Monday, March 31, 2014

The Making of a Minion

P's birthday cake was a screaming success! And seeing as it was completed with no drama this year, I have decided instead to post a how-to and share some of my divine secrets. (Also, someone asked.) 

J and I have been doing cooking lessons on Fridays, and we used last week's time to bake the cakes. He enjoyed helping with the measuring, timing the mixing, and of course licking the spatula at the end. To ensure a clean removal, I lined the bottom of the pans with waxed paper and gave the sides a quick grease with cooking spray. I used an 8 inch circle pan (purchased for the famous drum set cake) and an 8 inch square pan, and used the leftover batter for cupcakes. Once the cakes were cooled, I cut the circle one in half and gouged out two places for the eyes.

The eyes were two cupcakes, frosted and decorated with silver sprinkles around the edge. I frosted first, then placed into the head, which was a little tricky, but I was worried about getting the sprinkles all over. Two generic M&Ms were placed in the center. The square cake was used for the minion's body, and I used wafer cookies for arms and legs. He looked a little freaky, but here's the assembly pre-frosting.

 The round cake had risen a bit in the center, causing it to be uneven with the square cake. (Anyone who knows how to fix this in the future, please comment!) I used the pieces from the eye sockets to fill in the gaps and covered everything with what I like to call "miracle frosting". It is made from cool whip and kept in the freezer until a few hours before you are ready to use it. In the past I made my own with confectioner's sugar, but it always made a mess if there were any loose crumbs. The cool whip frosting just covers it all up. Amazing. And delicious too! You have to keep it in the fridge, and it does harden a bit, but that's fine by me! Here's the minion, mid-frost. I used thick black licorice for the gloves.
 Once he was frosted, I used thin black licorice for the hair, goggle straps, and smile. I wanted to do the overalls in blue fruit roll ups, but couldn't find any. Discouraged and mumbling to myself in the cereal aisle last week, I turned around and spotted a display with Rip Rolls. They are thin strips of fruit roll candy covered in sugar and taste a bit like sour patch kids. The color was perfect, but they made an enormous sticky sugary mess all over the counter. The buttons on his overalls are M&Ms and his feet are ho-hos. Which I sampled while building and was disappointed to discover that they just don't taste as good as they did when I was a kid. The "G" is done in black icing.
 Overall, I was very pleased with how the cake turned out. I decorated it on Friday night for an early party on Saturday. The only fix needed was extra frosting on the arms because the top layer of wafer cookie had separated. The boy was happy, and his friends and their parents were impressed. One dad said he thought it was professionally done. (*Blush*) And of course everyone wanted to eat the sticky "blue stuff".

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