Monday, March 01, 2010

Take that, Martha Stewart!

If any of you are blog readers of old, you might remember a particular unpleasant run-in I had with Martha Stewart a few summers ago. If the tragedy has escaped your mind or you just want to laugh at me all over again, you can do so by reading here.

Well, now I can raise my head once more for I've actually successfully accomplished a culinary miracle. I, Becky Peek, made a little boy's day by making him a Lightening McQueen birthday cake.

Our househelper, JJ, has a nine year old son who is also a student of mine at our English school. When I found out his birthday was coming up, I told JJ that we could make him a cake together. I had received a cake mix in a care package a while ago (thanks Nancilea!) and hadn't used it yet. I figured this was the perfect opportunity. In my mind, it would be a seamless endeavor: throw the mix in a 9x13 pan, throw it in the oven, ice it up, slap on some sprinkles, that ya go!

But then the next day, JJ came over raving about the "xiao qi che dan gao" (little car cake) that she wanted us to make. She had found out from her sister that one of my American friends (who, mind you, is a whiz with cakes and all things involving sugar) had a Lightening McQueen cake mold. I couldn't bring myself to tell JJ that I'd never once in my life used a mold, nor was I very confident in my ability to make homemade icing, dye the icing, and then apply said icing in such a way that it would actually resemble a car. My friends weren't too helpful either when they affirmed that this was in fact a pretty difficult cake to pull off.

But, with the encouragement of my friends (after seeing my crestfallen face upon receiving the news of the cake's difficulty factor) and the donation of sprinkles and icing recipes, I gave it a shot anyways.

Lo and behold! It worked!

We decided Lightening should be blue instead of red (apparently red icing looks pink and that will never do for a nine year old boy). Then we made the tires out of chocolates sprinkles and his lightening bolt out of red sprinkles. JJ then insisted I write her son's English name for an extra flare of presentation.

JJ's son called me later that night, overflowing with giddiness over his qi che dan gao (which, JJ told me later, was accidentally knocked off the counter by the uncontrolled giddiness...oops) It took nearly an entire afternoon to pull it off but it was so worth it.

Ha! Take that, Martha Stewart! Those things that look know, the things you make look do-able...maybe they aren't so impossible after all!