Sunday, March 29, 2009

Outer Space Cake Bake and Auction

You may remember the medieval themed Cub Scout cake auction from last year. Well, this year's theme was Outer Space. Let me tell you, this is a much easier theme for cake ideas than last year's medieval times was. Remember, everything has to be edible -- everything.

Take a minute and think of all the things you can do for an outer space cake.....

Times up. What did you come up with?

Well, we came up with the man landing on the moon (R) and Saturn with it's rings (T).

Before we go into the details, I need a minute to let you know that I know that my boys' hair is too long. They were supposed to get it cut during the week and it never happened. I was too worried that we wouldn't get the cakes done in time if we went and got hair cuts on Saturday. So, they look like ragamuffins in these pictures. You'll be happy to know that they look presentable now.

Back to the previously scheduled blog....

First, the man landing on the moon. R wanted to show outer space, the moon, Neil Armstrong, and the American flag. How to make Neil Armstrong, you ask? Easy! Fondant or gum paste. I had the mixins to make fondant like last year, but I also bought some pre-made gum paste, which I knew dried harder than fondant. We used the gum paste, but I wished that we made fondant because the gum paste was tricky to work with. It still worked though. R made the astronaut himself, with coaching from me (as in, do you think that he had one leg twice as long as the other?) We found a "how to" video on Youtube and used that as a guide. (Again, I love modern-day technology.)

R is using edible markers to paint red stripes on the space suit because "Neil's the commander of the mission."

Here's a closer look of the fine details.

I bought cake pans that were two half-spheres that could be put together for a whole sphere. R wanted a rectangle cake on the bottom to represent outer space (with black icing) and then a half-sphere on top that would be the moon. I forgot to take pictures of the moon baking, but you can see them on the counter in the next picture. R wanted to use red velvet cake for the moon. Here he is getting ready to pour the cherry chip cake mix into the pan for the outer space base.

Here's the finished product -- the first man walking on the moon -- in cake.

For T's Saturn cake, M thought that we could do something with spun sugar like he had seen on the Food Network. That seemed hard to me, but I remembered a craft that I did with the kids a few years ago where we melted hard peppermints to make a pretty wreath to hang in the window. So we bought a bunch of hard candies and gave it a try.
This is the first attempt. M bought Jolly Ranchers and it was beautiful, but waaayy too thick and heavy. There was no way that the cake would hold it without being crushed.

This is the second attempt in the oven. It was looking really good. It got to a point in which it just needed a bit more melting. Wouldn't you know it, I got distracted and it started boiling and all the colors melded together, which T thought was kind of cool, but then it got stuck in the pan and no matter what I did, I couldn't get it out. Argh!

This is the third attempt, which worked great. We used fewer candies so that it would be thinner. We also put parchment paper in the pan first so that we could get it out (so many things we learned along the way!) T did a nice design. It worked nicely, except that we mishandled it a bit and it cracked, making it unusable.

This is a case where the fourth time was a charm. Here it is before we put it in between the two spheres. Okay, now that we got the rings down, it was time to decorate the planet itself. We used Google Images to look at lots of pictures of Saturn and decided to use five different colors of icing. I used this adventure as an excuse to buy the creme-based food coloring kit that I've wanted for a couple of years, but never really had a reason to buy it. The colors are truer and it doesn't change the texture of your icing (or fondant) as much as the liquid coloring does.

T started with a base of white icing and covered the sphere, then he added in waves and swirls of the other four colors. He chose the colors based on the pictures he saw online.

Making Saturn is very serious work.
Then comes the blue.

And here is the finished planet, or the top of the planet, in all its swirling glory.
The auction was a success, raising $300 to buy the boys "class B uniforms" aka t-shirts with the pack number on it. Check out the cool cakes.

The cakes at the auction all looked really great. There were some really awesome ones -- R2D2 (made out of five cake mixes!), the solar system, with 8 different cakes, the Death Star from Star Wars. Those kids (and parents) went all out. Some of the kids favorites were the Death Star and a couple of cakes that had aliens (gummy bears) fighting -- because of all the candy.


Ken said...

Those are nice looking cakes and I bet they taste good too. Nice blog!
I'm glad it made some money for the troop!

jennavar said...

I love this time of year with the cake auctions. You all are so creative. That just reminded me that I wanted to try the Medieval cakes that you made from last year with our Medieval study...

The cakes look awesome. I love R's astronaut and Saturn is soo colorful. Absolutely LOVE the rings. I'm envious of all your food coloring stuff. Gotta have the equipment.

Which one did you bid on? How did it taste? What a fun time.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Oh-my-gosh, how totally creative your family is. Neil Armstrong never looked so good, and delicious! And Saturn is glorious, who wouldn't love sinking their teeth into those cakes. What a fun money-maker.

But the very best part of the whole project is the creme-based food coloring kit—what fun to be able to make any color you'll ever want!

No apologies necessary for those shaggy heads of hair!

Aunt Patty said...

Now you've got me craving some cake! Beautiful job, what patience, creativeness, perserverance, dedication, time,and energy is shown here. What a successful endeavor!!