Sunday, May 29, 2011

Angry Birds

When I was asked to make an Angry Birds themed birthday cake I wanted to say yes, but in my head all I was thinking is "what the hell is Angry Birds?" I'm usually pretty knowledgeable about what's "cool" but all I knew about Angry Birds was that Mike Tyson made a video about how to overcome your Angry Birds addiction. It's hilarious. You're welcome.

I asked some friends and learned that Angry Birds is a video game. At least I think it is. All I know is that you can play it on your cell phone, and I think on your computer through Facebook. In the game angry birds are trying to protect their eggs from green pigs that are trying to steal their them... I think. You can see that my research was very extensive. All I really needed to know for cake purposes was what the game and its characters looked like. Thanks Google images!

I was given about a week's notice for the cake, normally I prefer more notice, but I took it on anyway because my schedule would allow. There was a certain cake that I would have loved to try to do, but I just didn't have enough time. I looked through the images Google provided for me and came up with one that I thought was simple enough that I could get done in the amount of time I had, but it would also look cool to a 6-year-old. Kids are the toughest critics.

Making this cake was my first experience of having to really shape a cake because I wanted to make one layer of the cake look like the main character in the game. If you haven't already figured it out, I'm now an Angry Birds expert (not true). The base of the cake was going to be made up of 2 10-inch square cakes and I thought if I also made the top layer of cake there would just be way too much cake. Since I thought it would be easier to carve and shape, I made the top "bird" layer using 9 x 13 pan of rice krispy treats that I cut out into the shape of the bird. Then I just covered it with fondant and decorated to make it look like the main character. It worked out perfectly.

This was also the first time I used all my own fondant, meaning I made it and I colored it. In the past I've only done cakes where I've needed white fondant so I don't end up needing to color it. If I do need any specific colors I just buy the Wilton packages that have 4 colors in them and use those. They have a pretty good variety. However, the Wilton packages didn't provide enough quantity of the colors I needed in one package. Since it was cheaper (all about saving a buck!) to color it myself than buy multiple $10 packages of pre-colored fondant, I ventured out on my own and gave coloring fondant a try. I made the fondant one day, and used the Wilton jars of food coloring gel (they're awesome) to color it the following day when I was going to decorate the cake. While it's hard work, coloring the fondant worked out really well, it also worked out my forearms. Hooray for multi-tasking.

Putting the cake together was fairly simple. The hardest part was just working out all the decorating details on the bird. I used Wilton tube icing (have I mentioned that I like their products?) for all the black detailing, which was the most nerve-racking part. I was in the home stretch at that point and didn't want to mess up. I did a couple of practice runs on a paper towel until I felt comfortable (piping icing always makes me nervous) and went for it. I loved it, and Colby did too.