Saturday, April 18, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

So my friend Beth says to me (she says), "We should take a cake decorating class."

"Oh, we totally should!!!"

She had recently purchased a cake decorating kit and was itchy to get some practice. I am always looking for an excuse to get out of my house. Seemed like a win.

But then we started looking at dates and schedules and decided we couldn't really make a multi-week commitment. I had taken a beginners course years ago, so we decided that we'd have a decorating day, armed only with what I remembered, what we could ascertain from the books I had saved from class, and any tutorials we could find on the interwebs. We are smart chickadees, and not entirely un-crafty - we could totally do this.

We figured the worst that would happen is that we'd end up eating an ugly cake.

We agreed that Beth would bake the cake and I would provide the frosting.

As I was awaiting her arrival, I made a batch of frosting and a batch of decorators icing. And I made an unexpected and completely accidental discovery. I have always liked wedding cake. I never knew why - seemed like it was just white cake with white frosting - which is fine and all, but just nothing I'd really go out of my way for. But wedding cake? Oooooh, I loved me some wedding cake. So today when I was preparing the frosting, I ran out of vanilla. I used all of the vanilla I had left in the frosting and there was none left for the decorators icing. On a whim I substituted almond. Just a little bit, not the full amount of flavoring that was called for.

And it tasted like everything I ever loved about wedding cakes. Awesome.

So Beth arrives with two beautiful from scratch layers of yummy chocolate cake.

And we realize that between us we have no food coloring or - more importantly - no decorators tips. I had books, and a practice board, and tons of parchment, but no tips.


This experiment was gonna be pretty futile without those tips. So we started right off with a road trip to the craft store.

We got back and set to work.

This is what our two layers slapped together looked like. For my Western PA friends - does this not resemble a ginormous gob?

Beth got right to work frosting the cake.

Lea helped for a little while. Here she is piping on a little bit of the border.

And here's Beth piping some flowers directly onto Lea's finger. Yummy!

Our border looked a little something like this. It didn't resemble anything in the book, but we thought it was kinda cool.

Next step was some little blue flowers. We were pretty darn impressed with ourselves at this point.

Next we added these pretty peach flowers. Not bad for a couple novices with no real instruction, eh?

But then it got weird.

We started looking through the book and found instructions for making a little piped icing clown. And here we were with some horrifyingly hilarious clown head pics that I had found in the basement with my cake decorating supplies.

We did what anyone would do, I'm sure.

We made a two-headed scary clown.

With a booty that wouldn't quit..

Why two heads?

I think, perhaps, the more pertinent question would be, why not?

Why a bodacious booty? Child please.

Of course Pink got in on the act... And perhaps the vodka provides a little explanation for the two-headed booty clown.

Seriously, ya'll, You should have seen the concentration Miss Beth put into that booty. Can you see how she even raised one foot in a saucy flirty fashion? Man, we had WAY too much fun with that clown... We pictured it just gossiping and laughing away with - um - itself. Probably on a princess phone. And then we sang a little "Going Steady" from "Bye Bye Birdie". Because it seemed like the right thing to do. Because, really, when is bursting into song NOT the right thing to do?

So, in conclusion:

Delicious cake? Check.
Excellent company? Check.
Extemporaneous Show Tunes? Check.
Scary (but delightfully so!) Two Headed Clowns? Check

Sounds like a good day to me.


Anita said...

What a hoot, not a fan of the clowns myself, but certainly sounds like a good time!

Tammy Howard said...

Oh, the clowns were definitely of the 'so bad it's good' variety!

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Okay, so I went through the whole cake decorating series at Michael's and learned one thing: I am NOT GOOD at it. However, I did make the clown thing. It was some of my best work. I wish I would have thought to add the second head. Might have made it all worthwhile.

And I thought you did a great job with your flowers!

Tammy Howard said...

It's not as easy as it looks, that's for darn sure!!! Beth has a friend who is getting married in a couple months and she didn't understand why the cake was going to be so expensive. Now she does.

Housewife Savant said...

At first glance I thought you'd kill me tales of carb delight (and being Starving Atkins; yea I died a little) but it was the nonsense and hilarity that really slayed.

Jennifer Juniper said...

I'm from Pittsburgh...and that was TOTALLY a gob!

I may have nightmares tonight from those clowns!

Denise said...

Long, long ago, I decorated cakes. It took a couple of Wilton cake decorating classes and even sold some. While I loved decorating the cakes, I HATED making and cleaning up all that greasy icing. If I had only known I that I should of had a Sous Chef!

And I totally know the answer to your riddle: Why two heads? Because everyone knows two heads are better than one!

Pam said...

This sounds like way more fun than taking a decorating class! Love the two headed clown (even though clowns kinda creep me out!).

Btw, lovin' the new blog design! Very nice! And have I thanked you for putting my button on your sidebar? If not, shame on me and thank you!!!!

Tammy Howard said...

Pam - Clowns are SO creepy! We were calling him Pennywise... Well, one of his heads, anyway.

The new design is just a little something to tide me over till I can get what I really want. And I know just what I really want...

You are so very welcome! I love having it there and can't wait to have one of my own to offer!

Pam said...

When you do get your own shiny new button, I will be one of the first to proudly display it on my blog. I can't wait to see what design you have in mind. Keep me posted!

Gibby said...

I laughed out loud when I got to the pick of the Effin vodka! Now, THAT is how you eat cake!

delilah said...

Okay, now I want cake. There is simply nothing better than cake.

But the clown heads would have to go.

delilah at