This was a fun project. At about 11:30pm last night I was thinking "Wow, this does NOT look like a car at all!" But then as I began to add all the details it started to look better and better. At 2:30am this morning Doug came downstairs and I said "I know, I know, I can't stop!" The perfectionist in me wanted to keep adding more details, but I finally decided I was happy and went to bed at about 3am!
Every time I bake a cake I still learn new lessons. Here's what I learned while creating this cake:
Piping thousands of stars can make your hand cramp!
The checkerboard on the bottom cake was created using a star tip. This is usually what you see on the character cakes/specialty pans. It actually moves along fairly quickly once you get into a groove, but my carpal tunnel certainly doesn't like this technique. I'll have to look into getting a 3 star tip if I am going to be doing this again.
Black icing requires A LOT of color gel!
Adding too much of a red or black color can make icing taste bitter. (If I only need small amounts I usually just buy tubes of the already colored black icing.) I started with chocolate icing so I wouldn't have to add too much color gel. It took almost half the jar! I had to run to Michael's in the middle of making the icing because I ran out of color, and it was still only a nasty gray color. I used Hersey's cocoa powder, but I have seen tips about using black cocoa powder from King Arthur, so I might try to find that if I need a lot of black again.
I love fondant!
Fondant is SO much easier to decorate with than buttercream. Buttercream is still used under the fondant, but it doesn't need to be perfectly smooth. I prefer the smooth clean finish of the fondant. Decorations/details can be placed on the cake and easily moved around before adhering them to the base fondant layer with gum paste.
Creating cakes like this for adults causes a little more pressure than creating fun cakes for children but I truly enjoy the detail work on cakes like this. I know I am always my worst critic and can see all the small "errors" on the cake, but all things considered, I am very happy with the way this cake turned out. Another success!
Time to clean my kitchen!