Friday, June 19, 2009

Up to My Elbows In Buttercreme

I should've known better than to take on cake decorating as a hobby. Combining sweet confectionary arts with my sedentary work and other sedentary hobbies is just asking for a bigger rear end. I spend most of my time at the computer, reading or scrapbooking (read: sitting). Why couldn't I like to hike or rollerblade or something? Nope. Not me. I like artistic pursuits, which includes decorating pastry in super sugary goodness.

At the moment, I have two cakes under construction at my house. As Instigator mentioned, this weekend is the Playkids Birthday Extravaganza. To go along with our Pirates & Princess theme, one is a chocolate pirate ship and the other is a vanilla tiara pull apart cupcake-cake. I can't complain because I volunteered to make the cakes. For one thing, the grocery store wanted $80 for the pirate ship and $32 for the tiara cake and that's just crazy. Second, like baking and decorating. It's fun. I'd like to think I'm fairly good at it. It also has the potential to be fairly lucrative as a side job at some point.

But it also has the potential for eating. Scraps, stray buttercreme icing, extra fillings, etc. Even if I don't eat a bite of the resulting cake, I'm surrounded by tasty opportunities.

I'd honestly like to do more cakes. Practice and try new skills and methods. But I simply cannot have a cake sitting around my house each week. People laugh at me when I try to push extra cake on them, but its an absolute must. I don't want to eat it. Scratch that. I do want to eat it. Which is why it must go away.

What's your favorite kind of cake? Fillings? Icing? Whenever I watch those fancy cake shows on tv, the couples are always ordering something strange like pistachio cake with mango coconut filling. Boggles my mind. I wouldn't ever think to put something like that together. I'm trying to expand my portfolio, so share what you like, please.

SP

P.S. The winner of last week's website survey contest was Lois! Please email me at smartypants@writingplayground.com to claim your prize within 7 days. Thanks!

P.S.S. Remember to send your questions for the Playfriends to Playground Monitor at playgroundmonitor@writingplayground.com. Ask us anything about writing, craft, the business, our lives, etc. and we'll answer them the week of conference.

13 comments:

PM's Mother said...

I can empathize -- buttercreme frosting is tempting. Lick your fingers, lick the spoon, lick the bowl!

I, like you, think it is a crime to pay what bakeries are asking for a decorated cake; so-o-o-o I learned to make fancy roses and the like for my two girls' birthday cakes.

Playground Monitor's April birthday called for an Easter decor many times, and on one occasion I forgot to give the children the balloons I had for them. After the party I remembered them and I was seen running around the neighborhood with a bunch of balloons, knocking on doors and handing out balloons.

When my daughters were small, parties were not as elaborate as they are now.

Maven Linda said...

Cake is what I suffer through to get to the icing. Buttercreme icing? Hold me back. Must . . . not
. . . lose . . . control. I even like fondant.

So I don't buy cakes. And I can't bake cakes; don't know why, but the art of cake baking isn't in my genes. I'm fairly safe from cakes, after DH and I learned early in our marriage that, if I bought a cake, he'd better eat what he wanted pretty quick, because otherwise the cake would be denuded of icing :-).

CracklinRosie said...

Please say you will post pictures of tomorrow's cakes! :)

M.V.Freeman said...

My taste in cakes have changed over the years. As for what kind I like varies--It can be carrot cake or red velvet, maybe even a hazelnut torte. (I do have a thing for almond paste...don't know why. I love it. Mix it with chocolate..yum.)

And, I have to say, like Maven Linda...I really like frosting. That's a little secret I just keep to myself.

Lois said...

I don't think I could even try cake decorating for the express reason I'd be eatting all the icing up before it ever got on the cake. :) But me, number one, if it's chocolate, it's definitely a fav -- carrot cake, oh boy, love that cream cheese icing. :)

Lois

Smarty Pants said...

Yeah, I'll post pictures. I'm afraid I'll have to take them early before the 98 degree heat reduces them to a pile of gooey mush.

Maybe for this year's Christmas party I'll make one of those 4 layer red velvet cakes. Hmm...

Laurie said...

My favorite cake is still chocolate angel food with chocolate whipped cream frosting!

Light, yet filling and so YUMMY!!

It's our traditional birthday cake.

Instigator said...

I heart cream cheese icing. You can put it on almost any kind of cake and I'll eat it. I do have a fondness for red velvet cake as well. I do not like anything with coconut.

I can't wait to see the cakes!

By the way, have you thought about donating your practice cakes? Maybe meals on wheels, a church or a shelter. Or you could advertise on craig's list or the paper and only charge a small amount for your materials. You get the practice you want and someone else gets a cake they need.

Instigator

Angel said...

Oh, yum! A subject near and dear to my heart, as my waistline will testify.

My fave is red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, followed closely by butter cake with buttercream icing. Yep, the icing is what gets me. And I'm not usually a chocolate cake fan, but my sister makes an awesome Hershey's chocolate cake with cream cheese icing... to die for!

Um, SP, I have a baby shower that I'm planning for August.... :)

Angel

Playground Monitor said...

I did not inherit my mother's gene for cake decorating. Actually, I'm the one who always says "Oh no, don't give me the corner piece!" I really don't like the icing now that I'm older. Give me a piece of good pound cake or angel food cake and I'm happy. I like carrot cake too, but just a little icing.

Now peach cobbler is another matter entirely.

Sherry Werth said...

Some of my favorites are red velvet, italian cream and carrot cake. My cake decorating skills are non-existent. The cakes always taste pretty good but slightly resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
But there is one that I can bake that turns out perfect everytime...earthquake cake.
; D

Angel said...

Sherry, we must have that recipe.

Angel

Stephanie said...

Ahh, icing...like many others here I believe icing is the point and the cake is simply the delivery medium.

It was a VERY happy day in my life when I discovered that you can just buy icing at the store in the cake decorating section. Bad for my hips, good for my craving of icing.