Let's just get this out of the way, I will never be on Ace of Cakes. In fact, in the completion of this challenge, I probably committed a minimum of ten violations of the code of cake ethics. Beginning with the fact that I used a mix, extending to the fact that I bought pre-made frosting, and probably topped off by the fact that I did not successfully frost without the presence of crumbs.
Here is how this began. My amazing husband and I have been married for seven years. We decided to have a few friends over for a pig roast to celebrate our completion of those years. Seven years that included some of the most beautiful miracles, and the most painful losses. We thought a party was well deserved. I thought it would be fun to bake a wedding cake. I knew I wouldn't be able to recreate the one we enjoyed on our wedding day, but I thought I'd create something equally memorable (even if it were for all the wrong reasons). Side note: I completely forgot to get my husband an anniversary card. I am still hoping that the labor I put into this cake will count for something.
So, how does someone who has never made a three-tiered cake before begin to understand the inner workings of cake construction? The world wide web, of course. Thank God for this amazing resource! I studied a few different methods before embarking on this challenge, and felt prepared. Michael's craft store has an entire section devoted to cake making and decorating that I made good use of. My purchases included three different sized cake pans, a special tool for levelling the cake before layering it, cardboard to separate the tiers, and two 4.5 lb buckets of butter cream frosting. Did you get that? A total of 9 pounds of frosting went into the construction of this cake. This is both beautiful, and disgusting.
After stocking up at Michael's, I made the split second decision to stop at the grocery store, and rather than purchase the ingredients to make the cake from scratch, I bought boxes of Duncan Hines. Six boxes of Duncan Hines cake mix, to be exact. Here's my justification, I have made cakes from scratch before. I have made frosting from scratch before. I have hastily frosted said cakes, and left them in the pan for consumption. This challenge was less about the baking, and more about the construction. So, mixes and prepackaged frosting it would have to be.
Making a cake of this size is a multi-day procedure. I broke it up like this, I baked one day, frosted and built the next, and refrigerated until the party/unveiling. After spending three days with a cake, the last thing you want to do is eat it. This is the basis of my new diet plan. I am going to spend days and days with my food, and then perhaps I won't want to eat it so much. What I'm saying is, I didn't actually taste the cake ever, but I'll have to take the word of my nearest and dearest, apparently it was tasty. Again, this was not my chief concern.
I am the most annoying type of perfectionist. I like the idea of perfection. I would love to aspire to perfection. I am often hard on myself for falling quite short of perfection. However, I am far to lazy to put the effort in, and I know this about myself. Therapy is in progress to tackle this ever important and consistently emerging issue, but it was in full effect during the cake construction. While I meticulously followed the directions of frosting and stacking the layers, I was having crumb problems. I have the same problem with butter. I always am dragging the crumbs back and forth. Instead of taking a break and researching how to make my frosting crumb free, I kept my eye on the prize and frosted away. Once the three tiers were in place and I stood back and looked at my work, I told myself the truth. That. cake. is. ugly.
Without even a second thought, I grabbed the keys and drove to Michael's for embellishments. Since it was a Hawaaiin themed party I found the most Hawaaiin looking fake flowers and a little Hawaaiin bride and groom. When I arrived at home, I made quick work of magic-ing up some fine looking embellishments mostly in an effort to hide the ugliness of the cake. The result... hilarious:
Remember that I said that people thought it was delicious (many thanks to Duncan Hines, and the Butter cream frosting manufacturers). Luckily, I had nothing to do with the pig. Because the pig, was nothing short of amazing on all counts. And because I had nothing to do with making it... I ate a lot of it... and it was tasty!
Next week, I am going to make a complete and total rear end of myself at laughter yoga.