Monday, October 5, 2009
Welcome back, MoFos! Hope you're all well.
Last week, I showed off my poor excuse of an attempt at the first draft of a Lego cake. Today, I'd like to discuss the lessons I learned and let you see how they didn't help. At all.
Not only do I suck at decorating, but I'm also not very organized, so I lost all the notes I made for the test cake and had to redo all the math. I pretty much knew what I was doing this time, though, so it didn't take nearly as much time (or paper). Good thing I'd learned to do the math because it didn't help that I'd already done it.
I made the same VCTOTW yellow cake, but remembered to trim off the crusty bits this time. On a suggestion from the staff of Brooklyn Kitchen, I used dental floss to slice the cake, after using a knife to get through the tougher edges. It's a really great trick because a knife can squish your cake, but those wire cutter things are kind of pricey for unitaskers. I learned a new method to cut cake, but it didn't help because I still couldn't hold it straight and all my edges were super wobbly and uneven.
I made the same fondant as last time, using organic light corn syrup instead of brown rice syrup, which worked really well. You can taste the coconut in it, but it's very light and nice. Not at all overpowering. It's a great fondant, in the right hands. Those hands aren't mine. Yet.
Since using one big sheet of fondant didn't work last time, I cut it into five panels measured to fit each of the sides and the top this time. They were a bit larger than the cake, so they'd overlap a wee bit and I'd trim them to minimize the seams.
I think I've mentioned that I'm not such a fan of coconut, but the birthday girl is, so I decided to play up that aspect of the fondant with the coconut frosting from Vegan With a Vengeance, which is delightful, if lumpy.
The consistency was also a bit smoother (ignoring the shredded coconut) and looser than I was hoping for, almost more similar to pastry creme than to frosting, which made it rather difficult to get it to stick to the sides of the cake (WARNING: The following photo looks totally gross. I swear you're just looking at cake and frosting. THERE IS NO VOMIT IN THIS PICTURE).
Charming, isn't it?
Then it was time to apply the fondant panels. I really expected the sides to slide right off the frosting, but they actually stuck. In fact, they stuck so well that I was afraid to pull on them to trim them, so I ended up with huge visible seams and areas of cake with nauseatingly thick fondant. I learned fondant won't stick to the sides of an unfrosted cake, but it didn't help because I applied the fondant wrong after frosting it.
The birthday girl seemed to like the cake despite everything (I enjoyed it, except for the thick fondant; the parts where it was thin were good and I ended up with a pleasing ratio ratio of cake to coconut) and took this picture with her iPhone. I must say the darkness is really quite flattering.
She also thought it looked like everyone's favorite eater of baked goods, and I had to agree. We weren't the only people who saw it, because when I posted the above picture on the PPK (in a thread about terrible looking food), Akatombo replied with this and completely made my day.
Thank you for your patience with this epic saga of an ugly cake. If this keeps up (and that's pretty likely), I think Cake Wrecks will be my theme for next VeganMoFo.