Tiers for Fears

FrozenSophie_figuresI’m starting to overcome the trepidation I’ve been feeling. After much hemming as well as hawing, I signed on to make a cake for my cousin’s littlest girl’s big birthday party. It’s the first time I’ve really insinuated myself into making someone else’s cake (apart from collaborative parties where I’ve happily volunteered), and of course I was planning to use it as an exercise to work on some skills. The pressure had been making me dizzy.

Now that I’ve locked in a design and started prepping the baking pans, I’m actually starting to feel excited. This is the first time in a while I’ve gotten to bake something to make someone happy, which is what makes it all worthwhile for me.

It felt like an army of fats getting to room temperature in preparation for frosting time.

It felt like an army of fats getting to room temperature in preparation for frosting time.

Everything I’ve been working on recently have been self-appointed practices, with no one really invested in it beyond me in my never-ending skill-building grudge match. This was probably a good thing, since I’d been tango-ing with a chest and sinus cold for the last two or three weeks (thank you, pregnancy, for restricting my cold medicine options…).

The ante was up for this one, though. This was the biggest gathering I’ve prepped for, and they’re all New Yorkers.  (I love Pennsylvania – clearly, having chosen to live there – but having grown up in New York State, I have a belief system that includes the idea that most food is better there. In that respect, cooking for New Yorkers implies, for me, higher standards.)

And, this was for a little girl’s birthday party. High stakes indeed.

We went with a Disney Frozen theme (seriously, it’s 2015, and for a 5 yr old American girl; there were strong odds this would happen). I got to play some more with different colors of fondant, this time using more embellishments like the quilting look, contrasting layers, sugar crusting and piped-on flowers.

I miscalculated the recipe amount (and ran out of red dye the first time!) so I had four small instead of two large layers. Too bad the colors weren't a little more varied; I'd have been able to pull off and "I meant to do that" ombre effect.

I miscalculated the recipe amount (and ran out of red dye the first time!) so I had four small instead of two large layers. It was too bad the colors weren’t a little more varied; I’d have been able to pull off an “I meant to do that” ombre effect instead of trying to (cleverly?) alternate shades.

This was my first time, ever, making a red velvet cake, so that presented its own learning opportunities. I also did tiers for the first time. Since the family preferred red velvet, I made the larger, bottom tier out of that to ensure they’d have some to enjoy at home later, but made the smaller, top tier in all vanilla in case some of the folks weren’t down with the red velvet flavors.

 

 

It was a huge relief when the first tier was done!

FrozenSophieElsa

I tried to work Elsa’s crown as a motif (in homemade icing gel, which was totally cool and easy to produce) behind the Elsa braid border. I should have done it a little higher, though.

Check out the white streak in the "Anna" braid border of the top tier. Feeling very smug about that one.
Check out the white streak in the “Anna” braid border of the top tier. Feeling very smug about that one.

 

I had a blast working on a lot of the details! As anxious as I’d been, and even given the couple of things I’d change, I was pretty happy with how it came out, and starting to have fun planning the next bit of cooking and entertaining fun…

The Amazon Box: Good for more than just trapping cats.

The Amazon Box: Good for more than just trapping cats.

FrozenSophie_Done2

The finished product.

 

 

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2 Responses to Tiers for Fears

  1. Valerie Kind-Rubin says:

    This is a pretty amazing cake! Tough to be checking your posts and not eating at the same time. Keep em coming!

    Like

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