I had a cake to do last weekend. It’s taken me some time to get over whatever it was that happened that night, which is why I haven’t posted all week.
When I have a weekend cake project, I usually pull an all-nighter the Friday night. I work during the day, try to cut out a little early and then spend all evening baking and prepping, with the fondant and design work happening into the wee-hours. I make sure I have all my ingredients ready to go, all the supplies I’ll need purchased, and my game plan set for when I get home from the office Friday.
This cake was no different. I had a design. I had my stuff. I had my plan. The cake was to be a Lalaloopsy cake – the character, Crumbs Sugar Cookie. Her face, anyway. Crumbs has a very distinct hair-do. I would have been envious of this hair in the mid- to late-nineties, but at midnight on a Friday it was just, well, pissing me off. The plan was to form the ringlets out of RKT, cover them in butter cream, and then bright pink fondant. I was then going to affix them to the cake. The hair was going to be the show-stopper.
I managed to get to that part incident free. In fact, things were going much more smoothly than usual. The cake baked perfectly. The fondant rolled out smoothly. The chocolate design pieces set without so much as a ripple. Awesome. And then came that flippin’ hair.
I buy my RKT pre-made. I’d love to make my own, I really would. But when you’re pressed for time on a Friday night, it just makes more sense to be able to pull out a package of RKT then it does to start messing around with marshmallows. In our recent trip to see Galen, I reached for the brand-name RKT, and the ECBF encouraged me to instead pick up the much larger, more cost-efficient Galen-brand RKT. We know how I feel about store-brands from an earlier post on my Potato Chip Cookies. But I was swayed. He said whatever I didn’t use, the blonde and the brunette would gobble up. He was right. It made more sense. Or did it?
Nonetheless, there I was, frantically ripping the packages apart, trying to form these ringlets. It was now 2 am, and for whatever reason, this stuff was dry. Worse, it was lumpy. Really lumpy. I don’t know if I became delusional from too much coffee, or if I had simply lost all ability to see straight from lack of sleep, but I actually thought it looked good. Then the ECBF came into the kitchen and told me flat out, “you’re going to re-do that part, right?”. Oh.
Well I’d used up my perfectly pink tinted fondant. I had no more. I tried to get the colour just right again, but it kept coming out red. Yuck. The lumpy, ugly, but perfectly pink ringlets went into the trash, and at 3 am, I was still trying to get this stupid hair to cooperate with the plan.
Cut to an hour later and the hair, not perfect, was better, and I decided I had to try to cut my losses and get it on the cake. With the other bits of the design looking so good, I figured (wrongly?) that the hair didn’t matter so much. I popped it on there and went about straightening the kitchen and putting things away. The plan had not been foiled, just slightly set askew. As I was putting the last of the dishes into the dishwasher and wiping the counter I heard a distinct thud. It may as well been a cry for help from Crumbs herself, because I turned to look at the cake and not only had the somewhat less lumpy version of her hair slid off the cake and onto the counter, but the entire top end of the cake had collapsed onto itself. Ohmigod, I forgot to dowel it. In my repeated attempts to achieve the Texan ringlets of this insipid ragdoll, I had forgotten the most important structural feature of the cake. Are you freaking kidding me?
Now it’s 4 am. I have no more pink, red, or otherwise brightly coloured fondant left, there’s no time to make more and I have to figure out a way to jack up the side of this cake.
Lalaloopsy was a little lalatipsy. I didn’t get the side up to the same strength and beauty it had before the hair-tastrophe, but I managed to smooth it out a little. The dowels went in and the hair was re-applied. It’s too bad you can’t tease fondant, because she really needed a good blow-out with some volumizing spray.
The birthday girl, 7, thought it turned out pretty good. Mom was apologetic for my late night efforts, but extremely appreciative. So the pick up went ok. I hear it tasted pretty good (my top-secret pink-velvet recipe). and I know that if and when I am ever called upon again to recreate a giant ragdoll hair piece (fingers crossed I’m not), I will know what to do (and more importantly, what not to do – Galen, just fyi, we are in a fight).
P.S. That cake board was a fun project. Using spray adhesive, I attached scrapbook paper that matched Crumbs’ dress pattern (I thought it was a nice added design element), and then about a week before the cake was to be done, I used and let dry a food-safe spray lacquer. Just to be safe, I still set Crumbs down on a cake card. It might be just me but “food safe” and “lacquer” aren’t words I often use together in a sentence.