and standing for so long my legs were swollen for 2 days...
Still not making anymore cakes anytime soon.