181. Not a Piece of Cake

We’re t-minus one hour until I leave work and head over to the Congress Hotel to check-in at the Healthy Living Summit.  I am so excited (and insanely nervous as of this morning!) to get to meet so many wonderful healthy living bloggers this weekend. 

It’s been an incredibly busy week and the weekend certainly won’t be slowing down any time soon!  Most of my busyness was pretty mundane stuff: making phone calls, laundry and packing, dinner dates with friends, the usual things that keep a gal busy.  There was, however, one thing worth posting about.

Wednesday night after I made my pad thai, I started on Operation Birthday Cake (Those who follow me on twitter got to live the action in real time!).  A friend of mine is having a birthday BBQ on Sunday, and I told him I would bring cake.  I decided to go the whole nine yards and make a decorated shaped cake.  My mom taught me a few years ago, and I enjoy cake decorating a great deal – except this time.  This time most of the things that could go wrong, did go wrong. 

I didn’t grease the pan well enough so the cake stuck.  It came out in two giant pieces with most of the top layer still stuck to the pan.  If you’ve never done a decorated character cake before, the top layer is pretty much the most important part since that’s where all the details are.  Without it you’re pretty much guessing based on the pan and/ or picture.  I didn’t really have time to make a new cake especially since the second cake would have to be made from scratch.  (Confession: Yes, I used a cake mix.  I was in a time crunch.)

Once the cake finally cooled and I pieced it together as well as I possibly could, I made the frosting.  I used the icing recipes from the Wilton website.  First I made the chocolate buttercream icing.  Unfortunately, the icing came out a bit too thin.  It wasn’t a problem at first, but as the icing started to warm up from my hands, it got really difficult to work with.  I kept having to stop and put the icing in the fridge to stiffen up a bit.  I also ended up with way more icing than I needed.  Any creative ideas for what I can do with an extra cup and a half to two cups of chocolate icing?  After I finally finished with the chocolate, I made the classic buttercream icing. (I made sure I cut this recipe in half this time!)  I needed to dye the frosting dark brown, ivory, and green.  Of course, as soon as I went to do this I realized I hadn’t bought tooth picks.  Tooth picks are the easiest way to get the pasty dye mixed into the icing.  Luckily, about the time I was ready to start crying in frustration, I remembered I had some wooden kabob sticks in the pantry.  I used those instead.  Two disposable pastry bags, 4 different tips, one Ziploc bag, and two hours (not including baking and cooling time) late, I was finished!

While this cake was definitely not a piece of cake, in the end I came out with a pretty solid finished product.  It’s not my best work, but I’m happy with it given the circumstances.

Time to start wrapping things up and heading to the HLS, I’ll see you all soon!  I don’t have a laptop or netbook so I won’t be posting again until Sunday or Monday, but you can expect a full recap of my adventures!

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0 thoughts on “181. Not a Piece of Cake”

  1. I think it turned out great! If you hadn’t listed all the obstacles I bet no one would ever know.

    Have fun at HLS! Can’t wait to hear what you think about it.

    1. Thanks! I know I’m just being hyper critical because a) I’m a bit of a perfectionist and b) it would have turned out if things hadn’t gone awry. I know most people won’t notice & will really just be impressed with my ability to do it at all.

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