Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pine Wood Derby Cake

Time slips away so dang quickly!! This cake was from February when our Boy Scout Troop had their Pinewood.......or was it January? Dang I think it was actually January. Huh! I was sorting through the "draft" blogs I have hidden away behind this wall of posts and found that I have stashed quite a few cake blogs to sit and wait. While I did post this one on Facebook, I didn't really detail the process of it. And honey, this one really made me frustrated for a few minutes. This cake is made up of 4 1/2 sheet cakes. The base is the length of 1 and a half cakes - then the remaining cakes are stacked up. I let them sit for awhile and then I trimmed them into a slope. This is the closest semblance to a Pinewood track I was willing to try. I mean the tracks themselves are individual strips of pine (surprised it was pine?) and to replicate it exactly would have taken pvc pipes, maybe a little welding and certainly more cake. Dave might have gotten excited ........... but he was last minute finishing cars.........and then friends showed up to have him help I was able to use him as an excuse in my head - I mean without welding......right? Really I don't think we have welding tools, but Dave sure has collected his share, the neighbors share and the population of a small countries share of wood working tools (and he wants more) - so I KNOW he could build a base for a Pinewood cake. Maybe next year? So how this cake was built.....kinda got distracted. Here is a tip - don't use as much powder as I had been at this point in fondant work. See on the previous pic and this one how much white on the blue you see? That is either powdered sugar or cornstarch. BOTH are recommended in many cake sites to be used as you roll your fondant out to be placed on a cake. True it is helpful. However, I think the pics of cake people that I was reading were not really using it right - and the more I learn the more I find that using a lot of powder on your fondant can cause your fondant to dry out (my problem), be cracky (or elephant skin as some refer to it) and various other problems. There are products on the market that can help you roll your fondant out - like TheMat or the Wilton Roll & Cut Mat (I now have both and use them for different things) - which will eliminate your need for the powder - keep your fondant from being dried as you use it - and honestly make it a GREAT deal easier to lay on your cake. Was I using those products here? NO. Was there cursing? YES. Were children banned from the kitchen. YES. Did the visiting pinewood derby car fixing kids understand the ban? NO. Did I get cranky? YES. Did it all work out in the end? YES. One thing that I will NEVER have in my kitchen is the space to roll out a GIANT piece of fondant. Well I guess Never Say what I mean is One thing that I do NOT have CURRENTLY in my kitchen is the space to roll out a GIANT piece of fondant. So I cut and paste - which is totally acceptable. I just need to learn to paste better........and I am. I am also learning to hide my pasting spots. One of my favorite things to make on this cake - the checker board bottom. Not sure why, but that was fun. Kinda like a puzzle. Maybe I liked it because it followed the portion of the cake that involved cursing..........and it was it made me feel better about myself. Then after the checker board I placed lane dividers and painted the track to look as close as possible to pine. Eh........but your brain knows what you are supposed to be seeing and it helps my final goal. Please thank all your brains for tricking you that way for me. Note to self - paint lanes FIRST - then lay checker board........for obvious reasons. Finally the FUN part came. The CARS!! These I made early in the week so that they would dry. It surprised me that they were still a little playdohy (my word - don't look it up). They were dry enough that it did not effect anything though. Placing dowel rods in their base (or I think they were toothpicks since the cars were small - on in the front and one in the back) I popped the cars on. Being careful not to make anyone win - see I made the cars in shades of the different levels of Boy Scouts.........excpet the Green should be more of a Teal color. Tiger Cub - Gold...........Wolf - Red..........Bear - Teal..........Webelo - Blue Did you know that? Learn something new everyday right? The cars were fun to make and pretty simple. It is like going back to school and working with clay.......or even further back and working with playdoh that you can eat. Only it really is PURE sugar and like eating cotton candy - so I pass. Here is another tip I am learning though. Fondant is fun to work with, but with figures like this Gum Paste is a little better. GP will dry faster - not while you are working it, but once you set it to dry before using........much better. Plus GP is a little less finicky and a bit more forgiving - AND cheaper to make. If anyone wants my recipes for either let me know and I will post them. I am told that the fondant is yummy as I flavor mine with both Vanilla & Butter flavorings to try to come close to a buttercream icing flavor. I use the word "close"........ Since we had no real clue as to how many folks would show up.......I threw in some cupcakes. 150 were gauged for the event - the cake was enough for 150 easy, but just to be safe - and since there was extra batter - why not right? Made a few "wheels" to deco these with the extra black fondant I had from another cake I was doing. My friends, Scott & Sheri, who were overseeing the event was thinking Dinner First.........then we will Serve Cake. The folks attending were thinking "Grab a cupcake before they are gone" and did just that. Which frustrated my friend, but secretly made me smile. Before all the cupcakes were gone though - my good friend, Julie, who has her own photography studio......shameless plus.........Capturing Sweet Memories.......she is WONDERFUL!!, took a few photos of the whole dealio. She takes such nice pictures!

When we were carrying the cake in the board bent a little - There is another tip......use heavy duty boards if you have a ton of cake weight! - and the fondant cracked a bit. Julie used her photo magic to fix the cake!!

This cake was Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake, Banana cake and White cake. Vanilla Buttercream and Vanilla Fondant. This ENTIRE cake was totally gone by the end of the night!!


Scott said...

Could you post your recipes for the gum paste and fondant?? I am going to make this by Friday and I'd LOVE to get them. Also, did you just use edible paint to paint the "pine?"

Anonymous said...

You are SOOOOO awesome! I don't think My Cub scout Pack has ever done anything like this for our Pinewood Derby! I hope you don't mind if I borrow your idea.

karen said...

hi love your cake but how did you paint the track??