For those of you who are still here with me this week, here's the Totoro cake. Isn't he freakin adorable?
I made the base out of Scotcheroos (Are you tired of hearing that word yet? 'Cause it's starting to sound all weird to me. Like when you repeat something over and over til it loses all meaning. And it had already started out fairly strange to begin with.) He's mostly just cake and buttercream. The ears are gumpaste and toothpicks. The whiskers are toothpicks colored with black gel food coloring. And his nose, eyes and mouth are royal icing.
Anyway, I made this bottom part and then Jeff made several chocolate cakes. Then I cut them into circles and layered them on the bottom with buttercream. Now here's the genius thing about using buttercream... it's all soft and easy to spread when you put it on, then you can put it in the fridge overnight (or just a couple of hours if you're really short on time) and it will totally firm up. This makes it so much easier to carve because, you know, the layers won't be all sliding around on you.
I had the cake all put together and carved and even had the crumb layer on. (Does everyone know about the crumb layer? That's another brilliant thing I've discovered within the last year or so. You frost the cake thinly and it's a total mess, but then you put it in the fridge and, just like magic, the buttercream hardens up and seals in all the irritating pieces of cake that want to keep working their way to the surface. And they're trapped. And you can spread another layer of buttercream on and it'll be crumb-free. And what's best is that you then get an extra layer of buttercream, which is so so yummy.)
I actually had that part done pretty early in the week. And he was just sitting there in the fridge waiting for the final, colored buttercream layer and decorations. It was at this point that the Catbus cake fell apart. And I totally lost all confidence in what I was doing.
So, Saturday morning, instead of sucking it up and giving it a shot, I caved and called my sister. She'd done last year's monkey cake and has nerves of steel. Mine, on the other hand, were shot. Because there are very few things as disheartening as watching a birthday cake fall apart about 14 hours before the party.
(Isadora wanted to help.)
Yes, Jenny saved the cake. And it was awesome. And she is my hero.
Totoro Party #1- Scotcheroo Recipe
Totoro Party #2- Dustbunnies
Totoro Party #3- Catbus
Fine Art from the Recycling Bin