Monday, December 31, 2012

It's close to midnight...and it's my last cake of the year

For months I had my sister try to convince my nephew that he wanted a Despicable Me themed cake for his 3rd birthday party as I just had a hankering to make some cute yellow minions. This worked for short while but soon he changed his mind and requested a Harry Potter werewolf cake. Not really wanting to try to come up with a design that might fit that request, I continued to have my sister show him cute videos of minions. Enter my older nephew. He was watching a video for Michael Jackson's Thriller and the younger one became fascinated with it. Not only did he want a werewolf cake, but it had to specifically be a Michael Jackson werewolf. For weeks leading up to the party, I hoped that he would change his mind. Once the invitations went out, I started the planning process on how I would make a Michael Jackson Thriller werewolf cake.

We celebrated my brother's birthday a few weeks ago. My sister-in-law brought out this delicious chocolate cake and my nephew exclaims, "werewolf cake!" I looked at the chocolate frosted cake and thought to myself, 'wow, if he thinks a frosting-covered chocolate cake is a werewolf, this is going to be an easy cake'. And the he added, "but I want a face on it."

For the past few weeks I have been thinking about how to make a werewolf. I definitely wanted it to be cute/cartoon-like since it was for a 3-year-old child. I thought about making the whole cake a standing werewolf but then I thought about how I didn't think my nerves could handle the drive with a cake that required significant structural support. It also would have meant the possibility of not having enough cake servings unless I wanted to make a 3-foot-tall cake.

I decided to make the werewolf jumping out of the cake. The body was made from rice cereal treats. I have recently found it easier to work with pre-made rice cereal treats vs homemade. It is much easier to get a more condense and solid shape and I don't have individual pieces of rice cereal and gooey strings of marshmallow sticking all over my hands. The head was also make from rice cereal treats. I have to admit, looking at the cereal form, I really didn't know how it was going to end up looking like a wolf. I used modelling chocolate on the head to form facial details like eyebrows and to fill out the cheeks and the mane. At this point it looked like some form of voodoo mask. I covered the head in fondant and used a modelling stick and additional fondant to make the fur. I added variations in fur colour with white, brown and black petal dust. The position of the arms ended up being a bit funny. Instead of an 'I'm going to get you' position, he looks more like he's saying 'I don't want any trouble!'

The hands, nails and teeth were made with gumpaste. I used a stitching tool to give a ribbed looked to the collar of the varsity jacket.

I also dusted the cake with petal dust to make it look like dirt and more graveyard like. I painted his name on the cake using red gel paste mixed with vodka.

I enjoyed his reaction to the cake. He hung on to his dad and said, "It's scary...."
After singing 'happy birthday' I played the Thriller song and video on my phone for him. He is so entranced by that video. I don't remember how old I was when I first watched that video but I would think that 3-year-old would be scared, especially when the zombies are rising from the graves. He can't take his eyes off the video. It's like he sees it as an instructional dance video. He does the zombie walk and he sings along and mimics all of the dance steps. He even does an excellent MJ spin!

It was certainly a fun cake to wrap up a busy year of work, school, moving and baking. I have to say, I am pretty tired though and I am happy to put the cake decorating supplies away for a couple of weeks. I think I'll start off the year with a few simpler projects. I look forward to the baking challenges of next year. I'm sure my nephews will dream up some impossible cakes for me to make.
Happy New Year everyone!

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