Saturday, November 2, 2013

Photo a Day, Day 2: I Did This Today

Today was my son’s 4th birthday. In keeping with my family’s tradition from my own childhood, I let the birthday boy pick a design for his own cake. A few weeks ago, it was going to be a robot, but a few days ago, he changed his mind and insisted he wanted a monster truck cake instead. Since we had seen his favorite monster truck, “Bigfoot,” in person some weeks ago, I decided I would make a monster truck cake decorated like Bigfoot.

Being too cheap to buy a new specialty cake pan every year, I found a photo of a monster truck cake made from a specialty pan and figured out how to approximate it using standard cake pans. Last night, I baked a cake in an 11x13” pan, trimmed out a couple of wheel-wells (perfectly-sized samples, one for me and one for Daddy) and above the hood, sketched out my design, and waited for morning. This morning, I “crumb-coated” the entire cake with white frosting (a technique I credit to too many cooking shows to mention), and then carefully laid out my various colors of decorator frosting and my diagram, took a few big slugs of coffee, and set to work.

In about an hour, I had a passable looking monster truck. A few Halloween candies for garnish, a carefully matched pair of chocolate glazed donuts, 4 squiggly candles, and – voila!! The piece de resistance.

Granted, it’s not quite proportioned the way it should be. I gave up on trying to write “Bigfoot” in script like it is on the real truck. It could have benefited from having a little cartoon driver. And there was more white frosting showing behind the blobs of color than I would have liked. But the way my son’s face lit up when he saw it and announced excitedly, “It’s a monster truck cake!! It’s BIGFOOT!!!!!” proved to me that none of that mattered.

He didn’t care that it wasn’t perfect. He didn’t care that it wasn’t exact. He only cared that his mom had made something very special, just for him, just like he wanted.

I did this today!

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