Friday, November 6, 2009

My Best Cake Ever

So last year I planned a surprise birthday party for Burgundy. While planning, I employed my google-fu to find cake ideas for Burgundy. At one point, Satan prompted me to google "DIY Guitar Hero Cake." I can't imagine how else it would occur to me to type those exact words, for which this is the second entry. The moment I saw the cake, I knew that, a) I had no choice but to make the cake, and b) it was gonna be easy-peasy. Quit laughing.

So while dropping Burgundy off at Tabby's house Friday evening, I used a big piece of paper that Tabby had lying about to trace the outline of her husband's Guitar Hero guitar. Then I went to Michaels and bought fondant. And then I went home and set to work.

The immediate and brutal fallout from the inaccuracy of assumption b immediately went to war with the fundamental truth and reality of assumption a. In other words, this cake was a stinging, vicious, 8th-grade-girl bitch to make, and I still had no choice but to finish it.

I used three boxed double chocolate fudge cake mixes (cakes from scratch are all fine and good, but I only had about 18 hours to make the cake, and I needed to sleep, too!) and four tubs of double chocolate fudge icing.

I baked the first two cakes, then used the guitar shape I had traced to cut around the cakes. I iced and layered them, and on the 7th day I rested.

At this point, I realized that I could not use the detritus from cakes one and two to form the neck and head. Off to Kroger I went, where I picked up more cake and an extra couple of icing tubs just in case.

I baked the third cake, and from it I cut the neck and the head. I added a layer of boards next to the guitar on the cake board (in fact a leaf from our dining room table covered in aluminum foil) upon which the neck could rest. I did this for two reasons. First, everyone knows that the neck is not as thick as the guitar. This thing had to ring of reality! Second, I did not have enough third cake to make a two-layer neck AND head, and I could feel my insides threatening to explode at the possibility of baking cake number 4.

I put down the neck and head, iced them, and made yet another trip to Micheal's as I realized that at noon the day of the party, I did not have time to make an extra batch of chocolate fondant and dye it black for the neck, head, and accents. I bought a box of fondant with black, brown, tan and "skin-tone pink" fondant. An aside: The picture on the box showed a cake decorated with faces in brown, tan, and pink, all with black hair. So how come the brown and tan weren't marked "skin-tone brown" and "skin-tone tan"? Grumble.

Made it home and realized I had nowhere near enough black fondant to make a black neck, head, and decorations. I decided that the neck could damn well be made of wood because I needed a nap. So I used brown for the neck and black for everything else. Then I dyed bits of the remaining white fondant bright rainbow colors for the "buttons" on the neck. I used leftover black to make the knobs on the head, and then I made the knobs for the guitar and used a lollipop stick covered in aluminum foil to make the whammy bar.

I dusted the white portion of the guitar with edible pearl dust to make it shimmer like a real guitar, then I mixed more pearl dust with lemon juice and painted it onto all the black parts. That made them actually shine under the light instead of lightly shimmering. The results:

More pictures from the birthday can be found here.

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