Friday, February 27, 2009

Move out of the way, kids. Cake coming through!

Many of you know that, 5 years ago, I got bit by the "fair contest bug" and have been entering food contests at the L.A. County Fair ever since. It pays our way into the fair, we have won some fun prizes (including cash!), and I have been able to experiment with different recipes. However, the one contest that I have shied away from is the cake decorating contest. The cakes on display are AMAZING (well...they are amazing for the first week - after that, they start to look a little like this.) I always stand at the glass case and stare in awe at the carefully placed gumpaste flowers, flawless buttercream frosting, and fondant masterpieces. All of this helps to explain my excitement when this came home from school in my 5-year old's backpack.









A cake decorating contest for average moms like me? SIGN ME UP!


So, armed with fondant/buttercream recipes, a bag of supplies from Michael's, 3 cake pans, and 2 cake mixes (plus a bunch of other "baking stuff"), I went to work. I baked the cakes on Tuesday and prepared the fondant/assembled the cake on Wednesday. My kitchen was a DISASTER by midnight Wednesday night, and the fondant was much harder to work with than the recipe led me to believe, but the cake turned out pretty nice in the end.


Here is the aftermath of my baking frenzy (I think I'll be finding powdered suger in nooks and crannies for years to come)...




...and here is my apron. I even found a powdered sugar footprint in the hallway.



and...


(drumroll please...)




TA DA!!








I wasn't too thrilled with the yellowish buttercream next to the white fondant. I thought I had white shortening in the house, but all I had was the butter-flavored stuff. Erik tried to make me feel better by reminding me that gold was another patriotic color, but, although I appreciate his husbandly efforts, off-white is no gold. Oh well.


Thursday afternoon I rushed home from work and got everyone ready for the PTA program/contest. Erik dropped me off at the door to the school and I proudly carried my cake right up to the cake table.


Two cakes were already there.


And then a feeling of horror struck me.


...


It was a KIDS cake decorating contest.

...


Erik took a picture of the table while I took my red face as far away as I could get. Here are the three cakes all in a row.



1/2 way through the PTA program (and prior to the "judging"), Erik saved the day by sneaking to the table in the back, grabbing the cake, and whisking it off to the safety of our car. (Whew!) A couple of kids nearby were a little concerned, though. Erik overheard one say, "Hey! I think that guy is trying to steal one of the cakes!"


Lessons learned:

1. Don't assume anything. If there is anything non-specific on a flyer from school (go back up and look at it), ASK for clarification before spending two days making a cake.

2. Fondant is not my friend.

3. Buttercream IS my friend - it hides a multitude of fondant sins.

4. Don't assume anything, EVER.

31 comments:

Tricia McCorkle said...

Oh Camille, that was SOOOO funny! I laughed out loud!!!
And I TOTALLY understand how you could make that mistake...the flyer said nothing about it being a kids contest!!

Your cake was A-MA-ZING. Absolutely gorgeous! And now that you've practiced you can enter a cake at the fair next year. :)

(P.S. How did it taste?)

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA! I am seriously laughing out loud! You poor thing...that might even beat parents doing their kid's science projects for them, if you would have tried to say it was really Claire's!

I think you should go to the fair with this cake (well, not actually THIS cake, but you know what I mean) in September!

Thanks for the chuckle!
Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Camille, I laughed SO HARD!!!! Steve was in the other room and he demanded an explanation. He laughed too! :-) I can totally understand your excitement for the contest. You did a FANTASTIC job on that cake. Great work. I agree, now you are ready to go to the fair!

Jenn said...

Oh man, this is a new version of cake wrecks!! You made me laugh so hard today. Great cake by the way. How did it taste? I bet Clare was so proud of her mother. Maybe she can teach you how to read...or at least ask questions!! You are so great to share this with all of us moms who never ever make embarassing mistakes!!

Kimberly Whipps said...

See, THIS is why you needed to be blogging. It doesn't get much better than this!

Chedder Fish said...

Oh goodness! This was an awesome story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

I LOVE your cake! It's AWESOME for a first timer!!

Trina said...

Oh my word! LOL It really turned out pretty tho :)

Alysa said...

