Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cake FAIL

Many of you know I share the good and the bad on this little ‘ol blog. I have shared my house at it’s worst, as well as many projects I deem “science fairs” (translation = they don’t go well).

Well this one is in the science fair category for sure.

One of the many things I love about blogging is that I will now try things that I may have never attempted, because if it turns out I’ll want to share it with you all. And if it doesn’t turn out, I’ll want to share it with you all.  ;)

Let’s preface the rest of this post by saying I have baked a cake before. Many. You may not believe me after I show you this, but I cross-my-heart-swear I have.

Swear.

OK, a few weeks ago, someone on twitter sent along a picture of one of the cutest cakes I’ve ever seen – I can’t remember for the life of me where I saw it, but it was an ADORABLE Fourth of July flag cake. Not the regular sheet cake, but one that looks all boring with white icing and then PADOW!, you cut into it and there’s this gorgeous American flag cake.

Adorable.

So I’ve planned for weeks to try this out. And today I did.

And it:

a.) took FOREVER

b.) did not look like the picture

c.) like really, really did not look like the picture

d.) still tasted really good. :)

I figured I was going to have issues when I added the food coloring to the batter:

I needed some of the batter to be red for the red stripes, some white, and some blue for the blue corner of the “flag.”

Ummm…that batter up there? It’s not red. It’s pink. Maybe coral? Not red.

I added a little gel food coloring, then more, then a lot. Still coraly pink. Ohhhhkay.

I trudged on…and it was just one thing after the other. I learned some things this first time around so next year (oh yes, I will try it again!) I’ll remember them.

First tip is to just make all of the cake batter at ONE time, then segment it into five equal parts batter for all of the stripes. You can then color each batch whatever color you need, instead of making separate batches and coloring them as you go.

I did the red pink batter first and baked those cakes. Then I was going to make the white stripes, and put some of the batter aside to make the blue cake I needed. But I lost my mind for a few seconds and put the blue coloring in before I separate them – and then tried to get it out before I mixed it.

It didn’t work.

Hot mess. HOT.

I ran out of cake mix (oh yes, I used box mix!) and found a white Christmas cake mix in the pantry that didn’t expire till next February – SCORE!! I used that for the white layers I needed.

But it was still just a mess. I got whipped icing cause I LOVE WHIPPED ICING and it did not cover the cake well at all – I mean, seriously. Are you kidding me?

I just said forget it, garnished it with some stinkin’ fruit, and from the outside it looked OK:

OK, it was a hot mess. Just humor me.

But when you cut it open, the fruit on top accentuates the clash of the blue/aqua and red/coral/pink:

american flag cake

Awesome.

In the original cake I saw, there were two bottom layers of red and white, then two smaller white and red layers on top next to the blue. I didn’t have room for the top white layer. So my flag is red, white, red. Gah.

To make the flag, the bottom layers are just round cakes. The blue corner is a layer of cake, cut into a ring and placed on top of the other two. The middle two layers (what should be two layers) are the inside circle of two additional cakes. You ice between layers and then piece them together.

It’s just that easy.  :)

When hubby saw it today he was so excited I had made cake!

Then I asked, did you see it, the inside? Do you like it?

“Yeah it’s cute!” (He says just seeing the fruit and white icing. From far away.)

“See the flag inside?”

He steps closer.

“The what?”

“The FLAG.  See the three layers of pink, white, pink and the aqua? It’s an American flag!”

Crickets.

 “Ohhh, yeah. I see it! It’s cute!” (LYING. Because he loves me. And he still wants a slice of cake.)

I must say, the leaning tower of pink and aqua cake is absolutely scrumptious:

It’s not so pretty but ummm umm it’s GOOD!! :)

I have a ton of cake scraps left:

022

(Uh, is it me, or does it look NEON?)

So tonight I made some itty bitty trifles:

mini trifle

The cutey itty bitty trifle bowls courtesy of WalMart -- $2 each!

Again, I continue to accentuate the pastel tone of the cake with the fruit, but you know what? It’s GOOD! :)

So there you have it – my science fair cake fail. But what do you consider a cake fail – if it looks like a hot mess, or if it tastes like a hot mess?

Maybe it’s not a complete fail? Just a half-way one? I’m going with that.  :)

I’ll be back soon with an update on the kitchen! Kitchen projects I’m pretty good at. Fourth of July cakes – notsomuch.

 

P.S. The cake was from a blog with the title that was something like 18 and baking, or something like that? If you know of it, let me know! :)

**Thanks! I found it! Click here – this girl is ahhhmazing!!

P.P.S. Many are suggesting gel food coloring and that’s what I used – maybe the whole tube just isn’t enough?  ;) I have no clue – any other ideas?

This post brought to you by:

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