"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monster Cake

Last weekend, we all managed to put together the most funnest birthday cake ever (so far).

Aurora's daughter Jaden wanted a monster party and found this picture on Flickr. We gave it our best shot, adapting it to our skill level. I think it turned out pretty great considering that we've never really worked with fondant or gumpaste before and had no idea what we were doing (well, Jeff and I did a fondant cake for Joey, but it didn't involve rolling it or anything).

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This was a huge collaborative effort.

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This second picture shows the stitches and brain a bit better.

My suggestion about learning to work with fondant is to start with a monster or halloween type cake. That way, when you screw up, it looks like you meant to. Or at least it's easier to hide and/or incorporate into your working theme. Like deciding to make the unfortunate seam in the fondant into a stitched up scar. I think that turned out pretty cool.

And here's a summary of the various components...
Who Did It and What It Was Made From
(aka Too Many Links to Pictures)
-Homemade Marshmallow Fondant (Joey and I made it from this recipe which is so much less nasty than the store bought fondant)
-Cake (Aurora and I made it from a red velvet box mix)
-Buttercream (Jeff made it from a recipe in Baking Illustrated.)
-Assembled and frosted (by me)
-Covered in homemade, purple fondant (by Allison and me)
-Lips (unprofessionally piped by me using buttercream)
-Teeth (formed out of gumpaste by Allison and the girls)
-Ears (formed out of gumpaste by Allison)
-Bow (formed out of store bought fondant by Kenzie and Joey)
-Horns (marbled and formed out of gumpaste by Allison)
-Stitches (piped with buttercream by Allison)
-Brain (formed out of store bought fondant and attached by me- This addition was Jeff's idea. My execution of his idea can be seen here and here and here and here and here- in case you're curious about how to make and attach a brain. Oh, and that mold I used, we bought it online from Educational Innovations Inc. which has some really great stuff. It also makes awesome Jell-O.)
-Eyeballs (made out of homemade fondant by Jenny, Aurora and Joey)
-Joey and Kenzie made the snails and worms.
-And Jenny helped put everything in just the right place.
-Aurora took lots of pictures and gave advice.

Notes
-If you attempt anything like this, use long, wooden skewers for attaching each and every piece (the brain was the only thing without toothpicks or skewers). Put the skewers into the pieces before you set them aside to dry. After they're completely dry, you can add them to the cake.
-The homemade fondant seems a bit softer than the store bought stuff so it doesn't work as well for things that need to stand up and have much form. (This also could have been because I added too much Crisco when making it, though.)
-For anything that really needs structure, use gumpaste. Apparently, it's inedible (according to a couple of sources on the internet), but it really sets up much sturdier than fondant.

Now whose birthday is next and what kind of cake do they want?

11 comments:

Mysti said...

That is just to cool! Fun and frustrating i'm sure! How did it taste is the big question... :~)

Wendy said...

Mysti, it wasn't too frustrating because we were all kind of laid back about the whole thing. We also didn't have unrealistic expectations concerning our ability to work with fondant. We expected disaster and when it worked out, we were pleasantly surprised. We took our time too (and some of us were drinking, so that helped).

And it tasted really good. The buttercream is such a fantastic recipe. I could eat spoonfuls of it. The homemade fondant was really sweet, but still much better than the store-bought stuff which just smelled toxic. I didn't eat any of that nastiness.

leslie said...

Love it... love the cake!!! Makes me wish I was closer to little neices and nephews so I could spoil them with something like this! Also... hung the marble suncatchers and took photos which are on my blog now...

Kathi D said...

Wow, what a great cake!

I watch Ace of Cakes and they make fondant and all the rest look so EASY. Liars!

christine said...

This is so awesome! Seriously, I can't stop staring at the pictures!

Wendy said...

I'm glad you all like it. It really was fun to do.

Kathi, I watch Ace of Cakes too. And everyone had to suffer through me mentioning them like 50 times during the construction of this cake. The one thing I picked up was how much physical support everything needed… always more than you think. And I didn’t feel bad using all the skewers because there’s a lot of wood in their cakes too. Also I think the main surface would have looked better (and been easier) had we used the store bought fondant, but man, that stuff was just way too foul to cover an entire cake with.

Seriously. Blech.

capello said...

omg, that is AWESOME!

Riimus Fungus said...

This is one of the coolest looking cakes I had EVER seen!

Cami said...

Fantastic! You all did an amazing job!

Felicia said...

That monster cake is fabulous :)

Penelope said...

That is the coolest cake, EVER! I'm definitely going to have to give that a try!