I tend to be quick about volunteering to make cakes for special events. I’m always worried that I will show up at a gathering and, because the person in charge of cake didn’t know any better than to get a grocery store cake, we celebrate with one of those cakes with “toothpaste icing” and plastic balloons stuck in it . One of my love languages is a combination of gifts and acts of service; if you give a gift, the time spent on the gift wrap says, “You are special.” Likewise, if you present a cake, the cake should tell the person they are worth the trouble of a special cake. When the occasion is to say thank you, congratulations, break a leg, or happy birthday, I’m sorry, but a premade cake from Wally-world is wholly inadequate for saying “you are special and you are loved.”
I get my kicks making cakes and if it’s a special occasion, it’s an occasion to make an exceptional cake. Moreover, if I’m able to create a custom-designed cake, I know it will help with making the occasion more memorable. What is it about a cake that says, “This is officially a party?” When I posted about The Suessical the Musical Cake, I touched on how folks love it when they see a bit of themselves in the cake.
SO, when the Third Day Psycho Fans known as Gomers posted earlier this year that we would be taking a party to Raleigh, NC to celebrate the band’s 20 years, I jumped on the opportunity to make a special cake. A vision for the cake developed almost immediately; I knew the titles of all of their songs would make their appearance around the bottom layer of the cake. In order for the band to see a bit of themselves in the cake, it was a matter of getting their instruments on the cake. I saw one layer transformed into a drum then a bass head and neck wrapped around a layer and the same for a guitar around another.
Later, I pictured fondant details including a 20 on top and, of course, the band’s name.
When I signed on to do the cake, it was without thinking it through very much. Transporting a cake can be nerve-wracking when’s just 15 minutes away! I knew we could do it but knew I’d need to do my homework on transporting. A lot depends on the weather, too. Icing and fondant can be pretty unpredictable anyways but factor in heat and humidity (or rain!) and things can get uglay.
We started making the fondant pieces to placed onsite first almost a week before our trip. I wanted to start earlier but we were swamped with catering, I had been busy working on the digital scrapbook for this shindig, and I got sick. SO, we had to really kick it in gear. We made made extras…just in case. I made the first batch but they were too thin. Jillian has a knack for the fondant so she and Autumn (8 y.o.) attacked the notes, etc. and I got busy on the cakes.
Autumn is a natural with cake decorating. She’s been decorating cakes since she was 5 and really has a flair for the fondant!
(Please note, everyone’s hands were very clean. You cannot wear food handler gloves to work with fondant. It’s physically impossible. Trust me.)
The bottom layer was our yummy Sour Cream White. I decided it needed marbled with “Consuming Fire” flames. The other layers were Chocolatetown Special and I just had to use Orange in honor of all the Gomer love.
This looked pretty cool sliced but, unfortunately, most folks ate what was served first from the upper layers , which, really isn’t unfortunate because they were yummy, too. They just didn’t look as cool.
10 y.o. Judah and 6 y.o. Isabelle helped with the drum hardware.
Time for school break. A lot of folks talk about “balance” in their lives with home, school, play and work. We’ve learned that it’s necessary to “blend.” We play, work and school in the kitchen. We also boogie, play “Ninja”, play percussion on the pot rack and other nonsense so drive slow when you go by – you never know what entertainment you may be missing.
Isabelle will now demonstrate how to make “wood grain” out of fondant:
1. Take 2 or 3 shades of brown fondant (or add yellow or white), roll into “snakes” of equal length (remember those playdough days), twist.
Coil the twist.
Roll it out while reshaping it to the size you need.
It’s the beginning a guitar neck! It also looks a lot like bacon. A little more rolling is in order….
Very important – use scraps for creative development.
And the bacon is attached with first round of frets applied. One string is in place. No, the string is not edible. We decided on metallic thread and just removed it before serving. We explored all options on edible guitar strings; they either would not have survived the trip, would have taken too long on site to attach, or looked stupid. I found thread that looked realistic enough and it survived the trip. A couple went crooked, but I did not have to reattach them.
Well, I’ve been working on this post for two or three weeks and, since this cake had so many parts and so many pictures, I think it’s about time I just post it and do this in more “bite-size” portions (see what I did there?).
Let them eat cake!
What’s not shared is lost,