22 November 2005

A Real Turkey

If I had a day job, don't worry: I wouldn't quit it for cake decorating.

Tomorrow night, our class will be frosting a cake, transferring a pattern, and filling it in. Since I will be out of town, and since my Thanksgiving hosts have requested a carrot cake, I thought I'd give this project a try.

Before I started, I was missing a few things. First, I didn't have enough uncolored icing, so I decided to make a cream cheese version. The consistency was a disaster, so I fell back on last week's batch of practice frosting. I did the crumb coat, and then I piled it on thick, as I'd learned in class. But I didn't have enough to cover some of the thinner areas; some brown shows through.

I found a piece of leaf clip art and outlined it on waxed paper with some black gel. I turned the pattern over on top and pressed the black into the cake. It worked perfectly—and it was just about the only thing that did.

In haste, I turned yellow into orange with some red food coloring, then mixed a bunch of colors together for an icky brown. And then I began to draw. I don't have a lazy Susan, which made for a lot of starting and stopping. And I had a cheesecake baking, a mosaic in the workshop to finish grouting, and dinner to cook.

It didn't look so bad until I tried to write in green frosting. I'd made a mistake, and it stained the cake. I tried to recover it with whatever was left in a pastry bag, but it only made a bigger mess. I wound up inventing a few new patterns (accidentally, of course).

All I can say is that I'm grateful it's the Silver Palate carrot cake under all that nastiness; at the very least, it will taste terrific.

I guess the high point in all this—aside from the fact that I could, actually, fill the leaves pretty well (if rushed)—is that my daughter thinks it's really cool.

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