Monday, July 20, 2015

What a Lovely Day.

Nothing says "party" quite like leather, assorted weaponry, and cake. I feel like that may be the most Texan thing I've ever said, so I better preface this with some content. Recently, my husband's husband (yeah, your husband has a best friend he can't function without, too) and his wonderful girlfriend moved into the neighborhood. They decided they wanted to host a housewarming party this past weekend...but not the kind of housewarming party where the wine and cheese spread was the main focus. No, this ended up being the kind of house party where come midnight, a group of grown men had gathered in the kitchen while waiting for me to give them fake metallic tramp stamps (#squadgoals). You see, our friends decided to let the neighborhood know the War Rig had arrived by hosting a Mad Max party....which makes the shiny and chrome fake tatts a little more understandable. There were War Boys, Imperators, a gyrocopter pilot, and our very own apocalyptic banjo player complete with "flame shooting" banjo. Even the charcuterie stayed in character in the form of assorted meats, fruits, and vegetables from Immortan Joe's Garden, and the Mother's Milk (piƱa coladas) was cold and filling. Hence my opening statement: I've never seen more airsoft guns and leather all in one place, and it was glorious. And of course the cake had to fit in with the theme, so I was commissioned to make a steering wheel cake and did so in honor of Nux, the charming halfwit he was...
I'm gonna witness you going straight into mah belly.

There was lots of talk about becoming shiny and chrome in Mad Max: Fury Road, so naturally most people were carrying around cans of silver color mist to spray in their mouths so they, too, could be witnessed on the adventure to Valhalla, or in this case, the adventure to their impending hangovers the following morning. By the end of the night, most people looked like they had just finished making out with half of a three-ring circus, so the photo ops were pretty epic....I even made sure the cake was sprayed in a shiny chrome finish and bared the "Witness Me" War Boy cry. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy a good costume party? Although in Clovis, the Mad Max world seems one Walmart closing away from actually happening.
I love it when friends leave us a love note.
Since this was a rager for the ages, I made my Guinness chocolate cake (recipe doubled for 2 8-inch rounds) with crusting Baileys buttercream frosting for both the sides of the cake and the buttercream transfer on top (frosting recipe and amount there). This was only the second transfer I've made, and my first 8-inch transfer. It involved more detail than the Ace of Spades transfer, but it was a lot easier to handle and place on the cake than the 9x13 transfer that required both me, my husband, and a lot of praying to put on top of that cake.
Like that? Didn't even warn you it was crappy photo montage time. There's no rules in the apocalypse, people. For this transfer, I drew out a steering wheel with a skull in the middle on Parchment paper using black and red Sharpies. I am so not talented enough to draw Nux's actual steering wheel, so this was as close as it was gonna get. It still looks like fire and brimstone, so it works.
Then I flipped it over and taped it to a clear cutting board.

Always start a transfer by outlining each color on your transfer. Check your work from the underside of the glass cutting board or plexiglass. If you see light poking through or if your outlining looks uneven or crooked, use a paintbrush to reshape your lines or pat down any areas where light is poking through. This sounds simple, but it is very time consuming. As with most things that require painstaking effort, the end results will totally kick ass and make you the preferred cake decorator for the apocalypse.
At the end of May when I made the Ace of Spades cake, I had the wherewithal and astounding willpower to not eat the leftover black Baileys buttercream I had used, but instead carefully package and freeze it for future use. I wanted to go back in time and hug myself for this because it was a huge help just to place #2, #3, and #5 tips on the frozen bags and let them thaw out for use on this cake. Speaking of this cake...once I had outlined everything that was going to be black, I placed my transfer in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
Then I came back in and filled in the skull with a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #3 tip before setting back in the fridge for another half an hour. Luckily my husband was home to keep me sane during the massive amounts of waiting time in between icing layers.
For my flame section and flames on the side of the cake, I made one small bag of frosting dyed yellow and one small bag of frosting dyed red. I snipped a small amount of tip off of each bag...
And slid them into an empty bag fitted with a #3 tip. I piped out a bit of frosting until both colors were coming out at the same time, creating a red, yellow, and orange effect for the fire.
As "witnessed" here. Once done outlining the fire and filling in the black areas on the skull, back to the freezer for another grueling 30 minutes.
Then I filled in the flames completely...loved how this turned out. Guess where it then went for a half hour? If you guessed Reno, you're wrong.
Then I filled in the white section behind the flames with painstaking calculations, piping, and paint brushing before freezing for the 800th time. The end of the world is a lot of work, y'all.
The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel was finally coming around though when I finished filling in the black sections of the steering wheel. This time around I froze for a full hour to let things really set.
I really want an Oreo... To finish up, I placed a #12 tip on a final bag of white frosting and gave my transfer a level back. After piping over everything completely, I used a small angled spatula to smooth things over. This then went into the freezer overnight.
I left my cake (crumb coat, final coat, and smoothed on the sides) in the fridge overnight as well. I didn't place a final layer of frosting on top since the transfer would take care of that for me.
I sprayed the entire cake with silver color mist because it had to be shiny and chrome. No way around it. Any areas that were runny I soaked up with the edge of a paper towel. Luckily, it was not humid this time around and everything actually dried. Whew.

I took a toothpick and scrawled in the War Boy mantra before piping over it with a #3 tip in black frosting.
This is a tip I was totally unfamiliar with and not at all sure why I already owned. Say hello to the Wilton #352 tip...more commonly known as the leaf tip. But I used it to make beautiful fire! POWER! Sorry..that's a Top Gear thing (why does everything I love leave me?), but it seemed appropriate here.

To make flames (or leaves, you damn hippie), you want the tip pointed sideways, as pictured above.
I held my bag with the tip like the photo above and piped a large base and quickly pulled up and then released pressure and pulled away. I turned the bag completely around and did this again to let the opposing side of color be shown. I did this back and forth around the entire cake, varying the size of my flames.

And it was bitchin'.
After letting my spray dry, I came back in and placed my frozen transfer on top and gently peeled away the Parchment paper. Things will need to be smoothed, so let it sit out and thaw for about 15 minutes before smoothing any lines out with the paper towel trick.
This cake would definitely get a pass into Valhalla. So shiny. So chrome. So witnessed. So tasty.

I finished off by adding a "spiky" border around the transfer to hide the edges. I took the black frosting bag and fitted it with a #21 tip and made small spikes around the entire edge of the transfer. I am quite content with how this cake turned out, and thrilled with our friends for hosting such an awesome night. I'm also happy with how committed to the theme everyone at the party was...all the "Witnessing," fake bruises, cake, and costumes a girl could need to enjoy the fictional end of the world in head to toe black (so slimming so all the chips and cake can be eaten!), surrounded by a bunch of crazy leather-clad friends. What a lovely day. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!

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