Monday, February 7, 2011

"The Tale of Two Cake-ies"

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… it was the age of fondant, it was the age of frustration, it was the epoch of shortening, it was the epoch of powdered sugar, it was the season of colorful icing, it was the season of colorful adjectives, it was the spring of lofty ideas, it was the winter of despair, we had the promise of cake before us, we had epic cake failure before us, it was all going direct to our stomachs, it was all going direct to the garbage - in short, the period was so far from expectation, that some of its staunchest believers insisted on trying until a finished product was achieved, for good or for evil, in the loosest form of “cake” only.

Hoooooooly Smokes!! I had definitely anticipated some bit of learning curve as I attempted to make my very first creation with my happy-new Cricut Cake machine … what I DIDN’T expect was the EPOCH struggle I had with the marshmallow fondant that I decided to make myself!! SHEESH!! Marshmallow fondant is supposed to be YUMMIER than regular ol' fondant, right???

My first attempt at this cake was an hours-long disaster!! It was all mixed by hand ... the kitchen table was covered in a sticky pile of goo, which, despite adding and adding and ADDING powdered sugar, it just didn't seem to get "un"sticky!! After rolling it out forEVER, I finally got a piece that I "thought" would work. I transferred it to the cake only to discover that it was too small ... and cracked on one side. NOTHING I could do about that. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I was sooo frustrated that I hucked it into the garbage (much to the dismay of my hubby, who can't STAND to see a perfectly "good" UNEATEN cake go to waste!!). Smiley from millan.net See that speck of yellow?? That is all that remains of attempt #1 ... I was soooo sick of yellow that I decided to move on to a new color ...

Sooo ... I trudged back to the store for another cake mix. It was late ... I was tired ... NOT a good combo! I baked another cake, and was kinda impatient to get it out of the pans. I wanted it to be done so I could be DONE and go to bed and start again the next morning. Well, you know what happens to cake when it is STILL too warm to take out of the pans??? Needless to say, the guys had a large ziploc baggie full of cake parts to snack on ... (which really makes this the "Tale of THREE Cake-ies" ... but I am just choosing to ignore this second attempt, as frosting/decorating was never even started!!). Smiley from millan.net

Once again, Amelia and I tromped BACK over to the store (not quite sure what time it was at this point ... but it WAS late! Good thing we live right across the street from the store!). Amelia convinced me to buy a few extra cake mixes ... JUST in case!! Happily, this cake was baked and cooling when I headed off to bed ...

I decided to use my trusty ol' KitchenAid mixer to "aid" me in mixing up the fondant. Good idea, right??? NOT!! I didn't even get halfway through adding the powdered sugar when it started slowing my mixer down ... I am pretty sure I was making a batch of CEMENT!! I removed it from the mixer and began kneading it .... and kneading it ... and kneading it ... added some blue coloring and was FINALLY able to cover it so that it looked like this ... (a Smurf cake, right??? When my bff, Karen, said it looked Smurf-like, at least it made me smile long enough to keep on trying!!)

Then, I added a little yellow to it. At his point my husband asked me if I was making a Steelers cake or a Packers cake ... what??? Is THAT who is playing in the Super Bowl??? How the heck should I know ... as far as I was concerned this was for my high school team ... our colors were blue and gold ... GO PIRATES!! Anywho ...

I added a football ... kinda sad, but it sorta looks like one, right??? I wanted to put some grass "turf" around the sides of the cake, but this fondant was just NOT the right consistency. Anything I tired to cut on my Cake machine that had ANY level of intricacy got shredded up when I tried to cut it. Sigh ... So I settled for simple circles and stars (which are pretty wobbly, at best). And BEFORE you ask ... I DID put the mat in the freezer BEFORE I tried to cut it out. I was only MILDLY successful ... sometimes ...

SOOoooo ... this is the best I could come up with!! Moral to the story??? Do NOT attempt to make marshmallow fondant to cut out with the Cricut Cake machine ... unless, of course, someone else does it FOR you ... and makes it to the absolute PERFECT consistency ... my husband said, "Aren't you glad that at least the machine was FREE??"" Smiley from millan.net

Cricut Cartridges: Cake Basics, George and Basic Shapes, Everyday Paper Dolls

10 comments:

Chris Olsen, Glowbug said...

What a beautiful and yummy cake!! Can I have a piece?
hugs,
Chris

KOstvig said...

love the post,
Love the cake...

Scott and Alie said...

How funny! At least you kept trying. It looks cute!

Cheryl said...

I totally understand your pain. I would have quit until another day. You persevered and you had a success. Wahoo!

pezadoodle said...

oh my GOSH wendy!!!! ok i am so sorry but your post was hilarious!!!! the little emoticons sent me right over the edge!

well i think your cake is gorgeous and i LOVE the colors! go pirates!

oh my poor friend i feel your pain! i have had mine for a YEAR and am just now conquering it because i would get so frustrated. and yes it tastes better but me & marshmallow fondant are not great friends either :P and i never even tried to cut it with my machine - just getting it on the blasted cake!

i know some people cut fondant with their machine but the one time i tried i could have thrown the thing out of my second story sunroom window. i have read you can mix tylose into it and get good results but i think since the gumpaste is working i am to scared to try anything else.....

i also found that i get less stressed if i bake the cake AFTER i manage to get my stuff cut out - i try to cut ahead of time in case i need to take a break before i have a nervous breakdown. luckily things have been going better with it lately.

i also have several bags of cake bits in my freezer awaiting a day of making cake pops......but not today.
big hugs my friend!

Bonnie Weiss said...

Your cake looks wonderful ... even if it was blue and yellow!

Pam said...

Wow! You're an amazing writer!! Your posts are as much fun as your projects. Pretty amazing cake after only 2 attempts!!

Traci S. said...

Oh Wendy~

My dear perfectionist friend! Your post was wonderful...I cracked up over the little emoticons!

I am so sorry that you went through that "learning curve." I believe that is what they call it when we try something new. It's ok. You were tired. That's what happened.

The results are wonderful. Not great for this diabetic with the adding, and adding of the powdered sugar and all...but it is wonderful. And, your football looks great! You never said, to my knowledge, that this was a Super Bowl Cake. I think you did a great job for your 1st try!

Perhpas, bake the cake from scratch, and buy fondant? We all love you anyway...and you were a great model for your daughter. We can all use one for perserverance!

(I think I spelled that wrong.)
Sorry.

He IS Able,
Traci S.

Ezlie J. Perez said...

Wow. you have determination, and I admire that. I would have quit!
I stick to paper and adhesive - where the outcome is a bit more predictable.. =)
Nice cake in the end though. Good job!

AShu93 said...

I think you did a great job of covering the cake. It looks very smooth, even if it is smurf-like colored. I especially like the gold ring on the top too.