Everyone's right! It said nothing about being for kids! And with all of the PTA stuff in there, I would have thought it was for actual members OF the PTA (parents)!

edder said...

That's hilarious! hahahahaha....uour cake is/was gorgeous, though.

Bead Up said...

OMG - this one of those stories that you can only laugh at in RETROSPECT! BUT -- your cake looks AMAZING! You should be proud -- you put those kids to SHAME!

anna said...

Came over from a tweet of Cakewrecks. Oh man, that is completely awesome and something I would do. You must be a great sport.

tiddleywink said...

1. Your cake is beautiful!
2. This story made me laugh so hard, my eyes are tearing. With "PTA" and "membership card" strewn all over that flier, I never would have imagined that it was a kids' contest!
3. Hooray for cake "thieves" saving the day.

C. Beth said...

That is HILARIOUS!! What a fantastic cake, and what a fantastic story!

Heard about it from Jen at Cake Wrecks, who posted the link on Twitter. :)

Kristi Mantoni said...

Awesome story! And awesome cake too! I would have done the same thing. They really should have state that it was a kids contest. After all, doesn't the "P" in "PTA" stand for Parent?

MidnightCrafter said...

Oh my gosh... I can hardly wait to be THAT mom at my kids school. This was a precious LOL story - thanks!!!!
~angie
PS - the cake came out GREAT, and I agree with you on Fondant: Not Friendly

Jen said...

I came over from the cakewrecks twitter. I just have to say that the flyer is completely misleading! It talks about showing your PTA membership card right under the details about the cake - of course you would assume the contest was for parents! They need to be more specific!

CulinaryJen said...

Great story! Your cake looked awesome!

Lora said...

I found you from the Cake wrecks twitter. Hilarious story. I didn't see the punch line coming at all. Good job on the cake.

Lynette said...

Here via Jen's tweet (@cakewrecks)

How do you know the other moms didn't misinterpret the flier? Why would kids even be included?

When I was a kid (not THAT long ago), PTA was an adult organization. Kids weren't even invited to most meetings, let alone included in club activities. PTA meetings were for talking about the kids and what the parents wanted for the school, not providing fun for the kiddies.

happyduck1979 said...

ke wreck follower here- lovely cake! Sorry you did not win gold though...

Amanda Rickman said...

how sad! ha.
I just skimmed the first time but when I looked at your cake's competition, I thought "oh, how utterly sad...those other cakes are sad". That made me read again...WOW!

You and your husband make a good team.
I hate unclear directions. That was totally their fault.
Thnks for posting

JP said...

Here via cakewrecks too... absolutely love the story! :)

Jaime
denimdebutante.com

Mountain Mama said...

Are you sure that those other cakes weren't created by other parents?

Meredith said...

Like many others, I was directed here from Twitter... too, too funny. But I must say that your cake is absolutely stunning, and I happen to prefer the off-white buttercream - I think you'd find that you'd have too much white if it perfectly matched the fondant. But that's just my opinion.

Tara B. said...

another cake wrecky here, LOVE your story and your cake is beautiful. I'm glad I found this story today. Blessings.

Cuthbert Clan said...

i'm with mountain mama, who said those were cakes made by the kids? camille you rock :)

B-Jo said...

you're cake was beautiful and you would be surprised at what constitutes a win at a fair... been there done that, as for the contest, ya know, I might've left the cake and pointed out that they did not specify whom the contest was for, and you could always give the prize to you kids...

Anonymous said...

LOL...that really takes the cake...if you'll pardon the pun..

BEAUTIFUL cake, btw.

Anonymous said...

Too funny! I am laughing and crying!!!

Jenniffer said...

OMG! Funny story, but a really cute cake! Keep practicing, fondant gets easier to work with the more you use it!

-Jenniffer
http://cupadeecakes.blogspot.com

RuTemple said...

Anotehr Cake Wrecks witter follower here, laughing so hard it hurts so good!

Beautiful, gorgeous cake: you win your fondant badge!

On the buttercream; next time, as in, State Fair time because you totally rock and are Ready, maybe a little yellow food coloring to make it seriously Gold, going all the way?

Thank you, thank you.

And did you ever find out for sure, were the other cakes really done by kids, or by parents?