Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Tape Measure Cake

It's my father's 65th birthday today. Leading up to this event, there was a lot of discussion about what to get him as a gift. My father, unlike most fathers, doesn't fish, doesn't golf, doesn't watch sports, doesn't drink coffee, does't drink booze, does't grill and doesn't particularly care for cars assuming the one he owns gets him where he needs to go. So, what does he like? He likes tools. And thank goodness, because when a man doesn't like any of the things a man is supposed to like, it gets a little rough.

How do you make a cake for a guy who likes tools? Easy, type in "tool cake" to Google image search and you gets lots of results. My dad loves the color orange and after half a bottle of orange food coloring went into the frosting, I gave up, I think it's orange-y enough though. I stuck with the tape measure because I thought it was cuter than tools. Besides, the gift has a tool theme. Below is the cake I made. Here is the cake it was based off of. It's a yellow cake (from scratch- I ran out of cake mixes) I subbed the milk with margarita mix, lemon juice and tequila and the frosting is the meringue buttercream from the CIA cookbook I got for my birthday (easiest recipe ever). The lemon juice, etc. definitely makes the cake more dense, but I think it makes it tastier too.

Check back for pictures of the stromboli I'm making for his birthday dinner.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Fake Wedding Cake

Oh where to begin...

My friend Marcy got married this past weekend and a few months ago, I made the mistake of forcing her and her fiance to look at the pictures of the wedding cake I made last summer. At the time, I was taking pictures of the two of them sitting on a table to send to her cousin who was going to make them a wedding cake topper. About a month after that, she contacted me asking if I would make some sort of display cake for them to put the topper on. Havoc ensued and involved a bunch of back and forth about what the display cake I would be making should be made out of, how big it should be, etc. We finally agreed on sterefoam and all was well. About a month after that, Marcy and I met for dinner and she gave me the much anticipated cake topper. It was quite a masterpiece and she imparted it to me with threats of ending our 28 year friendship should anything happen to it. At this point she also mentioned to me that I wanted to make her a real cake as well, that it would "definitely get eaten." Her cousin had not only created this topper, but attached it to a whole sterefoam cylinder display. It took a little bit of creative thinking, some brute force and some praying, but we finally got it off the display. Once we got it off the display, the idea of putting the little bride and her tulle wedding gown into a pile of a buttercream. This brought about my first foray into the world of fondant. It took both my parents, satin ribbon, coconut frosting, framer's mat and some wood glue, but eventually the creation took form.

The bottom cake is sterefoam and the top is lemon cake with coconut frosting. Both are covered in Wilton Fondant, which is way too much fun to play with and way too disgusting to eat. The top cake is now in my freezer awaiting their anniversary and the bottom is in a dumpster somewhere in New Hampshire. My life is full of adventures :-)

By the way, I made the coconut frosting to go with some lime cupcakes I had made for a party and forgot to take pictures of, but they were gooooood.

The Book Cake

When your work department consists of a bunch of librarians, it is almost a given that you will be able to wow with a book-shaped cake. When you grow up in my family, it is almost a given that you will find a book-shaped cake pan in your parents' basement (or a Donald Duck shaped pan for that matter).

For our big WPS Library Department end of the year celebration this year, I made this book cake. It was a marble cake with some kind of non-descript frosting. I tried to be clever and wish good luck to our department members who are moving on. I still have that often referenced on Cake Wrecks spacing issue, but I'm working on it.

All in all, it was a thunderous success.