Tuesday, April 14, 2009

tinkerbell turns 5

For those waiting with bated breath, and those who are sure this is turning into a pictureless food blog, here are a couple of shots from Bug-bug's recent 5th birthday party. As usual, I asked what kind of cake she wanted (and then crossed my fingers while I silently prayed it was nothing impossible or inappropriate - e.g., Hannah Montana). She wanted Tinkerbell. I weighed my decorating options, since freehand drawing and sculpting are not my forte', and hit on brilliance: we'd buy a Tink cake topper and have her sitting in a flower, sort of in a garden. It satisfied the girl, who got to select the cake topper, and relieved me immensely.

I decided to keep things as simple as possible, which is to say I still had several meltdowns on the way to assembling the cake. The flower Tink was going to sit in just wasn't working. I had switched to decorating with gumpaste, rather than fondant, because it supposedly dries faster. (The cake was still covered in fondant; just the decorations were gumpaste.) I tried making it a couple of days in advance, but it wouldn't dry and stay shaped (with the leaves curling upward). So I tried baking it. Also a minor nightmare as it sort of melted, then hardened, and stuck to the bowl it was baking on. I forgot to take the frosting out of the fridge so it could come to room temperature. These are the sorts of emergencies that make Josh wish he lived 80 miles away, but luckily he just left the kitchen and left me to my own insane devices.

To reduce the number of moving parts, I used my usual chocolate cake recipe and bakery icing recipe, and I bought fondant and gumpaste at Surfas (because, as I've told several people recently, Wilton fondant is disgusting. That is the G-rated version of how I previously explained it. Suffice it to say, I threw out FIVE POUNDS of gross Wilton fondant). The cake held up beautifully in the warm April sun and was enjoyed by family, friends, and coworkers (the next day) alike.

Additional notes:

1. Bug has finally stopped referring to herself as Tinkerbell. Now she says Tinkerbell is just a fairy, and she likes her, but she herself is not Tinkerbell. (The best part was how compliant her brother was when she refused to answer to her name. He'd just repeat his request but say, "Tinkowbell?" instead...)

2. I also made Jenn's layered jello, which was shockingly more difficult and time-consuming than it appeared, though once I got the hang of it, it was quite easy. The trick is that the jello liquid must really be room temp before being poured on; otherwise, it melts the layers below. Ick.

3. If I made the jello again, I'd make sure to use the most vibrant colors on top and bottom. I let the Wub choose the colors and the order of the layers, and purple on the bottom didn't really stand out. Here's a picture:

It still looks pretty in the sunlight.
4. I was really pleased with how the cake came out. It was very much what I was hoping it would look like. (Yay, team!)
Here's the cake - an indoor shot and and outdoor shot (flanked by big jugs of oj). (This is a family blog - what kind of big jugs did you think I was talking about?):


Anonymous said...

"that make Josh wish he lived 80 miles away"
Hey - the jello's not THAT hard. Now you are an expert!

Sandra Dee said...

C -

You never cease to amaze me...


meredith said...

wow...that cake is so cool!!! very impressed.