…the web, NYC, the obvious…baking and some cows…

Archive for September, 2007


Saturday, September 15th, 2007

It’s Hello Kitty Bubble Bath!

Now Rubber Ducky has someone to keep him company.

Adventures in Cake Decoration

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I often cooked sweets with my grandmothers as a child—pull taffy, baked custard, fudge, cakes, cookies—but I wouldn’t call myself any kind of expert on baking or cake decoration. So when I was tasked with making cakes for two birthday parties this weekend, I was not sure what would result.

I do usually bake cupcakes for July 4th every year. They’re always chocolate with vanilla icing, decorated with red and blue sprinkles or candies. Pretty simple… Slap a little icing on each one, sprinkle liberally with something like mini M&Ms in patriotic colors.

Cake #1

My friend’s girlfriend planned a loosely themed Formula 1 party for his 40th birthday. We were to dine at a French restaurant called Pit Stop, then to a bar for drinks and cake. And guess who got to make that cake?

A race track cake seemed the way to go, a car seemed way too complicated. I looked at some track pictures, found some cakes online, and eventually decided the easiest thing to do was a curve of track with some cars on it.

I got everything together and baked the cake itself the night before, then started decorating it a few hours before the party.

First I wanted black icing, so I tried to create it from my chocolate. I added tons of blue food coloring, a little red, and stirred, added more, stirred… I came out with an icky shade of grayish brownish something that ended up still looking like chocolate. I remembered this would be served in a dimly lit bar and decided it would do.

I drew a guide on the pan and cake and iced my track.


Several minutes of shaking with green food coloring in a ziplock turned my coconut into nice, green grass.


I used Strawberry Creme Savers to line the track, rather than ice teeny red and white stripes.


It was a little difficult to find appropriate cars to use. Nothing I saw were exactly like Formula 1 cars, but Hot Wheels had a couple to fit my needs (the “Preying Menace” and the “Tire Fryer”).



The birthday boy seemed to like it!


Cake #2

The second cake had a rather different theme. This one was for a birthday/surgery. My friend is having knee surgery soon to repair or remove the medial meniscus in his right knee. He requested a “Farewell Meniscus” cake, and I got the job.

I baked the cake in an angel food pan, then cut it in half and pieced together to mimic the disk of cartilage it was meant to represent.


A little emergency reconstruction was involved in the center, but icing can fix anything. (Too bad that won’t work on the real thing!)


I’d picked up a toy syringe and reflex hammer when I got the cars, and those worked nicely into the meniscus. He’d wanted surgical tools, but I did what I could.


Some “blood” rounded it out. I tried to make it a little gross without being too icky.


“Bye Meniscus!” all lit up…


Happy Birthday!