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Humidity & Frosting & Instagram
July 24, 2018
I had been looking forward to making this birthday cake for my friend, Skyler Bouchard for the past few weeks. Skyler is a girl after my heart, she is all about food and she has managed to find food with beauty benefits. Caviar facial mask sounds right on all levels.
Lauren Jacobs (An amazing artist) on Instagram creates these beautiful illustrations and as soon as I saw her illustration of Skyler, I knew immediately that I wanted to put it on a cake. Anything that catches my eye I want to translate with frosting onto a cake.
I've been creating cakes for literally, as long as I can remember. I love it. I love every single step of creating a cake, it's therapeutic for me. A small problem for me in decorating cakes is that, when I was born, I had grand mal seizures for the first 6 months of my life and from that happening, I always shake. Always. My hands shake at all times and when I am hungry (I am ALWAYS hungry) it becomes even worse. So piping small, detailed lines can be a challenge for me. So choosing to put this picture on a cake was a slightly sadistic move on my part.
I piped the illustration and was SO HAPPY with the outcome. Skyler has these beautiful long eye lashes and it was really important to make sure they stood out. I made a tiny little cornet with the smallest hole possible and filled it with black frosting to create the outlines of her hair, face, eyelashes and the lines to define her nose.
So far, so good. I'm loving this cake and moving right along.
I decided I wanted to have the fine black lines be the main "color" of the cake so I piped some flowers that were outlined with a fine black edge. I'm totally loving these flowers, it's all coming together. I pipe the flowers and freeze them to place on the cake individually.
I started to place the flowers all over the cake and watched it begin to take shape into a frosting florally birthday cake. My favorite kind.
I box the cake up and hop into the uber. The humidity in NYC was on an Amazon jungle level in NYC. (I have never been to the Amazon but I have seen shows...) I ask the uber driver to crank the ac to max and we head off to journey to the upper, upper east side via the FDR drive. We hit traffic immediately and shortly after sitting in stand still traffic, the ac turns off. I explain to the uber driver that I am delivering a cake and need the ac not only on, but on full blast. "Not a problem" he tells me. As I wait to feel the Arctic winds of the ac to begin to blow again, he lets me know that the ac wont turn back on. So now I am sweating along with the cake.
Humidity, frosting and a chilled cake do not mix. In fact, it's pure hell for anyone that makes cakes. The temperature change for a cake that is cold to then quickly be surrounded by heat and humidity will actually cause the cake to sweat. Actually, its condensation but its so stressful, it's as if the cake is sweating as much as I am.
All I am thinking about are those fine lines of black frosting that will start to bleed into the other colors of the frosting and the cake will be ruined. I tell the uber driver to take me back to where he picked me up. I am completely stressed out and covered in sweat. Not my best look....
I get back into my kitchen take the cake out of the box to asses what I can do from here. She's covered in condensation and all the black lines of frosting are doing exactly what I knew they would given the humidity, they started to bleed. Her face was melting as was my soul and spirit. I put the cake back into the fridge and had a drink. A girl has to do what a girl has to do, judge me, I do.
I tried to fix it as best I could, but at this point, Skyler looks as if she got into a sweaty bar fight and got punched in the nose. If you know Skyler, that is a hilarious image.
Ugh. It genuinely hurts to see it like this. The nose is crooked, she looks like she's been applying mascara all day long and covered in sweat. This was meant to compliment Skyler...
Skyler is one of the cutest girls I've ever met, inside and out. I told her what happened and true to form, she was nothing but sweet, lovely and grateful.
The cake is a lemon scented cake with homemade raspberry jam and vanilla frosting. Sweaty vanilla frosting...
Anyone that makes cakes is well aware of the cake hell you can find yourself in no matter how long you've been doing it. Humidity was totally in charge, not me. I went and had more drinks after I dropped the cake off (I did mention how unbelievably hot it was....) and found solace in a moscow mule and commiserated with Chelsweets on how the humidity had made me it's bitch.
I'll have to create another cake with an illustration to redeem myself, so look for it.