Monday, March 2, 2015

Surprise! It Looks Like a Garfield Cake

It makes me sad that I’m not taking the time to bake much anymore.  It drives me crazy because I LOVE baking!  Hubster and I started a diet – you know – the annual New Year’s diet and we’ve done reasonably well.  Except we’re not losing weight despite watching the calories and exercising … apparently old age is making that fat really determined.  So anyway, I apologize for the lack of posts here.  But we’re getting into birthday season around here, so I’ll have a few days of baking.  Yay!

Youngest son’s birthday was last week.  He’s my lemon-loving baby, so I stuck with my usual lemon cake and frosting recipe – the one I used for his wedding cupcakes. Duelling Lemon Cupcakes  He’s also the world’s biggest Garfield fan, so when we were out garage “sailing” last summer and came across a cake pan with 4 small Garfield faces for A BUCK (!!!) we grabbed it right up and kept it a secret.

The first victory of the day is that I was able to find the cake pan months later.  I credit that to having started the Great Purge of 2014.  I’ve committed to removing excess STUFF around here this year and am going room by room, clearing out unused things.  Almost through the kitchen now, where I started.  I have a lot of things going on at the shop right now so The Purge is in a holding pattern for a couple more weeks.

The second victory was being able to get the Garfield faces out of the pan.  I was in a hurry and you know that’s when everything goes wrong, so I figured that would be my first problem.  I used Baker’s Joy spray and then floured that just to be sure.  To tell you how long it’s been since I last baked, when I started to spray the pan the spray went everywhere BUT the pan – the nozzle clogged – but my kitchen cupboards got a nice washing.  Timing for that could have been better, but what are you going to do?  LOL  Once the cakes came out of the pan safely, I used the remaining batter and made 10 additional cupcakes.

As I said, I was in a hurry and I regret not having taken a picture of the cakes when they came out of the pan.  I was a bit intimidated because, an artist – I’m NOT.  My stick people are unrecognizable.  There were no instructions or a picture to go by to do the decorating, so I hunted around online for instructions, a picture … anything … and finally found a tiny picture of what the cakes were supposed to look like. Garfield Cake Pan       

I mixed up the orange icing and yellow icing and I keep a tube of pre-made black frosting around then took a deep breath.  Standing there, looking at those cakes, I wondered why I thought this was a good idea.  I had to draw on the memory of making recognizable birthday cakes from dinosaur and Big Bird cake pans (and I even know where the pans are after all these years!).  I started with the eyes.  Two blobs of the white frosting, smoothed onto the raised ovals on the cake.  It looked pretty good and I relaxed enough to continue.

Starting with the orange icing and star tip #                   I went around the side of the first one.  It didn’t take long for the icing to get too soft to hold the star shape, but I decided Garfield is hairy so … just kept sticking the icing in the freezer every few minutes.  When it was time to tackle the face, I really wasn’t sure where to start.  It looked like if I could follow where the yellow part was supposed to go, everything else would fall into place, and it did.  I started piping the black accents with a round tip #8 because I’ve had trouble with #2 and #3 tips. #8 was TOO BIG.  I reduced to #6 on the next cake and it was better, but I wasn’t happy.  The #3 tip finally turned out to be the right one and I didn’t have trouble – maybe because I was using pre-made icing or maybe my hands have gotten stronger since it’s been almost a year since the carpal tunnel surgery.

So here are the results and I’m pretty pleased with the final version, considering I'm still a learner.  It actually is recognizable as representing Garfield and it only took 4 tries!

What I learned

  • ·         Remember that cream cheese frosting is too soft to work with using decorating tips.

  • ·         I really can use the #3 tip successfully

  • ·         Put the individual cakes on upside down saucers to lift them from a flat surface to make it easier to decorate the sides.  The saucers are easy to turn.  A large, round spatula easily slides under the cake to move it to your preferred serving plate.

When all was said and done, Youngest Son was surprised and thrilled.  Then he couldn’t bear to eat one and mess it up.  <head desk>  I had to promise to make a fake cake so he can hang one on the wall.  I’m sure I’ll be able to do that in my spare time.  LOL

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