Friday, July 1, 2011

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men...

(... often go astray.)

This turned out to be not bad, despite my frustration levels and snappishness.  And Eric was great about it.

See, we again held our annual Mardi Gras in June party, which I posted about last year.  It's always a big hit, and the guest list keeps getting bigger and better.  This year, in addition to my traditional southern pecan pies, I decided to try my first ever topsy turvy cake, since I'd taken that class.

I knew I'd need practice.  Thing is, covering a styrofoam practice round with fondant is a lot easier than actual cake.  And with a topsy turvy cake, the tiers are cut with the sides angled inward.  Not easy.  But I want to be able to do cool cakes for my nephew's birthday and other events.  So this was my first, and we'll sort of consider it practice.

It started off well.  I chose red velvet, since it's Eric's favorite.

I piled up the layers into the two tiers, and cut 'em to shape.

So far so good.  Then I filled and crumbcoated them with a cream cheese frosting recipe I got from this blog.

And therein lies the problem.  Not the frosting or the recipe, because holy crow was it good!  The problem is that it's a very wet type of frosting.  And fondant just loves to absorb moisture.  So... yeah.  There I am trying to cover the cake with fondant I colored and rolled out nice and thin, and it's getting all wet and sticky while I'm trying to get it to lie smooth and flat.

Frustration makes me snippy.

And Eric was really so awesome.  He kept getting things for me, and taking trash away, and asking what he could do to help.  And I was kinda snarly.

See, this was my plan.

Nice sharp edges, which if you look at the cut, shaped, but uncovered cake, were successful at the time.  Feathers, beads, a mask.  And those squiggles were to be fleur de lis.


In the end, I fought through, and came up with this...

Not as smooth as I wanted, obviously, and I got too tired to do beads for the top tier too.  The fleur de lis were a little misjudged.  And it got kind of ... bulbous rather than sharp.  Well, I tried.  And it's not bad, I suppose, for a first attempt.  I am, I have to say, really happy with my gum paste mask and feathers.  This was the first time I ever made or used gum paste.  And I'm happy with the Mardi Gras beads around the bottom.

Just... I need practice.  I know that.  And never again will I do cream cheese frosting with fondant.

It was a hit anyway, friends wouldn't let me cut it until they took a sufficient number of photos.  And of course they devoured it.  We were left with this.

Don't worry, we ate it.  But what of the leftover cake, the parts I had to cut off to shape it?  No worries, those became red velvet cake pops!


Leave it to me to start with dessert first.  We did have crawfish too, I promise.  What's Mardi Gras without crawfish?

And etouffee, still my favorite food in the world.  It was such a hit last year that we ordered five pounds of tail meat this year instead of one.

Also devoured.

And drinks and platters, corn and potatoes.

In addition to the bubbles, balls, and sidewalk chalk we had for the kiddos...

... my friend Emilie pulled out her face painting kit.  There was one request for a tiger, though, so Emilie suggested I take that one.

He is my friend's son, and was hysterical.  He proceeded to run around the party roaring at everyone!

And to finish up, the photo I call "Aftermath of a Party."

Another success, in the end!


lilmamad said...

You are amazing! :) Everything looks like delicious and wonderful I'm jealous! :D And I hear you on getting snippy when things start going downhill.....! I'm glad Eric was a trooper!

Larissa said...

Ha, yeah, he really was a saint that week.

Amy W said...

Wow!!! Hey, I think the cake turned out great! And now you know what to do differently next time. :) My younger daughter saw the cake pops and was instantly hungry! LOL!

Larissa said...

Funny, they have the same effect on me!

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