Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Let Them Eat Cake

Well, I'm back. Good lord... February was a crazy month for me. Kathryn and I stayed very busy this entire month... hence the feelings of abandonment you might have been having. I am glad to be back and glad to get back into a routine.... and back in the kitchen. It was so crazy around here this month I didn't even get to participate in Good Things. Bleh. But like I said, I am back so get ready for a dessert filled March!

One thing that kept me pretty busy all month was the planning of my baby girl's 2nd birthday party. Yes, I am one of THOSE moms that goes WAY overboard and gets crazy. My sister said " Can't Kathryn just have a normal party?" Uhhhhh.... no. I was pent up in a cubicle for TOO long and had WAY TOO MUCH creative energy to burn... so no normalcy here. Sorry.

My big contribution was of course the cake(s). Yes, plural. I know.... Why couldn't I have just made one simple little cake and left it at that? I told myself it was because I am trying to learn the "craft" and that I needed to make 3 cakes to practice. Okay, sure. That sounded good a week or so before the party.... but at 1 am on the night before I was cursing the damn things and wishing I could just run to Costco and pick up a sheet cake with some cute blue roses and her name spelled out in icing.

But I couldn't... and I would have been REALLY upset with myself if I had given up. The baking and covering the cakes was the easy part... and as you can see I didn't do any sort of elaborate decorating of the cakes .. the hard part was trying to figure out how to get them stacked in a crooked kind of way. I was trying to emulate this cake by Confetti Cakes... but I failed miserably. I was confident until I realized that I had already "glued" each cake to it's corresponding board just like Colette told me to... but then how was I going to get a support dowel thru the cake and the board? I know, it the solution sounds simple enough now, but when it's 10am the morning of the party(that starts at 1pm) rational problem solving is not something that comes swift. So I said screw it... we will have this one big present cake.. and we will have two smaller cakes that Kathryn can have with her candles on it.... Sounded good.

As you may be able to tell the theme of the party was candy. My dad said "Who's Candy? Is that a new cartoon or something?" "Yeah dad... It's a new cartoon about strippers. The main character is Candy and her side kick is a rabbit named... well, Bunny. Strippers by day and crime fighting heroes by night. Kathryn just loves it....."

Ahem..So... candy was the theme. And boy did I have fun with that! It was like a candy shop exploded in there... It was fabulous. All the kids were walking around with these huge lollipops.. it was so sweet. We had candy and cupcakes and homemade marshmallows and soda pop and cake and cake and cake and some boring grown up food and a moonbounce! Holy crap we had a good time! After the kids got all hopped up on sugar they jumped unitl their little legs just wouldn't jump anymore! Then the adults got in and jumped until their little lungs just wouldn't breath anymore! It was great.....

Each layer of the cake was a different flavor. The bottom was Hummingbird Cake with cream cheese filling. The middle layer (or bottom layer of the smaller cakes) was lemon butter cake with raspberry and lemon curd buttercream filling. And the top layer was good ol' Chocolate with chocolate rum filling. And before you get your panties in a wad... I used imitation rum flavoring.. not real rum. So just calm down. The lemon butter cake was outstanding. I was so excited it came out. I mixed raspberry preservatives with vanilla buttercream for the filling in one layer and mixed lemon curd with vanilla buttercream for the other layer. It was soooooooooo good. Too good... as I get up in the middle of the night and sneak bites of the few leftover pieces. I only had a small bite of the chocolate cake but my mom and husband really loved it. And this is the same husband who does not like chocolate. I was stunned. So that recipe will absolutely become a staple in this house. I pulled the recipe off the Hershey's website and was surprised at how easy it was to work with. It carved very nice and stayed nice and moist. This is a great cake....I highly recommend!

Chocolate Cake Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used buttermilk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

So y'all, that's my third attempt at rolled fondant. Here are the problems I had with this cake..... Please help me out!!

  1. Building a tiered cake. Crooked.
  2. Getting dried fondant to stick to dried fondant.
  3. Working with thinned royal icing..... I think I added too much water.

The cake was supposed to have fondant "tissue" like the Confetti Cake but I couldn't get the dried pieces to stick the dried cake. I had made over 100 pieces of fondant tissue that I had to just throw away because I couldn't get it to work.... should I be using gum paste for things like that? What is the difference in fondant and gum paste?? Any help will be much appreciated!

Comments on "Let Them Eat Cake"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (March 07, 2006 2:02 PM) : 

the cakes look so cool! I just recently came across your blog! it's great! Lynne http://lynnebackattack.blogspot.com

ps. I can't give to much advice on fondant, only just tried it on cupcakes yesterday & my son spit it out into the garbage can....


Anonymous Janice said ... (March 07, 2006 2:15 PM) : 

Oh my gosh! Your daughter is going to look back at all this one day and marvel at what an incredible Mom she has. I hope you scrapbook for her. Don't beat yourself up...the cakes are absolutely beautiful. Baking is so hard for me...no room for error or much experimentation.


Blogger Alicat said ... (March 07, 2006 2:32 PM) : 

i hate you! You have reached domestic perfection!

