Throwdown Challenge Cake Story (On Another Website)Very Long

Decorating By Brontecakes Updated 22 Feb 2009 , 4:30pm by gailsgoodies

Brontecakes Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 2:43am
post #1 of 20

My throwdown challenge cake story (its a novel actually, rivalling war and peace)
I hope you enjoy.
BTW I am home on holidays so really enjoying having time to share my stories on CC.

Last Christmas my world changed when I bought the family a wireless network/internet link .....and then I discovered flickr and flickr bake-off. AND CC of course.
Ok, I thought, I've been decorating cakes for years I can have a go at this (although I usually avoid decorating during the wet season as it is too hot and humid.)
So I get myself into a challenge to make an 18th birthday beer mug, my son was turning 18 and it seemed fitting.

Now, what about design, yep got my idea. Ill have a beer mug and coaster, with a bag of peanuts, a key, some pretzels and a large birthday card. The board could be made to look like a bar top. Itll be a piece of cake (so to speak)

I make my board... yep I'm pleased with that. I make the bag for the peanuts, beautifully painted and decorated. Very happy, now the peanuts.. I make a huge amount and they look great. Put them with the bag.oh no! they are too big and out of proportion. Oh! what to do?. Ill make a new bigger bagYep done, great. Now the coaster, XXXX beer is popular in OZ, so I paint their slogan onto the coaster.

I am so thrilled with my peanuts and bag that I take a photo to show at work. One lady says ...can it be for her sons 21st instead and she'll want it by Thursday morning ...okay, that shouldnt be a problem, Ill make the 18 accessories, take my photos and then change it all to 21. Oh yeah she says and BTW he drinks different beer, can you change the coaster and because its a challenge cake does she have to pay for it??? grrr its all getting a bit hard but I tell her she can have it half price.

I redo the coastercant get the colour right..yuck! it looks dirty. Oh well hopefully it will be covered by the cake and not so obvious.

Make the keys and two tags an 18th and 21st. They look great, happy with them.

Now to make the cakes done and in the oven..whats going on, they are flat, check the flour container..oh no Ive used plain flour.
Make the cakes again.whew they are lovely. Get them cooled joined no problems and into the freezer. Everything going smoothly.the lady rings .... she needs the cake Wednesday morning now Im in a flapthats a whole evening I wont have. Oh well the washing and housework can wait.
Right! lets get this thing done. Make my white choc ganache, dyed to a beautiful amber colour. Very close to beer, happy with that. Now to ice the cake, What the?the ganache wont stick to the cake. Its dribbling down the sides, sweating like crazy, back in the fridge. Looks like saggy baggy elephant skin..Why wont it dry.aaaahhhh! Working madly trying to get it done.. its Monday night and my ganache wont set. It all looks terrible. Oh what to do?. I know! Butter icing, that never fails. Son ...go to the shops for ingredientsMake the icing, looks okay not quite the right colour but close enough. Redo the crumbcoat. Noooo thats not sticking to the cake. What is going on. Cake back into fridge. Oh now the cake fridge isnt working, what??? Take a shelf out of main fridge to make room Yep thats set and should be fine. Start icing final coat What is happening the whole thing is melting Add more icing sugar. Wow its stiff now. Should work. Nooo its still melting Why ! Right, get that mess off. Okay fondant, last resort, fondant doesnt taste as good but it will work. Son... go back to the shops. Got the fondant . Kneed roll, kneed roll its too soft. Add more and more icing sugar. Kneed roll kneed roll. Add cornflour. Kneed roll Still soft but should be ok. Son help me get the cake covered. Phew its 3am and its finally done. Lets go to bed.

6am.oh no the icing has melted, its sagging off the cake, holes everywhere, the mug has developed a hump and looks disgusting. What am I going to do?......I ring in sick.for the first time in about 20 years I chuck a sickie. Oh shame! shame! Shame!

Oh well can't be helped....Now what to do? Ah! Dark choc ganache. Son...go to the shops. Okay.. make ganache mmmlooks very dark, I know! it can be a leather look beer mug.

Gently clear off all the old icing, hope I dont damage the cakes. No they are okay.

Cover with ganache YES its sticking. Its holding togethernot saggingNow I can get it decorated. Take the rest of the day to get all the accessories done, smooth the ganache, make the froth, writing etc. I scrap the pretzel and card idea, no time left.
Finally get it finished 2am Tuesday night....

The birthday boy was rapt with his cake and didnt want to cut it and it caused a sensation in the restaurant as other diners wanted to see the cake before it was cut. And his mother was so pleased she paid me double the agreed price.

Oh yeah and I won the throwdown challenge too! WHEW!

19 replies
kbak37 Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 3:08am
post #2 of 20

Great story! Love the cake and the peanuts are awesome! I dont blame him for not wanting to cut the cake!

Ruth0209 Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 3:13am
post #3 of 20

Oh, my gosh. That was suspenseful to read!! I lived your pain as things didn't go right, and enjoyed the glory of your victory at last!!

Really, the cake looks very cool. You certainly earned it!!!!

BCJean Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 3:27am
post #4 of 20

It looks great! I was breathless and exhausted when I finished reading your post. A very entertaining account of your experience.

