Monday, May 16, 2011

seeing "red"

One of the greatest lessons from my cake apprenticeship was when Joan handed me a flat cake and told me to make a backhoe. From that day forward, I went on to help dozens of flat cakes realize their full potential as guitars, dump trucks, and roast pigs

And that leads me to this cake for Jess's birthday. I wanted to do kickboxing gloves, though - like most things in New York City - space is limited and I would be carrying these on the subway during rush-hour commutes (I can already tell this going to put a damper on all my future cake endeavors). So I compromised and made one life-size glove, with margarita flavor (lemon cake mix + lime tequila buttercream frosting) and starting from just a square cake.

Took a knife to it, stacked the thing, rounded the edges, and it shaped up nicely.

One question that has long confounded myself and the online cake decorating community is how to mix a true red frosting. They do sell red frosting in tubes, but it comes in small quantities and it doesn't taste as good as the homemade stuff. To get the color of red that would do Elmo justice, you would need to add in such absurd amounts of Red Dye #4 (or even No-Taste Red) that you risk permanently staining your teeth and internal digestive tract. (On that note, there is an unhealthy amount of food coloring that goes into making colors like dark green, navy blue, and, shuddering, black. But we all make sacrifices, right?)

So the bottom line is that I had to settle on a light red/slightly pink version of a boxing glove for Jess, which was perfectly fine, seeing as they actually do market pink gloves to female kickboxers. (A pink Spiderman, on the other hand, may be more difficult to explain to a young birthday boy).

Happy birthday Jess!


 - Lemon (Margarita) cake -
1 lemon cake mix
  1 cup orange juice (substituted for water)
Oil per box instructions
Eggs per box instructions
1 tbsp tequila
Salt (optional)

 - Lime (Margarita) frosting -
1 cup Crisco or similar
4 cups powdered sugar
1 lime, juiced/squeezed
1-2 tbsp tequila
Salt (optional)

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