Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Edible Grandma

Back in April I was asked to make a cake for my husbands Grandma's 90th Birthday party. I was given a few weeks advance notice. Easy enough, I thought to myself… HA.

It came down to the final week, and I still had no idea what I was going to do. Would I make a round cake, a square cake, a rectangle cake? What color? What design? I had no idea.
One week before the cake was due I made an attempt at flowers with the frosting tips I had on hand… This didn't work for two reasons.
1) Never done it before
2) Kitty foot prints

Yes, Banjo decided she needed the tooth picks that were on the table. When I turned my back she climbed on up and left her mark.. We'll needless to say between the kitty prints and the lack of anything recognizable as a flower they all got thrown away.
After this failure I ordered a nice gum paste flower spray from The Baker's Kitchen which has become my go to for random baking needs… I figured that if anything I'd use the gum paste flowers if I couldn't come up with something else.
Three days before the cake was due I decided on the shape. I figured just a 9x13 would be good for a family cake. It was chocolate. It had fluffy white vanilla filling. It was like a giant SuzyQ I haven't had one of those in years. It was tasty.
I was inspired that I wanted to do it a nice light blue. I had browsed through several cake decorating books that had nice light blue cakes and I saw several that I could have tried.
Two days before due date I decided to have an edible picture of Grandma made to put on the cake and I'd do some sort of decoration around that. I had no idea that finding a bakery to print an edible picture for me would be so difficult. Finally I found someone, but the person who did it was only going to be in until 2 pm one day and 12 pm the next day and no weekends. UGH! Okay. After a call to my mother-in-law who was unavailable I called my sister-in-law who was. She was able to go to the bakery with a nice picture of grandma that she had handy and get the photo copied and printed for me. Okay. Panic for that was over.
Friday night came along and it was time to really get down to decorating. I had the frosting mostly made when I realized that I had no white food coloring. I also had run out of shortening. AH! Trip to the Hobby Lobby. And then a trip to the grocery store where I was hit on by a funny geek guy over the fact that my license plates say TARDIS on them. Ha ha. Then it was back to the cake.
I did the base frosting in light blue. I didn't do a crumb coat and kicked myself for that later. I could not get the icing smooth to save my life. It was driving me crazy. (insert trip to hobby lobby here.) After a short break I tried again and got a semi smooth outer layer.
Time for decorating. (insert trip to grocery store here.)

SIDE NOTE: I decided to take the Wilton Decorating Class at the local(-ish) Michael's and to take this class they require you to buy this Decorating Basics Student Kit that has some tips and stuff that I mostly didn't already have.

Well, thanks to the Tips in this kit I was able to make some flowers and leafs that I previously couldn't. It has paid for itself already and the class doesn't even start until May 8th. Following some basic directions given in the Wilton Decorating Basics Lesson Plan I was able to create some cute rosettes and passable drop flowers. Add some squigglies and some leaves and abracadabra! There's a cake.
Edible Grandma was the final touch. I used a 5x7 picture oval I printed off the internet to cut the picture of grandma to the proper size and then cut a ¼ inch wider oval around the oval I used for the picture and used that for a template on the cake.
Icing Tips used: 16, 18, 2d, and 352

Everyone at the party thought the cake was fantastic. I received a lot of compliments. Funny thing was… when it came time to eat the cake the cutting started on the end without the picture and moved across the cake. When the pieces reached the edible photo the picture was very carefully pealed from the cake and set to the side. Maybe they didn't realize it was edible, or maybe it was considered a bad omen to eat Grandma for her 90th birthday party. Who knows.