Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Because babies like pretty, too...

I was asked by a dear long time friend to make the cake for her baby shower. Ok, so maybe she didn't ask me, maybe I asked her. And maybe I also invited myself to the shower when she announced her pregnancy and I got a little overwhelmed with excitement. (And maybe Chris pretended not to know me right then, but who could blame him!?)

I offered up all the cake flavors and mom-to-be couldn't decide, so dad-to-be picked vanilla cake with blueberry filling and meringue frosting. Last minute I decided that sounded boring, so I added lemon zest to the cake and lemon zest and lemon extract to the frosting. (Voila - lemon meringue frosting! I've eaten my fair share of the frosting right off the spoon. That recipe will be making a re-appearance soon for sure.)

M-t-b mentioned a train themed party in blue and green. A number of decorating ideas popped into my head. At first I thought of cute toppers for cupcakes, but m-t-b said she'd prefer a cake. So, of course, I settled on both a cake and cupcakes. I have a problem with knowing when to stop. Or so I'm told. (I also didn't hide the cut out area where I filled the cupcakes with blueberry very well. Whoops.)

I also wanted to make vegan sugar cookies because they're delicious and I can eat them without being doubled over in pain. I'm selfish like that. Plus, I knew that I couldn't really create a train out of frosting - I'm not that talented. Cookies seemed like a good way to get the theme across.

Instead of soy milk (since I'm lactose intolerant and somewhat allergic to soy - thus the "doubled over in pain" comment), I used almond milk and almond extract in the frosting for the cookies. I think I ate 15 of these over the weekend. It's three days later and I'm just now coming off the sugar high. Totally worth it.

A friend of mine informed me that I needed to borrow her train punch. I mean, really, who doesn't have a train punch!? So, I obliged and made a border for the cake plate. (However, the cake was too big, so it became the "cupcake" plate.)

One day while working hard and not getting distracted by shiny things (suuuure) it popped into my head that I absolutely must make tiny bunting for the cake. And so I did. Luckily I had lots of blue and green colored paper scraps from a friend's wedding a few years back. I had to make sure the bunting fit the cake before I got too far ahead of myself.

In hindsight, I probably would have skipped the train tracks on top. I think it distracted from the bunting. Plus, the colors weren't matchy matchy. Also, it was a lot of work. I melted chocolate and brushed it in a thin layer onto silpat using a silicone brush to give it a railroad-tie-wood-grain look and then, once cooled, I cut each one out with a knife. I searched everywhere for black licorice rope, to no avail, to I had to settle on red. I was going to coat the licorice in chocolate, but that would've made me very late to the party.

In the end, I think it made for a nice display on the dessert table. It's not Amy Atlas worthy, but I'm working on it. :)

Of course, I also had to match the wrapping paper for her gift to the color scheme. Sooooo cuuuute. I want to paper my walls with this stuff.

Perhaps it was kizmit, but the blanket I had commissioned also matched the shower theme and the nursery theme, but I didn't know that at the time and I gave the blanket maker free reign over design. You can see a photo here.

And, because clearly I don't value sleep at all, I also made and sold a vegan pumpkin spice cake with vegan maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting adapted from this blog and this cookbook.

It's no wonder I was asked at least 4 times last week if I still have a full time job. I do. And a part time one teaching dance. Good thing the fiance was out of town on business - I wouldn't have seen him last week anyway.

Also, please excuse the terrible photos. I'm way too busy to learn to use my camera, apparently.

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet friend to lend you her train punch! ;) I have to say I had no idea what you could use it for, but what you did was pretty awesome. Makes me want to buy a girly one and do all my cake plates with it :)

    Pretty on, my friend!