Monday, May 17, 2010

Trail Blazers Lego Cake

Richy, the birthday boy requested a Lego and Portland Trail Blazers theme cake. Together. In one cake. Seriously.

There were many first-time lessons in making this cake. First, we shaped the cake into Lego blocks (actually, this was the easiest thing we had to do). We baked two 8" x 4" cakes, topped with a 6" x 6" chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and then covered with fondant. We used a round cutter to shape the Lego toppers.

Second, we airbrushed white, red and black food coloring for each block. We figured airbrushing would save us a lot of time (do you know what it is like to dye red and black fondant?) We haven't tried to airbrush before and were unaware that if you airbrush too much, the color drips and an unavoidable mess ensues. Patience is essential - airbrush a layer at a time and allow it to "dry" to build up layers until you get the color you desire. If you want to airbrush, we recommend doing the work outside or cover the work area with a lot of newspaper (so it won't dye your kitchen counter red and black).

Third, mold the Lego man with gum paste. We haven't work with gum paste for over a year. We molded each body part, let them dry and then assembled them with toothpicks. In retrospect, we should have bought a Lego figurine and shape it proprotionally to the actual Lego man! But, when we assembled the parts, the gum paste cracked. What a disaster! Oh, but it doesn't end right here. As soon as we repaired and assembled all parts together, the Lego man wouldn't stay upright. Our original plan was to place the man on top of the cake, but because the hunchback and crooked neck man wasn't able to support himself, we had to place him on the board, leaning against the two bottom cakes.

As we were preparing to stack the cakes, Amelia realized she forgot to drill two holes on the top cake board for dowels to go through from each of bottom cakes. We grabbed a couple of plastic straws from our local coffee shop and inserted them on the bottom cakes for support and spread frosting to glue the top cake to the bottom cakes.

Delivering the Lego cake wasn't easy either. There were many turns and bumps on the way to the drop site, so we were relieved when the cake was still in one piece. Lastly, we left Richy's mom with detailed instructions (don't feed the kids the hidden straws, please grip the platform with two hands, etc., etc.) and wished the birthday boy a wonderful day!

Although this was one of the most time consuming cakes we've ever made, almost to the point of throwing the whole thing out through a window, our determined attitudes (and perfectionist mindsets) ultimately guided us to make it work even though it meant many late nights. We hope the birthday boy enjoyed the cake, and that this is something he will always remember. Happy birthday, Richy.

*Update* The birthday boy's mom brought Richy to work one day and told him that Clarissa (and Amelia) made his birthday cake. His replied, "No, Albertsons made the cake!" Aw, kids:-)

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