Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fun with Birthday Cake!

This past weekend was Small Child's birthday, and if any of you know him, you know he is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. Not "fond of." Not "has a casual interest in." He is obsessed. And because of my newfound fascination with Pinterest (I blame my sister), I decided to make a cake for him. This isn't that outrageous to imagine, except for the fact that I don't get along well with the stove, or the microwave, or the kitchen in general. And in case you don't fully understand, let me reiterate with something my child has been saying a lot lately,

"This is a big deal!"

Surprisingly, the cake itself turned out fine. It wasn't until I got to the decorations that things went wrong. You see, the original post said to use melted chocolate for the cave and tree trunk. I figured I had chocolate chips at home. They would work.

So wrong.

On the first attempt, I used the microwave and burned the chips. On the second attempt, I added milk and came up with a fairly decent cave. Great! Now, on to the tree. On the third attempt, I added too much milk. And on the fourth attempt, I tried the oven instead of the microwave and once again burned the chips. At that point, I gave up and used icing for the tree.

Ah, the icing. Unfortunately, the icing tubes I bought were too big for the decorating tips I had. That's where the creativity and sticky tack came in. Use your imagination here as there is no photographic evidence. But as for the actual cake, here it is:

Despite a few setbacks, I think it turned out pretty decent. It only leans to the left a little, but hey, the Island of Sodor is full of mountains, and mountains are anything but level. Right?


T. James said...

I really like it. Do you do commissions, with an international helicopter delivery service? No? shame. :)

Matthew said...

I think you did an outstanding job.

Melting chocolate chips is tricky because they have a fairly quick transition from "not yet melted" to "melted" to "burned." You almost have to stop them about 2/3-melted and stir slowly to finish melting the rest.

And once they're melted and beginning to set, they do so fairly quickly.

I think switching to frosting was a great idea. That's the beauty of creating these kinds of things. And while I can cook, I'm lousy at decorating although I have a friend who's a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef so I have plenty to feel jealous of - such as when she brought over Belgian chocolate truffles she had "whipped up" and my own more modest truffles sat forlorn and mostly untouched :)

So having seen plenty of nicely decorated things (that I can't do), I will say that you creation is definitely one of those things and you have every reason to feel proud of it.

Falcata Times said...

LOL, you've done a cracking job. Part of the problem is figuring out solutions. So far I worked out how to make a fort, how to make a Thomas the Tank Engine Train, A Pirate ship (I had two idea's for this, a mini armada where every kid gets a ship and a big one that required masts etc.) I have a lot of fun working out how to execute and my Mum's pretty good at decorating, so it could well be a split job if we ever do it.

KrysteyBelle said...

LOL I'd have to figure out how to shave about 2 hours off of decorating time first. Then, ya know, have access to a helicopter. =)

KrysteyBelle said...

Thank you very much. Next time, I'll have to experiment with baker's chocolate. See if that's any better.

KrysteyBelle said...

Sounds awesome! I have to say my mom did help me with this one. While I was failing with the chocolate chips, she colored the icing and spread that on. The decorations were all me though.

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