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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Scarecrow Cake (Wilton Course 1, Class 3)

Today in class we made our "Scary Clown Cakes" (or in my case, "Scary Scarecrow Cake"). I wasn't able to use all of the elements I made, my cake was just too small, but the next fall-themed cake I make will be 9X13 minimum.

Icing my cake was tougher than in the second class (I ice my cakes at home, and do all the decorative elements in class) -- the cocoa powder I added to the buttercream made the icing very sticky, and it kept pulling up and just didn't want to ice smoothly. I had to keep wetting the knife to get the icing to stay put and smooth out, but eventually I got it to an acceptable point.

Bottom and top borders (#18 and #16, respectively) went on in class, and then I used #21 for the scarecrow bodies. This was a lot easier than I thought, and it took only a little practice on my board to get the bodies the way I wanted them. I opted for lying down and climbing the cake, purely because I wanted the scarecrows to survive the ride home. I did have to snip off about two thirds of the pick that came down from the scarecrow head, because it was far longer than the picks on the clowns, and was just making life difficult.

I used the #3 to put some vines on the bottom of my pumpkin patch, and then plopped the pumpkins on top. I used the #16 to put stems on (it was still on the bag with my chocolate border icing and I didn't feel like taking it apart), and I drew additional vines on the pumpkin tops. This could definitely look nicer, I'm not the best free-hander ever.

I used the #3 in green for crow eyes, since the bag was already assembled, and I placed those next. My haystack was more difficult because, once I put it on the cake, I really didn't have room to maneuver to get the grass tip all the way around. Next time, when my cake is larger and everything isn't squished together, that shouldn't be an issue. I did the best I could with the grass tip and my limited space, luckily haystacks don't have to be neat. Then I topped off the hands and feet of my scarecrows with hay.

I didn't have room for my apples, which is unfortunate because they would have added some nice bright red to the top of the cake. I originally wanted a tipped over apple basket, and a crow by it, but there just wasn't enough room. I toyed with the idea of just scattering them on the top, but honestly I didn't feel like washing and fitting the #3 tip with chocolate icing to make little stems on the apples.

I then adhered my leaves with icing to the sides of the cake (2 of my leaves broke in transit). I decided not to add the corn stalks to the sides as well, because they weren't turning out the greatest when I was practicing piping. I think it would have made the cake too busy anyway. Next time, with a bigger cake, I can add in that element, because I wanted more buttercream elements on the cake.

All in all I was pleased with how it turned out. A lot of things could have been done more neatly, but overall I think it had a nice festive fall effect, which is what I wanted.

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