Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fabulously Girly

As I was working on simultaneously winning my Loving Wife and Mother of the Year Awards, snapping comments at my husband and making my poor daughters cry every time I told them to get out of the kitchen, I was making one of the cutest cakes I've ever had the opportunity to make.  A friend of mine asked me to make a cake for her daughter’s birthday party where she would be showing the newly released Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.  (If you thought Disney's High School Musical was finally over after 3 movies, you’re wrong, this new spin off just keeps it going and going and going and going)  I decided to go all out, because A) she’s my friend and B) what’s more fun than a pink and blingy cake?
It seems that I always put a little too much stress on myself during projects like this because I want them to be 100% perfect.  Even when the cake is for my family, I still want it to be just right, but when someone has actually commissioned it and is paying for it, it has to be that much better than perfect.  When I started working on the zebra stripes with two different kinds of fondant, I ran into some trouble.  (By the way, if you’re ever tempted to use Satin Ice Fondant, you’d better be a speed demon because it dries so fast that if you don’t have it on the cake in 30 seconds, it's too late.)  I had somehow created the most amazing texture of MM Fondant I’d ever had before and then I was adding in black Satin Ice zebra stripes.  I intended to roll it all together to make it look like one perfect sheet, like my friend does.  Her zebra stripes are always perfect and she once briefly explained how she accomplished the task.  I may have misunderstood her or it was too long ago to remember correctly or it was just that I was using the wrong fondant.
Of course, the black was drying almost as I was cutting it, and didn’t roll in well, but it still looked nice.  I tried heating it up a little with a heat gun to keep the flexibility but it just wasn't doing it for me.  The real trouble started when I attempted to drape it over the cake.  It just all crumbled and cracked and became a giant mess.  I smiled sweetly, took it off and said, “no big deal! I’ll just take it off and start it again.”  Did I mention that I made the whole thing in a dress and high heels too, just like when I cook and clean?
What really happened is that I asked my husband to wash his hands to help me peel it off and then I blurted out, “How the heck does Shanna do this?  Grrrr!  I hate not being the best at everything.”  My husband looked at me with a confused smile (probably wondering where his "thank you for helping" was), and I laughed at how ridiculous that statement sounded coming out of my mouth.  I was joking, of course, but there is a little something inside of me that desires to be at least as good as my friend.  Admitedly, I have a pretty fierce competitive streak.  I guess I’d better work on letting that go on certain things…but I can justify it slightly by telling myself that it spurs on others to be better, right?  Yes, that’s it!  It’s all for the greater good, me being best.  That makes total sense.  My being better than you is for your good!  However, this particular friend is my inspiration and shares my love for sarcasm, so really, how can I hate her?
The little setback actually didn’t stress me out as much as it normally would have, and I really like how the cake turned out.  I bought a gem making mold and some Isomalt sugar to pour in them.  Evidently ALL the top sugar artists use Isomalt! <insert extra snark here>  Anyway, who doesn’t want a bunch of edible bling on a cake?  Every cake is a learning experience and this one taught me about how to work with Isomalt and silocone molds.  (It also taught me to not mix brands of fondant!)
Here are some pictures of how Ashley Tisdale looks on a cake:
So, thanks to Disney for having another movie!  And thanks to Sarah for the idea for it.

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