Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thing 1 and Thing 2

I haven't posted anything in a while, not because I haven't been baking or finding ways to use up those leftover supplies but because almost everything I've tried has been a dismal failure. I have an oddly short loaf of banana bread sitting on the kitchen counter. I like banana bread, but this one just wasn't right. Too sweet. Guess that's what I get for deciding it needed brown sugar, it messed up the taste.
My saddest failure, however, was a birthday cake for the husband of a friend, though I suppose you should probably consider him a friend as well. He does like the Seahawks and I'm a huge fan of those bright green uniforms they wore this weekend while getting stomped by the Bears. This couple had visited San Francisco recently, so Melinda and I stuck our little heads together and we decided that using San Fran as a theme would be awesome. And I decided that I needed to make a cake in the shape of the Palace of Fine Arts. This is the happy couple during their vacation. You can visit her blog for a long-winded account of the trip, but you may want to block out a few hours to get through the whole story. I stole this picture from her blog, I suppose I should have asked permission first. Oh well.

This should have been a fairly easy project. I have a Wilton ball pan, so dome was done. That fit nicely on my tiny little 6" pan, so I could just fill that three times and I'd be done. Then a 9" to which I was supposed to add the lake complete with fondant swans (it's like Play-doh but you get to eat it). The Palace itself was just going to be covered with fondant with cutouts to mimic the arches. I even bought little cardboard rounds and dowels to create the internal structure.

But things went awry when I baked the cake. Erik had asked for carrot cake. I've baked these before with success, but didn't really note where I got that recipe, so I turned to the interwebs and that's where I went wrong. The first batch of cake never rose so they were sad little layers that wouldn't make the palace tall enough. So I made a second batch with a different recipe. These rose a little too nicely in the oven, overflowing the pan, but then sank so that the cake was definately concave.

I did try to stack these up and go with it, using the dowel rods to hold it all up, but it was to no avail. And I was pissed off, so I decided just to deconstruct the cake and make two. These shall henceforth be known as Thing One and Thing Two since I refuse to refer to them as "cakes." I did my best to salvage the day and they still tasted pretty good, sunkend middle and unrisen layers and all. I didn't get any photos of the process since I was too busy cussing at the cake to take pictures, but I give you the results:

I decided to keep the dang swans that were supposed to be in the lake by sticking one big one on the top of the dome cake. Odd for a dude? Yes. Something I find great pleasure in anyway? Of course! But I had made up a whole bunch of white fondant and needed an excuse to use it up anyway. And the picture doesn't show how even the swan was lopsided, but it does nicely show off the swan cleavage. :)

The birthday dude (felt bad typing boy) still ate at the cake anyway. And yes, he's going right for the swan with the knife.

Of course it's just not a party at my house without the cat. So here she is trying to convince Erik that she really needs a slice of cake too. Yes, she does sit for treats, she's very strange.

So happy birthday Erik, even though it's been a while.

1 comment:

  1. You're so funny! The cakes tasted amazing and looked cool too...though I admit I don't know what the domey one with the swan really was...the other one looked super cute with the letters! And, most importantly, they really did taste good. The geography dept devoured nearly all of it within a was amazing. They threw away the cardboard and dowels though...:-/ When I came back at the end of the day there was some frosting in your container...and that was it! I have that for you btw, where were you today?