I would have given my left nut (heh) to have a birthday like that! I bet the kids went nuts for it.

I am *almost speechless, I am so damn impressed. I wish I could've been there! :)

Wowowowow is all that is left to say. You kick ASS.


Blogger Marilyn said ... (March 07, 2006 3:02 PM) : 

Wow-a candy party! Can you host my 25th birthday party? Kathryn is a very lucky girl.


Blogger Rosa said ... (March 07, 2006 8:04 PM) : 

How fabulous! I wish I had cakes like that growing up and NOW! Yum and beatiful all in one. They both are amazing.

The best part of the story though is your dad! That is way too funny. You gotta love em, don't ya!


Anonymous AndrĂ©e said ... (March 08, 2006 5:39 AM) : 

FABULOUS! You've totally NAILED it! wow. I saw an episode of sugar the other day and she used egg white to make her fondant stick to something else, but I don't know if it would work with what you needed. Again, GORGEOUS!


Blogger Stephenie said ... (March 08, 2006 2:24 PM) : 

So who else thinks Chan should do some kiddie party planning & cake decorating for a living??

Party was awesome. Finn's still on a sugar high... a whole week later!


Blogger Rinn said ... (March 09, 2006 8:40 AM) : 

Hi! Your cakes are awesome and the centerpieces and decorations are too cute. To get dried fondant pieces to stick to each other, you can make thinned fondant. Add water to regular fondant until it makes a sort of paste. Then you can actually put it in a decorating bag and pipe it out to use as your glue. I can find direct proportions for you if you want.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (March 10, 2006 10:37 AM) : 

Oh boy your daughter is going to have a lot of friends who want to attend next years party. Absolutely awesome party - actually can I come next year please!!
Sezz (who recently discovered your blog and has been eagerly awaiting a post)


Blogger Bron said ... (March 12, 2006 12:32 PM) : 

Wow! What an awesome spread!
I have to say I like your cakes for Kathryn a whole heap more than "Confetti Cakes" attempt for 'Rachel' - so colourful every kid's idea of heaven I imagine!!

Too gorgeous!! Well done... better start planning my little ones birthdays ;-)


Blogger Cate said ... (March 12, 2006 5:45 PM) : 

Absolutely gorgeous pictures and cakes, Chandra! You did an amazing job...


Blogger Culinarily Obsessed said ... (March 13, 2006 3:41 PM) : 

wOw..you did an amazing job!! The colors & the cakes, the decorations..everything looks beautiful! It sounds like y'all had so much fun!

I don't have alot of experience with the supports for the cake, so I don't really have much advice about that. But regarding the question of how to get dried fondant to stick to dried fondant - I use vanilla extract. I dip a small paint brush into the extract and just paint it onto the fondant & it acts as a glue. You don't need alot, just enough to slightly wet the area, you can't even taste it.

Great job! =)


Blogger Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said ... (March 14, 2006 5:23 AM) : 

Amazing, stunning, incredible! That's what I kept saying as I looked at those cake pictures! You're one talented cook.


Anonymous newbie baker said ... (March 23, 2006 5:17 AM) : 

I have to thank you. After using your recipes for baking, my cakes turned out much much much better than they used to. You are an inspiration. Still, your crooked candy cake was the pinnicle of inspiration. I shall succeed in emulating you some day. Haha. Meanwhiles, keep posting great cake recipes! You go girl!


Blogger tammiemarie said ... (March 30, 2006 11:54 AM) : 

I love your site! It's encouraging to see someone else who is self teaching the art. I also stayed up all night building a huge cake for my daughter's 1st birthday party, but yours blows mine out of the competition! You've got a new reader.


Anonymous ANGELINA BERNAL said ... (April 01, 2006 5:59 PM) : 

I been wanting to make a crooked cake and stumbled upon your site I luv your cakes and your daughters party looked awesome, its exactly what i want 2 do for my god daughters 1st birthday , i did it for her mothers baby shower it was hot pink and black with all kinds of sweets and napkins that said juliet(the babies name) she loved it so much she wants it for her her birthday,any cool ideas to help us out. YOUR NEW FRIEND


Blogger Precious Moments said ... (June 02, 2006 8:01 AM) : 

your little princess will be so proud of her mommy. Truly fond memories for her.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (April 20, 2007 6:45 AM) : 

You have done a wonderful job!!! How did you make the tissue paper out of fondant? Also, how does the tissue fondant hold up the open "lid"? Is it strong enough to do that?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (May 04, 2007 9:51 AM) : 

I am planning my daughter's first birthday and am attempting a fondant covered crooked cake. I am doing a test run of a small version for Mother's Day. With all the reading and research I have been doing I believe that you could/should use royal icing to "glue" pieces together. But I do think that you are correct that the tissue would be better if it were gumpaste which dries harder and can be paper thin. The problem with gumpaste is it is much more fragile. Good luck and good job!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 16, 2008 4:02 PM) : 

Here are some instructions for crooked cakes. Scroll toward the end.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 20, 2010 12:00 PM) : 

Your Cakes look fabulous!! One question, how does one cut a into those cakes?


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