Wednesday 18 June 2008

Duck Cake

Duck Cake
Originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin
It was one of those things that looked really easy but turned out to be a big headache, and it was one of those things that reminded me why I don't usually do these sorts of things.

I am NOT a domestic goddess.

I thought it would be a cute idea to take a rubber ducky cake into nursery for Mia's birthday. I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker site that looked both cute and fairly simple. Let's review what happened, shall we?

-Recipe required one 8" and one 9" pan. I only have two 9" pans. It also required something called a "custard cup", so I improvised and used a stainless steel ramekin.
-Recipe required various candies for decorations that don't exist in this country. The closest I could find were two fried egg jelly sweets for the beak and/or eyes, but decided to get royal icing and make the features myself. Why do I think I can do stuff like this? Been watching too many episodes of "Heroes" and seem to think I can acquire skills by seeing them done on TV.
-Recipe required cake mix that seems impossible to find here, but I'm going to make my own because I've seen it done on TV, goddammit.
-Followed Nigella's recipe for buttermilk birthday cake to the letter. Cake came out smelling beautiful, all golden and puffy. Left it to cool for 10 minutes, and suddenly it was 1 inch thick.
-Put one layer on a plate, globbed on a 2" layer of icing in an attempt to make the cake look a normal height. Kids like icing. It'll be fine.
-Decided to deviate from the recipe and cut the cake so it tapers towards the back. Cake now looks like a frosty yellow coffin. Add more icing to round it out. Kids like icing. It'll be fine.
-Attempt to sit head piece on top, but it keeps rolling off. May frighten small children. Skewered its head with a large bamboo stick, which I'm sure won't be at all scary.
-Add more icing to the head because it's currently shaped like a hockey puck. Kids like icing. It'll be fine.
-Fashion eyes and a beak out of royal icing, using techniques gleaned from several Play Dough sessions with Jack.
-10:30pm, cake finished. Looks a bit like my duck was too slow crossing the road on the way back to his pond. Add more icing. Kids like icing. It'll be fine.

Really, seriously, slap me the next time I embark on something like this again.

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