You are a true baker and decorator when you can make your mistakes turn out fabulous......and you did.

JGMB Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 3:28am
post #5 of 20

Wow -- what a story and what a cake!!!! It looks great, and the peanuts are amazingly lifelike.

I think I learned a new phrase reading your post . . . "chuck a sickie" . . . I may have to start using that one!

Congratulations on your victory!

saramachen Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 3:33am
post #6 of 20

That is awesome! I want to do a green beer cake for a coworker for his bday on st. patricks day. If you dont mind...what size pans (8" or 6"?) did you use and how did you attach the handle? Again, its really a great cake!

gscout73 Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 3:34am
post #7 of 20

icon_surprised.gif awesome job!! congrats... someday I hope to be as good icon_rolleyes.gif aOh, and I, too, Love the "chuck a sickie."

Brontecakes Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 3:36am
post #8 of 20
Originally Posted by JGMB

Wow -- what a story and what a cake!!!! It looks great, and the peanuts are amazingly lifelike.

I think I learned a new phrase reading your post . . . "chuck a sickie" . . . I may have to start using that one!

Congratulations on your victory!

Thanks everyone

Usually people in Aust "chuck a sickie to go to the cricket or football' not to make a cake. lol

Brontecakes Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 3:43am
post #9 of 20
Originally Posted by saramachen

That is awesome! I want to do a green beer cake for a coworker for his bday on st. patricks day. If you dont mind...what size pans (8" or 6"?) did you use and how did you attach the handle? Again, its really a great cake!

Thanks for asking. I used x 4 8" pans leveled and stacked. They were joined using dark choc ganache (a very thick mix, a lot more choc than cream with a bit of butter added)
The handle was made of sugarpaste (gumpaste I think you call it) that was already dried with a meat skewer down through the centre of it then 2 other skewers at right angles to stick it into the cake. I then covered the whole handle with the VERY thick ganache.

The cake stood 13" tall.

cookie_fun Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 3:45am
post #10 of 20

Oh my, that is a great cake! I would never have guessed all the anxiety that went into it! Great job!
By the way, I loved the whole story too. You can spin a good tale!

Brontecakes Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 4:53am
post #11 of 20

Thanks everyone.icon_smile.gif

saramachen I have make a beer can cake if you are interested in seeing that one. I can upload it. icon_smile.gif

mclaren Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 1:01am
post #12 of 20

sorry i know how you've gone through a lot of pain (& sweet success at the end) doing it, but your story is sooooo entertaining, can't help chuckling reading it... poor son had to go out few times to do some cake shopping he he..

Brontecakes Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 1:23am
post #13 of 20

Thank you, I am pleased you enjoyed it. I tried to make it an entertaining story. It was very stressful at the time but I can laugh about it now. LOL. And my son was VERY patient and helpful. icon_smile.gif

Brontecakes Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 12:19am
post #14 of 20

If you read my story and enjoyed it please leave me a quick note. I know many people have viewed and would like to hear from some of you. It builds my network and lets me know who is out there. Thank you. icon_smile.gif

dragonflydreams Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 4:59am
post #15 of 20

. . . great story . . . nice to see you here at CC in addition to Flickr . . . icon_biggrin.gif


ladij153 Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 5:23am
post #16 of 20

Great story Brontecakes......your cake is fabulous....wish my mistakes came out that good!!! I admire your persistance.....

luv_to_decorate Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 5:33am
post #17 of 20

Love the story. I can't imagine sending either of my sons out for anything cake related. Had to send DH out last night for white cake mix because I had a ton of every flavor cake mix but white. I was making a birthday cake for a friend and I had to have white. He was not a happy camper to go for me but he did it while I was baking the strawberry cake. Great cake. Always a good thing when you can take a disaster and still have a cake that's a winner.

Idreamofcakes Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 5:57am
post #18 of 20

Love the story...almost as much as the cake icon_wink.gif
Your very good at both. I wanted to scream for you every time something went wrong. You deserved to win and I would love to see more of your cakes, can you post your flickr info?
Oh yeah....what do you mean by "it was rapt"...sorry if it's a dumb question.

Nevermind, I found you on flickr. More great work!

Brontecakes Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 6:12am
post #19 of 20

Thank you all,

Dragonfly Dreams great to see you here also. Your boot cake is awesome. I have plans to make something similar...maybe one day thumbs_up.gif

lovetodecorate - my son has also been making cakes since he was about 4 so he has a fairly good idea what I need. My family (mum mainly) are all pretty good bakers. I'm the only one who decorates.

Ladij152 It certainly was an exercise in persistance I just couldn't get anything to work and the more I tried the more it went wrong.
It was also an exercise in patience for my son. He really did cop the full force of my frustration but bless him he held it together and helped out when he could. icon_biggrin.gif

Idreamofcakes sorry maybe rapt is an Aussie expression it means really happy, extatic, thrilled. "The birthday boy was thrilled (rapt) with his cake" It might be slang for rapture now I think about it. icon_razz.gif

I learnt a lot making this cake most importantly ...... turn on the Airconditioner....

And by the way....I do like a bit of a chat....I do talk a lot. LOL icon_lol.gif

gailsgoodies Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 4:30pm
post #20 of 20

Fantastic story and cake! I love it!!


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