For some reason the birthday cake planning is a big deal around this house. I have ideas about what I think the cake should be and should look like and Jason has big ideas as well. Whoever it is that says that guys don't care about these things clearly hasn't met my husband he cares about it ALL. I know this will come as a shock to most of you, but both Jason and I are very stubborn, have a strong need to be right, and to have things go our way. Compromise and letting go are at the top of our 'need to improve list.' So each year when it comes down to the cake making we have a battle over what the cake will be, how it will be decorated, where the candles should go, what the cake should sit on, etc. Ridiculous, maybe? Or maybe we just both love our kids so much that we really want it to be just right. I like to model the cake from a favorite toy so I thought we should do the magnadoodle because Jericho LOVES the magnadoodle and I wanted to try my hand at Fondant icing and I thought a rectangle would be a good place to start. I am always less than pleased with our icing spreading abilities (yes, that sounds funny to me too, but not sure how else to say that) and I know I don't want to spend three hours making tiny flower spots all over the cake, thus my desire to try fondant. Jason wanted to do a monkey, but I was standing my ground this year because last year we made the train cake the way he wanted to make it. I lucked out and found two square cake pans at TJ Maxx, but they turned out to be a total bust when the 'removable bottom easy for removing cakes' turned out to be code for 'removable bottom doesn't attach securely to bottom sides of pan so cake batter oozes out all onto your counter, down your cabinets, and onto the floor.' Bye Bye magnadoodle idea and onto Jason's idea of a monkey. I have two circle cake pans so a monkey seemed feasible to make from two 9 inch rounds. Being the planner that I am I usually bake the cakes two or three days ahead of time and plan to decorate them two nights before the party, but so far the cutting of the cake and the decorating has taken place the night before the party and it didn't get started until 9 or 10pm, resulting in a late night cake battle. In the past I have given the honor of cutting the cake to Jason being that he is the engineer and has a better eye for shaping the cakes, but this year I decided it was time for me buck up and gain the confidence to do the cutting! As luck would have it, this year I planned so well (and Jason was late getting home from work) that I had the cake cut, crumb layered, and the fondant icing on the monkey before Jason got home. Jason was able to add a few key touches at the end (the fingers and the banana.) I'm going to toot my own horn here and say that I think I did a pretty kick ass job for my first fondant attempt. (I tried deleting that and replacing it with fantastic, but that just didn't have the punch I was going for so excuse me.)
When you think of a first birthday party it is all about the one year old attacking or not attacking the cake. As the parent you are hoping they oblige the crowd and put on a show, spreading cake all over their face, head, and anyone that comes within reaching distance. The birthday girl/boy usually has a WAY oversized cake and the practical side of me thinks that's just silliness and there is no need to waste that much cake, but clearly there is a reason for that. The cake eating was A. TOTAL. BUST. She wouldn't even touch it. We cut off a small piece of the monkey and peeled the fondant icing off, stepped back with the video camera rolling, the camera ready to be snapped and then...NOTHING. She wouldn't touch it, gagged when I tried to feed it to her..talk about building something up for nothing.
So I did what any other practical mom would do...I ate it for her
But more important that the first birthday cake is the celebration of life. The wonderful life of Jericho, the wonderful life she has brought to all who know her and the wonder of what the next year holds. The food was fantastic and the company couldn't be beat. Thanks to all who helped us celebrate life!
Of course we had to have a redo of the cake eating on her actual birthday. This time I threw my practical side outside and I made two 9 inch rounds just for Jericho. I let my practical side back in when it came time to icing the cake because I had icing left over from the crumb layer and although I knew I wouldn’t have enough to go in-between the layers I figured we aren’t really icing people anyways so on the top and mostly around the sides would do. After all this cake was not about the presentation, but demolition and consumption! I don’t know if it was the lack of crowd, the green icing, the giant cake, or the fact that it was chocolate, but baby girl tore this one up and even ate a little along the way!