CakeSpy Note: Read on to discover a totally sweet Cake Challenge, as documented by Cake Gumshoe Claire: A guitar cake—from scratch.
No pan, no guides, nearly life sized guitar cake plus an informally trained baker equals an enticing experiment.
I fancy myself an untrained specialty cake master. For my friend’s birthday I decided to play with fondant (a kind of thick icing that’s mouldable like clay) and I made an incredible British flag (yes we’re all anglophiles here) out of cake! Since then my friends and I have always baked and made cakes whenever they come over. So we’ve started a kind of cake challenge tradition. This past time they suggested a guitar cake. So I did a little research and saw that most people had to buy a guitar cake pan. To cut down on cost and make things a little more interesting I thought my guitar mastered friends could sketch the shape of a bass that I could then carve out of pound cake.
While they sketched I put two 9 x 11 pound caked together and dirty iced them. I set my other three friends (who can’t cook toast) to rolling out fondant between two sheets of wax paper. Because of our lack of a sheeter (which rolls fondant mechanically to the perfect density) and lack of muscles and formal culinary training it took us about half an hour to roll out fondant big enough to cover this massive cake!
Once the cake was carved and iced and the fondant was rolled, we covered the cake in the white fondant. Smoothing it out over the cake and cutting the edges with precision. We then outlined the inside colours (I’m not a guitar expert so I don’t know what the inside of a guitar with the teardrop shape is really called- sorry) and filled it with black icing. We decided to model this cake after a bass from one of our favourite bands—McFly. We got all the details right, the knobs on the side of the guitar (once again not a guitar expert here—just an amateur baker!) we coloured them silver with edible spray paint (thank you Michael’s!).
Also, because we ran out of cake and someone forgot to bring rice crispy treats (let’s not name names) for the neck of the guitar, we carved it out of poster board and covered it with frosting to pretend it was cake. We got the two different shades of brown from chocolate frosting and chocolate mixed with white frosting. A little bit of art training came in handy!
Once we had all the details down (even the right amount and colour of frets and fret markers! Look at me—I speak a little bit of guitar-ist!) We decided it needed a little something. So in order to pay even more homage to our absolute favourite band, one of our artist friends sketched the band’s logo on wax paper and we cut it out. We then took red edible spray paint and with varied techniques on each letter, sprayed the logo onto the cake. However, I discovered that when working with edible spray paint and detailed stencils, it is best to use short bursts instead of continuous sprays of paint. So some of the letters had too much paint and it ran a little. But the best part about being an informally trained baker is—improv! I like to think I’m the MacGyver of cakes (seriously, a pretend cake guitar neck made from foam core? That’s pretty good—you gotta admit). So I told my artist friend to outline the letters in thin black icing and then spray some paint into the crease of some wax paper. She then filled in the letters with care and the logo came out looking great! Granted using brushes to fill in the letters would have been easier but we had none so we improvised!
The cake came out looking so good that no one wanted to eat it! Although we had been snacking on our fair share of cake trimmings. So we wrapped it up and I’m taking it to our scary movie marathon tomorrow to be awed at by all of our friends.
The next challenge put forth by my fellow anglophile friends was… a Tardis cake. For those of you who don’t know: a Tardis is a British police telephone booth that travels in time on a British television show called Dr. Who. We’re going to wire it up with working lights and everything. Oh boy- here we go again!