Last year, I vaingloriously attempted — and yes, I just used the word vaingloriously — to dazzle guests with my so-so pastry skills by bringing this Jell-O cake to my friend Thom and Lornie’s Fourth of July fete. I was very proud of myself and my cake decorating skills only to discover that Thom — mild-mannered, recently retired Thom — is a black belt confectionary jiu jitsu artist who easily kicked apart my squishy gelatin dessert.
Well, not so this year! I was determined to bring my A-game to this year’s
cut throat competition fun, easy-going party even though I knew I’d be crafting under less than ideal conditions; it’s not easy baking with a baby underfoot. And I knew there was no way I would win by craft alone. I had to come up with a different angle. In the end, I opted for cheap sentimentality. See, Thom and Lornie are Canadian….Canadians forced to live among loud, dirty Americans who drink bad beer and elect philandering body builders to high office.
I made a Canadian flag cake. What’s Canadia? loud, dirty Americans may ask. Let me show you…
For this cake, I used Marmi’s delicious whipped cream pound cake recipe topped with her homemade white icing.
I went to this website and printed out a picture of the Canadian maple leaf.
I used a toothpick to trace the outline of the maple leaf into the frosting.
Except unlike Kraft Canada’s instructions, my maple leaf didn’t exactly show through the icing. Nice one, Canada!
I had to freestyle it, using sliced strawberries.
It’s not the worst strawberry maple leaf, if I say so myself.
It’s looking like Canada now. Just one final touch: the stem….
…which I made by cutting into one of the sliced strawberries.
Canada sure is a special country.
I quickly dressed June in her prettiest red, white and blue and we dashed to the party.
Here’s my cake displayed at Thom and Lornie’s party. I think the quietly burning candle gave my special moment real poignancy.
And then Thom’s cake was presented. As you can see, fondant trumps one’s bid for cheap Canadian sentimentality any day.
Don’t let those necklaces fool you. Underneath those shiny beads is a ruthless cake-baking competitor.
If you can tear your gaze from the fondant stars and the American flags and the fondant bow that’s somehow standing upright, you can see my quiet embracement of Canada in the corner (and that’s June heading right out the door).
“Oh, mom. You just got got.”
Then just to rub it in a bit more, Thom made a point of telling me about “the two layers of raspberries” sandwiched between each of his three cake layers. His cake even cut nicely….
…while mine looks like it was cut with an egg beater.
The thumb was quickly inserted, the face was shielded by a corner of undershirt, signifying my humiliation was complete. June and I had to go.
Next year, Thom, next year……and in 2012, Jake will be on hand to help!