Monday, June 21, 2010
Cake Wrecks World Tour III: My Contribution
I enjoy reading the blog Cake Wrecks, by Jen Yates. I first discovered her through her book of the same name. I bought it in California just before we went out for lunch, and I spent the entire meal laughing hysterically. I would grab the waitress and say, "Look at this one!" She thought it was funny too, thank goodness.
Since then I have been a faithful follower of her site. When Jen announced that she was doing a third book tour I was thrilled to see that Tempe, AZ was one of her stops. I really wanted to make a cake for the event, but as there are lots of professional bakers in the Valley and I'm just small potatoes, I figured I didn't have much of a chance. But then I did my research.
In the other posts on previous world tours, she mentioned how the vegan cake that was donated was eaten up quickly. Bingo! I may not get to donate the main cake, but maybe they'd let me donate a vegan cake! Sure enough, Jen and John said sure and I was in business.
Now, I'm not a vegan. I have friends that are (Hi Doug!) but I'm more of a McDonald's person. However, I do understand that there are people with dietary restrictions that enjoy cake so off I went to Whole Foods and New Frontiers health food stores. Agar flakes for fondant? Eewww, it's dried seaweed! OK, then let's get organic and vegan sugar, non-hydrogenated shortening, soy milk, and Earth Balance soy margarine. The stuff costs three times as much (or more) than my regular ingredients, but I was faithfully reading labels and checking recipes. I also ended up getting several gluten free cake mixes, since I know of more and more people that are gluten intolerant. It was easier than investing in potato and rice flour.
Off to the professional kitchen required by the event! I have friends that are caterers (Hi Amanda!) and they were gracious enough to let me use a corner of their kitchen to make and decorate the cakes. Got to use a huge Hobart mixer as well! So as of this morning, the cakes are baked. They are filled and chilling, and are waiting for me to cover with fondant and decorate. I might even make some extra cupcakes with sprinkles. My husband made me a really cool little cake stand, so this should be fun. Today I decorate, and this afternoon I'm picking up my sister (Hi Beth!) and we're driving the creation to Changing Hands in Tempe. I'll fill you in tomorrow with pictures. Woo hoo!