My 12-year-old daughter has been watching “Cake Boss” — the TLC cable television show that follows the crew in a New Jersey cake shop as they fashion elaborate cakes for fickle clients.
I’ve half-watched a couple of episodes with her and tried not to be too much of a pill about food coloring and cliched reality TV editing.
It was, to say the least, a surprise for her. Cakes are more of a Mommy than a Daddy thing in our house, and they usually involve a box of Duncan Hines and a tub of frosting.
We baked the two cakes but realized that we didn’t have any frosting, so we winged it. Two sticks of softened unsalted butter went into the mixer, and as it ran we added a pound or so of confectioners sugar. Next, in went a spoonful of vanilla and finally a few splashes of milk to smooth the vanilla frosting out.
My kid knew exactly what to do to “dirty ice” the two-layer cake to make it ready for the fondant. Yes, that blood-red fondant. A few seconds in the microwave softened it considerably and made it very easy to roll out, then we pressed it with the textured film to create a basket weave surface. Finally, we played with the leftover fondant as if it were Sculpey clay.
The verdict? Everyone loved the tasty chocolate cake mix — particularly with the homemade frosting. But we all picked off the fondant after a tooth-tingling bite of the sweet stuff. o
“Yeah, they always pick off the fondant,” said my kid.
Do you watch these shows? What is the fascination in popular culture with cake decorating these days?