Thursday, November 3, 2011

Out of Practice

Do you ever make something you’ve made a hundred times before but it just doesn’t come out right or takes way longer than it used to because you haven’t done it in a while? That’s how I feel with cake.

Don’t get me wrong, I still make delicious cake and cupcakes, but I’m severely out of practice on actually decorating. I’ve still got mad skills when it comes to piping swirls onto cupcakes, but trying to decorate a sheet cake is nothing like riding a bicycle. You don’t do it for a while and it shows. I will say that I’ve never been all that great at decorating sheet cakes as it is, probably because there is just so much open space to be filled and it is an all-at-once assault on the eyes. Perhaps this is why I prefer tiered cakes, even though they take longer to bake and decorate, because at least if you mess up on something it is only visible from a certain angle, and that angle can be the back… against a wall.

And so instead of making a sheet cake I decided to make cupcakes for the kids at Ridgefield High School for their last big rehearsal of Twelfth Night before Saturday’s performance in Portland, Oregon. And then I had a brilliantly awful idea to instead cram forty-eight cupcakes into a half sheet pan and frost and decorate it like a sheet cake instead. Why? For some reason my brain decided it would be easier. However, it took twice as much frosting as I would normally use for that many cupcakes and I ended up simply making random fondant decoration taken from the program to fill the wide open space. Every time I thought I was finished I’d take a look and say, “Hmmm… something’s missing.” and add a little more frosting. Just when I thought I was done I decided to add a border because, well, it didn’t look done. Oy. So much for easy. However, I will say this about the dreaded C.C.C. (that’s insider talk for “cupcake cake”) and that is it’s way easier to serve a bunch of high school kids cupcakes than to try and cut up and plate a sheet cake as I did a couple years ago.

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