Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cake, cake, cake, cake

Today is going to be so much about cake! Because there was just soooo much cake in my life this weekend!  Also, please be aware that this post is going to be very photo-heavy. 

But first, my knit FOs:

I finished a cardigan for the birthday party, with two days to spare. But I forgot to take photos, because I didn't wash it until the day of the party.  Oops.  But I do have a pic that I snagged from Facebook:

This was knit out of an unknown yarn - it was some stash that I inherited from my grandma, and it really wanted to be a baby thing.  I used the same pattern that I used for Columbo's Cardi a couple weeks ago, from the 'We Like to Cardi' pattern in the fall 2013 edition of KnitSimple, using US 4 needles. I'll get a photo of the little girl wearing it sometime soon.

I also finished my stripey socks, which are no longer for me.  However, they are about to find a new home as a birthday gift!

These were knit out of Patons Stretch Sock in Spinoni Stripes, on US 3 circular needles. It was my first time trying two-at-a-time, top-down socks on a single circular.  It was interesting... I'm not sure I'll do that again any time soon, but I may try magic looping one sock at a time.

Finally, I finished my first pair of handwarmers for the Knitting Samurai Plus 1 Color KAL! 

The yarn is Basic Sock from Inspiration Dyeworks in The Knitting Samurai Plus 1 colorway. It only took 20g for this pair, so I'm totally making more. I used my standard handwarmer pattern (one that I made myself), with a row of YO, k2tog at each color change in the yarn. These were done on US3 needles.

I also worked on Mum's Moonlight Shawl, Tara's Shawl, and I cast on my second set of handwarmers for the KSP1 KAL.

And then, I worked on the cake.

One of my good friends asked me to do a cake for her daughter's birthday.  But not just any cake:

She had total confidence in my abilities, which is both lovely and terrifying. But if she thought I could pull it off, then by gosh, I was gonna pull it off.

The cake physics had me worried, I'll admit. I mean, I've watched all of 'Ace of Cakes' and lots of 'Cake Boss,' but I don't do this for a living. I don't have all of the tools and supports to do this. However, I do have access to awesome people who like to build stuff.  Between my beau, the daddy, and the handyman at work (hi, Ray!), my friends helped make the support system in my brain actually take shape.

Once the support was ready, it was time to bake. And bake. And bake. I started on Friday, after work, around 6:00. I got all of my supplies laid out for a photo op:

Yes, I used boxed cake mix. But I modified them to make them slightly more dense, to better support the weight of the finished cake (hence the pudding and three dozen eggs).

There were seven different flavours of cake. From bottom to top, we had Triple Chocolate Fudge, Lemon, Red Velvet, French Vanilla, Strawberry, Butter Yellow, and Funfetti, plus a smash cake in Funfetti.  That's a lot of cake.  

I went to bed around midnight, and had ten of the sixteen layers baked. I also had the broom started - I used crispy rice treats to mold the sweeping part of the broom.  That was... A mess.  I don't know when I forgot how to properly make that stuff, but it was really gooey, and I couldn't keep it from sticking to my hands, and I definitely needed my beau's help to keep from getting the stuff all over the kitchen and dining room.

I started again on Saturday morning around 9, baking the remaining cakes and doing the first layer of frosting. By about noon, I had frosted the broom, and was starting to do the final frosting and stacking.  Boy, that was a messy job!  The edge of each layer got a thick layer of white frosting, then got threaded on to the centre support.  Once in place, I heated some purple frosting in the microwave, then drizzled it over the layers so it started to look drippy.

I took pictures of the first few layers as I added them, then realized that I needed to hurry up! I put ten layers in place before we moved it from the dining room table to my car.  The remaining four layers, the smash cake, and my decorating kit all piled into the back of my car, and I sat on the back seat, holding onto the center support with one hand, and the panic handle with the other as my beau drove the 1.3 miles to the party location.  That may have been the most stressful car ride of my life.  

But we arrived in one piece, I finished the stacking and frosting, and voila! The cake was ready before the party started at three! (If you didn't do the math, that was about 12 hours of baking and decorating.)

It turned out well, I think.  Well enough that someone at the party wants me to make a cake for her next party ;)

And that's the story of the cake.

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