Friday, April 12, 2013

Oscar Cake

You know what cheers up grouchy people?  Cake.  My nephew was having a Sesame Street birthday party for his second birthday and I'll admit, I kinda lamented.  About two years ago I tried these Sesame Street cake pops from Bakerella.  They were a disaster.  They did not meet my expectations and they took like a bajillion years to make.  UUUUUGH...I get grouchy just thinking about it.  So those were a definite no.  Elmo is adorable, but let's face it, he's played.  My favorite character is Cookie Monster, duh, but I couldn't really think of a way to translate him into cake (not yet anyway).  So, when the hubs suggested Oscar, I went for it.  Garbage can=cake shaped=score!  So, I was searching for Oscar images and ran across this tutorial on YouTube.  He suggested using muffin tops for Oscar's head. Brill.  So, that's what I did.

I used five layers of a six-inch chocolate cake for the garbage can.  I was going to use six, but as I stacked them, it started to look too cylindrical.  I stacked three layers, doweled them, and then put the other two layers on a six-inch cake board before stacking them too.  The cake board made a slight rim in the fondant when it was covered, but it looked like the rim of the garbage can; a happy accident.  After covering the cake with A LOT of frosting, I used Duncan Hines Frosting Creations again, cotton candy, kids (and me...) LOVE that stuff, I covered it in white fondant; Duff Goldman's, of course.  It was difficult to cover because it was so tall and we needed a bigger skirt than we were able to get with the amount of fondant we had.  Next time I might consider buttercream in lieu of fondant.

After it was covered, I made details like imprints down the sides using my fondant tools.   I also added a rim using fondant on the bottom and top of the can.  Finally, I made handles (with screws in them; not real ones, duh) and set them out to dry overnight.

For the lid, I baked a giant cookie in my six-inch pan using about half a roll of Nestle chocolate chip cookie dough and ate about a fourth of the rest.  ;)  After letting it harden up a bit, I frosted it and covered it in fondant and added details like imprints and a handle on top. I also made Oscar's eyes and tongue out of fondant the night before so they would harden up a bit too, as well as the number 2 and Slimy!  Slimy is striped, so I rolled out two ropes, one of orange and one of yellow, and cut each into sections.  Then I made a worm using every other color, smushed it together and rolled it a little between my hands to smooth it out.  Thanks Playdough for teaching me these skills in my youth!  If any of you are scared of fondant- it really is like Playdough, but tastes good (if you use Duff Goldman's-- trust me!). I used my Americolor Gourmet Writers to add Slimey's face as well as Oscar's pupils.  Americolor Gourmet Writers are simply markers that have edible ink!  I had just black, red and green ones, but the hubs got me a whole set for Christmas!  Squeal!

Next, I sprayed the entire thing using Wilton Color Mist in black first, a light layer, then in a much heavier layer of silver.  I was really happy with the results.  I frequently get asked if I have an airbrush machine.  Wilton Color Mist is rad.  I don't think I would buy one if I got the chance because I get such good results with the mist!  I would totes buy a Cricut Cake though.  But I digress.  I had to use two whole cans of each color for the garbage can and a whole can of each for the lid and handles.  I actually ran out before the lid and handles and my mom was nice enough to go to the store for me when she came to visit.  I only had four hours to finish the cake and hadn't started Oscar yet.

Then, I dyed the frosting green using about half of a bottle of Wilton Gel Color in green and about a fourth of a bottle in brown to get his grimy color.  I cut two tops off of jumbo chocolate muffins and used the two bottoms for the neck, shoving another dowel through the whole thing.  I frosted the neck and used my spatula, lifting it off of the surface, to create little peaks for the fur.  Then I added the bottom half of his jaw and frosted it using the same technique.  Before I added the top of his head I rolled out a circle of black fondant for the inside of his mouth and pressed it to the bottom half of the jaw till the pressure formed a lip around it.  Then I added his tongue and painted some hilights on it.  I did the same thing with a black fondant circle for the top half of his head after frosting it underneath.  I added the top half of the head, securing it with yet another dowel.  I frosted him and added his eyes with toothpicks, then added his eyebrows and hands using a star tip, then making it messier with my spatula.   Finally, I added Slimey and the handles to the garbage can, securing them with toothpicks.  I waited till we were at the party to lean the lid up in front of the garbage can.  (Ps.  Traveling with him was a little nerve-wracking, despite all of the dowels.  Why do I keep making these tall cakes?!)

I was very happy with the result and so was my nephew!

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