Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Surprisingly Sane"

That's how Daddy described Mam's birthday cake this year. "Compared to the castle???" he said. Well, O.K. I guess it probably seemed that way. No matter that I ended up using 6 boxes of cake mix. Seriously. I do the most ridiculous things. I made this cake twice...in part because my first cake slid off the cooling rack and had an unfortunate encounter with the countertop. In part because I decided I just didn't like what I'd created, even if I could fix the damage with frosting.

This year, Mam requested a "rainbow party", which naturally leads to a rainbow cake. How very simple! But if anyone can figure out how to make it complicated, that'd be me. So let's start here...That is a 16" round pan, which hits each side of my oven when I slide it in. And yes, that's the cake in there in all its rainbow-y glory. I split the batter from 3 white cakes into 6 and colored each one differently. Then I put each one into a Ziploc bag and "piped" them in circles...as fast as I could so the batter didn't spread too much. When it was cooked, it didn't look nearly as colorful.The whole plan here was to bake this giant circle, cut it into two semi circles and the put them together to make the cake. And, if you do the batter this way, you end up with a cake that looks just like a rainbow. I made this all up...but I'm sure I'm far from inventing the idea.You can also see that despite the browning on the outside of the cake, the colors inside were still really bright and awesome...as long as you can stomach artificial color anyway. So, the next step was to create a base and it seemed like sky blue would be the appropriate color. This is the "crumb coat" so it doesn't look pretty.Then, of course, I had to turn this into a non-crumby rainbow. I started Thursday night with the colors, but there was clearly a little problem with the structural integrity of this cake.I always consult with Daddy on these matters because I'm usually baffled by cake engineering issues. We managed to prop it up a little and put it right back in the fridge to firm up...on a board at a significant slant. It was better the next day, but the slanted board remained...all the way through the party. I managed to finish up the colors on Friday night after the kids went to bed. It was starting to look pretty good.Unlike her underwhelmed reaction to the castle cake, Mam saw this cake in the morning and said "Is that my cake???" as if she couldn't believe her good fortune.I waited until Saturday morning, before the party to add clouds. I used the bits I'd trimmed off the cake as "landscaping" for the clouds. You have to understand, that this is much scaled down from my original plan of somehow fashioning a pot of gold out of cake. I really wanted to do that and have a cloud at the other end of the rainbow, but with time running short and my ideas for making said pot running thin, I decided a rainbow on a cloud would have to do. Having just started a new cake decorating class at a cake decorating supply store meant that I found a couple of cute little leprechauns to stick in there too.Turns out, clouds require a lot of frosting. I ended up sending Daddy to the store for more sugar at the last minute. Yikes! Still. I was pretty proud of my rainbow cake, despite the carefully disguised listing to one side.It also made a lovely centerpiece on the party table.Of course, no rainbow cake is complete without rainbow birthday candles, right?And wouldn't you know it? This one turned out to be rainbows through and through...almost like I'd planned it that way or something...So, what do you think? Surprisingly sane??

6 comments:

Cammi said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS. JUDY AND I ARE SITTING HERE WITH OUR MOUTHS HANGING OPEN. I MEAN, SERIOUSLY. THAT IS INSANE! I LLLLLOOOOOVVVVVEEEEE IT. I THINK I MUST HIRE YOU FOR A "WELCOME HOME" CAKE WHEN WE RETURN!

THE DETAILS ARE AMAZING...THE CLOUDS! THE LEPRECHAUNS! THE FACT THAT IT IS UPRIGHT! THE PERFECT LINES OF THE RAINBOW. MY GOODNESS! WHAT A LUCKY BIRTHDAY GIRL! (and a lucky girl to have such an awesome mom!!)

Please tell me you watch ACE OF CAKES of the food network channel. You could seriously work there.

Miss you guys!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAM! You are looking like such a big girl!!

Calibelle said...

One word...Awesome.

Oh...and, yeah, I still wanna be a Ryder when I grow up.

Judy Stohl said...

You are amazing with those cakes!! Can we order one when we get home? Mam is growing up so fast - what a cutie!!

Jodie said...

Another beautiful cake.

Queen Bee said...

Awww, it's so gorgeous!!! Where were you when I was a little girl and lived my life *AS* Dorothy for 2 years? Oh well...yeah...I guess you were a little girl then too! Anyway, your cake turned out beautifully and it looks like the party was an adorable little event as well! Happy Birthday sweet girl!!

mommieN. said...

Once again, you've outdone yourself. I think this is even more of an accomplishment than the castle cake, because of all the ingenuity that went into it! Colored batter, that's fabulous! I love how the frosting makes such an impact moreso with the color than the shape.

I sure hope you do some sort of photo-book with all these cakes -- your kids will LOVE showing them to people someday. "Look what my mom made for me on THIS birthday!"

I'd be inspired, but I'm humbled instead!