September 09, 2007

He's Just Too Pretty to Eat


Lightning McQueen was not at all what this cake was supposed to be. I had planned to make a plain rectangular cake that would be easy to cover with fondant as this was my first time using the stuff. But somewhere in the process I got carried away and decided I would make a car cake. Actually, I can pinpoint the exact point where I started to veer off my charted course. I was standing over my cake, looking at it quizzically when Dad walked in. The cake was supposed to be three layers but I am not the best at cutting in straight lines so it ended up being two and a half layers as the third one fell apart and I could only salvage half of it. Dad looked at the cake and cautiously asked me what I was making in the same way you would ask a three year old to tell you about their drawing so as not to offend them when you say they’ve drawn a beautiful horse and they say it’s actually a tractor. I replied that I wasn’t exactly sure. This gave Dad the green light to tell me that he thought it looked like a car. And you know what? It did. If I squinted really hard I could imagine a polished race car. Of course the end result was far from what I imagined, but it was still kind of cute.


Working with the fondant was tricky business, or more accurately, sticky business. Once you laid it down, changes were not to be made. And the more I worked it between my hands, the warmer and stickier it got. Also, the more red my hands got. The red dye was quite good at spreading itself everywhere but into the fondant. Actually rolling out and shaping the fondant wasn’t much easier. See, I often have lofty visions of what I think something should look like but I don’t have the ability to execute my visions. This leads to a lot of frustration on my part because of my poor memory which prevents me from remembering that my imagination exceeds my ability. In my head, I’m Duff Goldman. Reality disagrees.



As neat as fondant looks, I can’t say it stands up in the taste department. This pains me because that fondant exterior is hiding Dorie’s Dressy Chocolate Loaf cake and Chocolate Malt Buttercream icing. The cake and icing are rich, chocolaty and certainly worthy of being served on their own but can anything really compete with Lightning McQueen? Given the choice between a brown loaf cake or a jazzy red Lightning McQueen cake, it’s hard to pick the former. In order to satisfy both looks and taste, we enjoyed Lightning as long as possible and then peeled off the fondant exterior to reveal the cakey goodness inside. Some brave souls attempted to pick at the fondant but in the end I was left with a crumpled and deflated Lightning McQueen and not a crumb of Dorie’s cake. The final picture was just too sad to post, I want you to remember Lightning in all his glory, supported by cake and so those are the only pictures I’m sharing.



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27 comments:

slush said...

McQueeen is just too cute! And I admire you for tackling fondant. My middle boy turns 3 next weekend. I have dreams of making him the perfect Lightning McQueen cake. In reality, Im praying the sand castle bundt pan I ordered comes. Thats more my speed.

You should be proud, you did a great job! Move over Duff!

Peabody said...

Fondant is a fun one to deal with, often not wanting to cooperate.
You did an excellent job on that cake!

Truffle said...

Oh what a stunning creation! I'm sorry the fondant didn't live up to your expectations but at least you had a real gem hidden within.

Lydia said...

For all the time I spend watching Ace of Cakes (yes, I'm addicted), I've never had the urge to buy some fondant and try to cover a cake with it. Hooray for you for giving it a try -- Duff would be proud!

veron said...

I have not worked with fondant before but I can see you've done a fabulous job!

Mallow said...

That stuff sounds daunting, but your final product looks amazing! I can't believe he wasn't planned!

Christy said...

I am very impressed! I too an planning on trying a fondant type cake for my daughter's third birthday soon. I found a recipe for marshmallow fondant that is supposed to actually taste really good too...I can't find the link at the moment(I think it is at work).

Quellia said...

BEAUTIFUL!!
I will not show that to my 3 year old, in case he changes his mind about what I'm making for his cake next month!
And I too will be playing with fondant, wishing I were Duff and Geoff and had my own Mary Alice in my back pocket!

Mrs. Seat of her Pants said...

McQueen is just awesome!

A quick way to roll fondant over a shaped cake: go buy a regular clear shower curtain. Cut it down to a size that will hold all the fondant you need. Clean it and let it dry. Roll the fondant out onto the shower curtain then use the shower curtain to place it without it tearing, becoming sticky or stretching too far. You have to peel it off the shower curtain. Also, if you want cool looking patterns, buy the patterned ones.

Kristen said...

Oh too cute!
I tried fondant for my now 5 year olds 1st birthday. I ended up with a really cute cake, but everyone peeled the fondant off and ate the layers underneath, very similar to yours.

steph said...

that is really cute! you "saved" your cake into something way better--impressive! and i like how he's driving thru the desert. :)

Annie said...

That is so cute! I don't think I could ever be that creative. You did an amazing job!

Deborah said...

It sure looks like fun!! I've never worked with fondant before, but I think you did wonderful!

Tartelette said...

Yep, fondant is like the beautiful liar of pastry works. It looks beautiful, that's it...makes people all excited but then blah...I am glad there was a Dorie underneath to save the day!
Great job!

lynn said...

My kids are so impressed with your cake. Wonderful job with the fondant. I've never tried it and am impressed with how well yours turned out.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Just goes to tell you, mother was right: good looks can cover great evil . . . OH that's not right in this case. The clothes looked good but the inside was even better.
Well, anyway I really think Lighning McQueen looks great and I'm glad the inside was super good (that just Dorie).

Stephanie said...

Fondant is both a blessing and a curse.

And did you make your own, or purchase it? I know it used to taste foul, but the stuff I get from my baking supply store is much more palatable than it used to be. My very discerning in-laws liked it very much.

And I'm going to show this picture to Alex when he gets home tonight; he loves Lightning McQueen!

Andrea said...

Congrats! I think your Lightning McQueen is cute!

Hubs is in charge of decorating all the kids' birthday cakes, and he's planning a LM cake for our oldest in November (turning 5). Hubs tried out fondant for the first time in June and hated working with it, but we used a marshmallow fondant recipe we found online. Even if it was hard to work with, it had a somewhat better flavor than regular fondant.

JEP said...

My youngest grandson would love to look at this cake but probably not eat it :(

Mercedes said...

Ha, this is adorable. I agree about fondant- it tastes like paste, ick! I've been wanting to find a good alternative for coating petit fours, something that actually tastes good.

Ellie said...

Totally adorable! Pity about the taste, but its a bit of a treasure hunt, isn't it? You see the adorable cake, peel back the fondant and enjoy the treasure inside! :D

Joe said...

I'll echo the comments already posted - this looks excellent!

K & S said...

so cute!

Cynthia said...

And you know we can't have anything "...hiding Dorie’s Dressy Chocolate Loaf cake and Chocolate Malt Buttercream icing." :D

The Cooking Ninja said...

Beautiful car :) Sorry the fondant isn't edible. At least you have delicious chocolate cake underneath to eat :)

Amy said...

Oh my gosh that cake is toooooo cute! I love it!

Ivonne said...

That is one of the cutest things I've ever seen! It's almost too cute to eat.

I said almost.