My sister-in-law just recently had a birthday and we decided to throw a huge surprise party for her. The theme? Well, the Brady Bunch of course. You see, growing up that was one of her favorite TV shows. I have to admit that I personally have seen every episode at least 10 times. Not only is the show a classic, but there is so much you take from it as a party theme! I was happy to volunteer to help out.
And then I was assigned the cake…
You have to understand, that the kitchen and I do not really get along. We are basic acquaintances. The kitchen is where I breeze through a few times a day, microwave the crap out of a few things and go on my way. To me, it is a pit stop on the way to the craft room. And now I have a cake to make.
So I pulled a few recipes for fondant off of a website, bought some supplies and went for it. Because, really. How hard could it be?
The fondant recipe seemed easy enough. If you are interested- it is here. I watch lots of Food Network cake challenges and it looked so easy on TV. Just put a ton of powdered sugar on the counter and roll it out. They don’t mention that it is sticky. Really sticky.
I started an assembly line of cake making, fondant making and sugar gum paste (I bought a mix for this). You see, I had in my head this amazing creation including a vintage TV set and lots of Brady-like props. As you can see, the mess was already starting.
I colored the fondant with gel coloring. Hint #1– It takes a whole bunch of brown food coloring to make brown fondant. A whole lot more than you think. There is nothing worse than a skin-colored TV set. Just saying.
Hint #2– Do not pull the humongous cake out of the oven and flip it over to cool without trimming a bit off the top. (Note the emergency cell phone – just in case I burned the house down).
Hint #3– Do not make your sugar gum paste too thin if you are wanting to make anything larger than a flower. Take my word for it. Unmolding these pieces was an adventure in itself.
Hint #4– A good support structure is necessary for a tall cake. Most of the websites I looked at recommended structural support for every 4″ of cake. I made this four layers high, using wooden dowels, I supported it on four corners, with a tall one in the middle. Then I cut a small piece of cardboard to lay over the first two layers, cutting a hole in the center for the center dowel, and added four more dowels to the top two layers. It would have been helpful at this point if I had trimmed all layers to be even.
Hint #5– Ice the crap out of it with a handy dandy “Bucket ‘O Icing” from the local craft supply store. That way you don’t have to make more messes on your counters trying to fool with icing recipes.
Hint #6– Have a good idea how much cake you might need. Two extra sheet cakes is way too much extra cake. My husband and I are caked out. We each took two huge containers of cake into work. My coworkers fussed at me for making them go off their diets. His coworkers have no idea there was cake. He apparently ate it all himself…
Hint #7– Fondant looks a whole lot easier to roll out on TV. Seriously. The aspirin bottle on the side is no mistake…
Hint #8– Cover up all major fondant flaws with strategically placed flowers. Nobody will ever know.
Now lets make some Bradys!
And a few Brady accessories…
And there you have it!
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Brady Bunch, or those that are like some of my family who needed an explanation as to what the heck that was on the top of the cake..
From left to right- TV antenna, creepy Hawaiian necklace from the Hawaii episode, broken vase (Mom always said not to play ball in the house), and “porkshopppes and appleshaushe”.
From left to right- one of Marcia’s many major trophies, the Bradys (my daughter wanted to know who the man in the middle was- It’s ALICE! Arrgghhh), and the silver platter.
So there you have it. Possibly a good candidate for Cake Wrecks. But at least I spelled “Birthday” right.
Hint #9– Practice. I just got volunteered to make my daughter’s wedding cake. I am stocking up on aspirin already. sigh…
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