Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spidey- Take 2

I did do that Spiderman cake over again this past weekend, and although it's not EXACTLY as I would have liked to do it, I'm still happy with the results. I realized that high humidity and heat really taking it's toll on my fondant covered cakes. This is going to be a huge problem since I have three HUGE events this weekend- all involving lots and lots of fondant!

With Spidey, my sculpted figure was not coming out well at all. The fondant was too soft to hold its form and the more tylose and sugar I tried to add, the harder it was to sculpt him. I also had to paint it, and with the stickiness from the humidity that wasn't going to happen. I opted to just go with a candle for the topper, and call it a day. I felt like I was cheating, but this was ANOTHER free cake for them, and I didn't want to risk giving him a wonky, melted Spiderman on top of this cake.

The city scape I wanted to create along the bottom of the cake was not coming out straight at all. I couldn't pipe the yellow windows or the stars or sponge on dark clouds. I wanted to spray on a hazy full moon....None of that was happening. My fondant was sweating and getting stickier by the minute. I knew I had to improvise. So, I cut out gray buildings, finally getting to use this brick impression mat my ex gave me on our first Xmas together. It was way off scale, but I like the cartoonish, exaggerated style. I even made them uneven and crooked just to magnify how imperfect they were supposed to be. Instead of piping on stars or the moon, I used gold dragees instead. I think the affect was nice. Not how I envisioned it originally, but nice enough.

The longer I worked on this cake, the more difficult the fondant was to handle. By the time I got to the topper, the red fondant was ripping and cracking. I had to change up my plan again. I cut out a circle for the very top, and covered the sides with the brick impressed fondant. I had thought I would be able to pipe out webbing in royal icing- the very top starting at the top tier, and the bottom landing on the bottom tier in a 3D-like effect. As wet as the fondant was getting and as soft as my cake was becoming, I knew I was headed for disaster if I went that route. I piped webbing at the very top with regular buttercream and called it a day. I surrounded the top tier's base  with stars to add a little color, and I had to step back and leave it be.

Another lesson I've learned in my years of cake decorating; once your materials are compromised, it's best to handle it as little as possible. You can only do more damage trying to make it do what it's obviously refusing to. Know what can be fixed, realize what cannot, and leave it be. I delivered the cake. They seemed to like it a lot. And that was it. These people had the balls to call me so they could bitch me out for an hour about what happened to the first cake. But, they couldn't shoot me a text, letting me how they liked the second cake. Not even a thank you. Just goes to show;- you can't expect much from people.

Anyway, I feel as though my Cake Karma is cleansed. I feel that I more than made up for my goof. I think I did right by this little boy. Whether or not these people are appreciative is out of my hands. Like the sweaty fondant, I just have to leave it be and walk away. I did my best, and I'm satisfied knowing I tried hard to do the right thing at the end of the day.

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