I think it’s appropriate to follow-up a post about a caketastrophe with a few posts about my favourite cake successes to date. My next few posts will do just that.
A cake is usually prepared to acknowledge something special: an event, a celebration, a milestone, all of the above. I checked out Wikipedia to find out the origin of the wedding cake, and wasn’t too surprised to learn that it dates back to Roman times, but essentially the foundation of the wedding cake is superstition. I myself am a very superstitious person – I never sign my name in red ink (means you’ll forever be in debt) and I go absolutely nut-so if someone spills salt and doesn’t toss it over their shoulder. Maybe it’s this irrational belief system of mine that led me to cake-baking.
The cake I made for Judi’s retirement party was special for a lot of reasons. Her best friends at the office had lots to say about colour, design, and the decorative elements themselves. This was nearly a caketastrophe itself. I researched the gerbera daisy and the techniques to make it. I looked at a bunch of photos, went to a florist shop, and did online research to determine the best way to make the most realistic looking gerberas from fondant and gumpaste. I ordered a special cutter that I thought would give me the dimensions I wanted. I made the daisies themselves several days ahead of time so they could dry in the right form (the paper towel is to hold the petals up while the flowers dried):
Sadly, when the cake itself was done and I went to place the beloved daisy – it smashed into a million pieces. Gah. Luckily, very much unlike Mr. Toothy Shark, I had enough energy and endurance left in me to pull it together and make some more daisies at the last minute, saving the cake.
I did a variety of colours, all at the guidance and on the advice of her beloved coworkers. This really meant a lot to them. They even gave me a swatch of her favourite colour, so I could get the fondant just right.
This cake was a lot of fun to do, and it meant a lot to the people who were going to be eating it, so it meant a lot to me.
As a side note – when I was looking for a picture of this cake to post – I found a picture of Mr. Toothy Shark. My heart stopped. Photographic evidence exists. This is DESPITE my insistence that no cameras be allowed to document that…monstrosity. Part of me wanted to post the picture as a stark contrast to the beauty of the gerbera daisies, but the smarter, more practical, part of me knew that the internet is forever. I win this round Mr. Toothy Shark.