Tag Archives: cake

A New Life

Standard

Where do I even begin?

I’ve been gone from WordPress for about three months and let me tell you – I’ve been BUSY!  When I last posted, I mentioned that we would be visiting Central Florida for He-Man’s birthday.  We made it successfully and during the week that we were vacationing, we both came across job opportunities that far surpassed anything that had been made available to us in West Tennessee.  Since you can probably guess where this is going, I’ll just come out and say it: We are now living in Central Florida.

Crazy, I know.  In the last three months, we have busted some booty trying to save up enough money to get into our own place and I’m pleased to say that we have been blessed with a beautiful little house in a small town not unlike the one we left behind.  It has everything we wanted and more – PLUS we’re paying less than we would with an apartment in the city and now I have a lake view in the country.  Isn’t it wonderful?!

I do greatly miss the life I left behind.  After all, it’s all I’ve known for all of my twenty years.  Since I’ve been in Florida, I have missed the birth of two new cousins, the marriage of another, and the high school graduation of my baby sister.  I’ve only been back to Tennessee once since we decided to stay here and He-Man didn’t come with me.  I quit my dead-end job, called one of my best friends to ride down with me, gathered up the pets, and drove the 808 miles to my new home with only what would fit into every nook and cranny of a ’98 Honda Civic (which isn’t much, just so you know).  It is a drive that I will never, ever make again if I have anything to say about it.

We have started completely over with nothing.  We left our furniture, clothes, and relationships behind us.  I am now working three jobs at about 60hrs per week and He-Man matches those hours with only two jobs.  While it is a lot of hard work, we are doing quite well for ourselves and have even found ourselves in a new tax bracket.  That’s not bad for two, virtually uneducated twenty-somethings, even if I do say so myself.

There are several other things that I do need to update on here, such as the resolution of the Great Cake Debacle of 2014, but they will be saved for another post.  In the mean time, I will keep hoping that while I was gone, I had not been forgotten by my few, lovely readers.

Take care,
Claire

PSA: I am no longer afraid of fondant.

Standard

That’s right, folks!  I have conquered my fear once and for all.  I don’t suppose that it was much of a fear, now that I think about it.  After all, who in their right mind could live in fear of something as delicious as fondant?!

Still, this sticky, white icing that comes in the form of dough is something that has stymied my baking for almost two years.  The first time I tried to make it, my confidence got the best of me.  I had just finished up the “perfect” batch of the sweet stuff and was about to transfer it to my cake when it sloughed off the rolling pin and on to the floor.  I was heartbroken and I couldn’t imagine what I had done wrong.  I followed all the steps, you know, and it was from that day forward that I lived in fear of having to use fondant.

Until today.  Today I decided to come to terms with this rather irrational intimidation so that the ghost-fondant of my past will not come to haunt me when I make He-Man and Nam-Eh’s birthday cake.  I chose to do some extra homework this go-around and I found some wonderful resources that I would like to share with you.

Image

This is an old-fashioned applesauce cake which was covered in home-made buttercream icing and topped off with some not-so-scary marshmallow fondant.  Click on the aforementioned components to see where I figured out how to make them.  I must commend the maker of the marshmallow fondant tutorial.  Not only did she make it look very easy from start to finish, but she is also has tutorials for some of the coolest gluten-free food I’ve ever seen! (Seriously, you’ve got to see her recipe for a cauliflower pizza crust!)

By this point, you might be thinking to yourself, “Why is this a PSA? This is just rambling about some stupid cake and irrational fear if icing,” to which I answer: because you should be afraid.  Now that I have wrestled one of my demons, there is nothing to stop me from attempting more and more recipes that call for fondant.  Not to mention the fact that I still have TONS of fondant and buttercream waiting for me in the fridge.  Does anyone have a suggestion for what I should try next?  Does anyone have any irrational baking fears?

Until next time,
Claire – Fondant Slayer

BMO: A Cake Walk

Standard

He-Man’s birthday is coming up (yay!) and to celebrate we are going to his hometown of Tampa.  As you may or may not know, He-Man and his twin, who we shall call Nam-Eh, have quite a thing for Adventure Time.  You could imagine my surprise when I found the link to this cake floating around on Pinterest.  “It’s perfect!” I thought.  While in Tampa, we will be having a little get together for the reciprocals and I have been charged with making the cake, among other things.  At first, I was all gung-ho about trying this out, but now I’m getting a little nervous.  I have a basic plan of action, though, if anyone would like to look it over for flaws.  After all, everything works well in theory.

Image

First of all, I will not be making tie-dye rainbow layers.  I will have six layers of cake in solid colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  Between the layers and under the fondant, He-Man has requested that the icing be chocolate, since we “have to” have white cake to add food coloring to.  Next, I will cover the stack of cake in a layer of fondant, which scares the bajeezus out of me.  I don’t have a good working relationship with fondant.  I hate it and it hates me back.  I will start with a large blob of white fondant, reserve about 1/10th of it, and color the rest with this lovely teal.  The reserved bit will be colored a softer teal, black, yellow, green, and red respectively.  These little pieces will be attached to the outer layer of fondant with royal icing.  Legs and hands will be formed out of the remaining, darker teal.

It’s all good in theory, right?  I do have a few questions that I would like to ask to anyone who has the least bit of baking experience.

1) Do you think that I should use wooden dowels to help stabilize the cake?  The idea has crossed my mind but I can’t say for sure whether or not it will be necessary until I get the cake into the air.  It shouldn’t be more than about 8”-10” tall, but the icing between the layers might cause it to be slippery.

2) What is your recipe for fondant?  There are possibilities all over Pinterest but I want something tried-and-true that I can’t mess up.  If you have a favorite method for making fondant, please don’t keep it a secret from me!

3) Should I keep it in the refrigerator?  I want to make it the night before so that if anything goes wrong last-minute, I will have the time to fix it before the party.  The question is, will putting it in the refrigerator for 18-24hrs cause the fondant to dry out and crack?

If you can help me out, please do!  The trip is still a ways away and I will have pictures of the finished product up as soon as I have something to show but I am a planner.  Please help me get my game plan together now so that I can save myself some scrambling and anxiety later.

Thanks in advance,
Claire