Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Making sweet

Every year there is a Girl Scout event where the scouts rededicate to scouting or make their first commitment to participate.  Along with this ceremony, there's a cake auction with the proceeds going to Friends of Girl Scouts.

Every year since Zoe has been in scouts, her troop has participated in the cake auction and I've always taken on the responsibility of helping the girls create their baked donation.

The first year, I made a double layer chocolate cake and cut a stencil of the dancing brownie on the brownie pin the girls wear on their vests/sash.  Really, if a girl is wearing a brownie pin, she is in full uniform, nothing else required.  I gave the girls each a small bag of coconut with yellow food coloring so they could shake it up to turn the flakes yellow.  We sprinkled the coconut on top of the cake, removed the stencil and wrote the girls names on the sides of the cake. 

The way the auction worked that year was that the cakes that won awards would be auctioned, all other cakes could be bought for five dollars.  That first year, the first place cake was a 3-D teapot, covered in fondant and elaborately decorated, donated by a ten year old. 

I was pissed.  My ass that ten year old decorated that cake, I felt the projects should be done by troops and girl scouts, not whatever adult would make something to impress everyone for them.  But,  according to the guidelines, if the girl/girls assisted in any way, like stirring the cake batter, that counted as the girl making the cake. 

I took five bucks and bought our sad little cake, fetching a bunch of forks afterward.  As the auction was going on for this teapot cake, finally fetching over $100, my troop was eating our cake.  We didn't even use plates, we just gorged ourselves like animals with eating utensils.

The next year, there were several different themes to choose from and each theme would have a winner.  We put it to a troop vote and the girls said they liked "Thankful".  One of the brownies created a design with a pumpkin and vines and leaves, I made the suggestion to add all the troop members names to the leaves.  Then we would write "I am thankful for my Girl Scout friends" on the cake plate.  I bought a pumpkin shaped cake pan and we all made the vines out of sugar cookie dough.  Our end result was on a 2 foot square board covered in various colors of green paper and plastic wrap, we wrote the line about being grateful for friends on the plastic wrap.  There were only two entries in that particular category and we won.  I had never seen those girls so excited than when they got to run up to get their certificate and have their photo taken. 

This year, I've once again volunteered to help the girls with their cake donation.  There's only one theme this year "Animals" and the cake must fit onto a 15 inch square board.  (I think our cake may have had something to do with that change.  Ooops.)  Again, the girlies voted and they all liked the idea of 'Dolphins'. 

Once of the co-leaders had the great idea to make and ice a cake, then let the girls sculpt the decorations out of fondant. 

I've spent the last two days trying to make fondant.  The Wilton recipe, the baking duke recipe, the marshmallow recipe, I've tried them all and I think I've succeeded.  I *think* being the key phrase here.  I've molded some figures and they've all stood up to the drying time without melting.  Today, I need to knead in the colors and get a couple more supplies, wire and more powdered sugar.

I'm also going to get some pre-made fondant, you know, just in case.  I know if I don't get any we'll need it and if I do get some we won't so I'm erring on the side of Murphy's law working in my favor.

And tomorrow is the big day!  Seven little girls, a bunch of stuff made of sugar that they'll be using as modeling clay and some parents to assist.  All in my house.  At my dining room table.

Those of you who a religious, I'd appreciate a prayer, eh?

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If you make your own fondant and are using shortening to keep it from sticking to your hands, this is an amazing moisturizing treatment for your hands. 


Amanda said...
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Amanda said...

Good luck with the fondant! Take lots of pictures. :)