Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Demand a Recount

I would think by now most people are aware that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but you may not know it is also National Reading Month and National Cake Decorating Month. I am sure it is probably ten or more other things, but today I am focusing on books and cake.

My kids' school does several activities in October to celebrate National Reading Month. There are several competitions like a trivia sheet, a book fair night at Barnes And Noble and my family's favorite, a book themed cake decorating contest.

This was the 4th year for the cake contest and of course the 4th time we have entered. Alex and Anna fight (imagine that) over what cake we should feature. One year I did a cake for each of them but now, I pick the book myself. It is just easier.

This year I was totally stumped (no pun intended). I turned to my trusted adviser (Google) and searched for book themed cake ideas. I found about 8 ideas and decided this one would be relatively easy to pull off yet had major WOW potential (that's how I roll).

Anna and I set to work to create our version of The Giving Tree. We made a 4 layer basic yellow cake then covered it in fondant. Anna helped me color the fondant and we left it a little under-mixed to give the wood, bark and leaves a true tree feeling. We made the apples out of giant cake balls covered in fondant as well. While I was pleasantly surprised with how the cake was turning out, it still looked a little dull to me. I remembered I had gold luster dust I had never used before so I decided to give it a try. I put several drops of liquid food coloring in a little medicine cup, added a dash of the luster dust, stirred and applied the mixture with a paint brush on a leaf. It was perfect. I painted the leaves in various colors then did the apples in red. Lastly I sprinkle a bit of the dust right over the apples. It was really fun to try something new. I had only used fondant a couple of times. I am not a fan of the taste but you can't beat the look of it.

The only part I am not thrilled with is the carving part. I considered cutting out the heart revealing the lighter wood beneath, but decided it wasn't worth the risk.

Here are the pictures of the other cakes from this year's contest.


As for the results – this year we took home second place behind Mr. Popper's Penguins. I am just grateful my kids weren't disappointed. This is such a fun contest for everyone and in the end all the students get to eat the cakes with lunch, so really they all win.

2 comments:

Greg said...

That's a respectable showing. Your cake and the winner are clearly the best 2. A lot of times, they are reluctant to give someone first place 2 years in a row. So, that may have been a factor (assuming the judging wasn't "blind").

Going into my Food Network Challenge judge mode, your cake looks cleaner and probably involved more technique. Judging from the pictures, the penguin cake has more size and whimsy going for it.

A bunch of penguins are more "fun" than a tree stump no matter how well-done the tree-stump may be.

We need to get Kerry Vincent in here!

Sandy said...

That is an amazing cake. I love it! Great job Sarah!