Sad cake is sad. Its hard to let go of a piece of yourself, especially if that piece is a delicious slice of yellow cake that is bound to be devoured.
This cake all started when I received one of Heidi Kenney's breakfast buddies. A cute little key chain with a cartoon breakfast food on it. The keychains are one of those 'collect them all' dealies with an annoying/addictive catch; you don't know which breakfast buddy you've bought until you open the box. This means that I have doubles of the waffles and STILL don't have a banana or a teapot. I was searching the web looking for the sad banana keychain when I came across Heidi's site with all her plushie toys. I doodled her sad cake plushie in my to-do list book to remind me to try making it as a real cake.
The project gave me an excuse to try yet another vanilla cake recipe seeing as I'm never 100% happy with most of the vanilla cakes that I come across. Sadly, I don't remember where I found the recipe seeing as I just wrote it out on a scrap piece of paper and forgot about it until now. I baked the cakes into two round 9 inch pans and they turned out great. Then I popped them in the freezer wrapped in plastic wrap until I was ready to use them.
The cake also gave me a reason to use my beloved kitchen aid which was a gift from my boyfriend this Christmas. Before this big red baby I used to whip, cream, and mix everything by hand while sitting watching TV (hey, it gets boring making whipped cream). It's especially helpful for the Italian meringue buttercream icing that I used to crumb coat the cake.
To make Italian meringue buttercream you have to first boil sugar and water to make a syrup that gets poured slowly into egg whites as they are being whipped. After the meringue has been mixed till cool and the inside of your kitchen aid is coated with hardened syrup, butter is whipped in. And by 'whipped in' I mean 'whipped while you glare at the soupy, buttery mess that is supposed to be icing'. This icing requires a little patience and also the knowledge that although it seems like its been mixing for 20 minutes - which it probably has been - the icing will eventually smooth out and come together.
After praying to the buttercream gods for a good fifteen minutes I had icing suitable to crumbcoat the cake with. The crumbcoat is helpful for two reasons: First, it creates a smooth, unified layer for the marshmallow fondant to go on. Secondly, icing tastes better than even the best fondant. A cake with only fondant on it is a cake that I wouldn't serve to anyone. Unless I really didn't like them, but then I'd be unlikely to offer them any cake at all.
Ta da! crumbcoat. Back into the freezer for the cake while I prepared the marshmallow fondant. Keeping the cake in the freezer between procedures helps keeps it firm so that that all the layers can go on smoothly.
I make my own marshmallow fondant not only because it tastes 100% better than store bought fondant but because its so fun to make. It's what kindergardeners dream of: a soft fluffy play-dough-ish dough that actually tastes good. You start with marshmallows and about tsp of water ...
Then you microwave the marshmallows until they are all gooey and melted. Stir them around with some food colouring to make a bright goo to add the icing sugar to. You want to make the marshmallows a brighter colour than you want the end result since you'll be adding icing sugar which softens the shade a bit.
The only thing left to do is knead icing sugar into the marshmallow until it becomes soild enough to roll out. I don't use an exact amount of icing sugar or marshmallows, I just keep mixing in the sugar until it stops sticking to every single surface I touch. I also don't wash my hands before taking photos so this might as well be a picture of my camera seeing as it has become one with the marshmallow coating.
I smoothed the rolled out fondant over the cake and then sliced squared of fondant to make a trim to match the ribbon trim used in the Heidi's plushie cake .
Then the sad face made with fondant eyes and coloured by food writer pens that are filled with food colouring. Can't you just feel his pain? A cake that knows his degestive-system fate.
Farewell little buddy, parting is such sweet sorrow. ...
.. mmm sweet sorrow.
All by his lonesome. I think this could be a cute graduation cake for someone leaving home to go to university. Give the little piece a graduation cap and voila! Or a goodbye/farewell/bon voyage cake where the slice has a little suitcase.
And now back to searching for my missing breakfast buddies.