As someone with no filter to speak of, I’ve historically had to rely on others to be my “That’s not appropriate” guide. I am the queen of “It seemed like a great idea at the time!” (See: “What if I audition for a reality show?“, for example!).
My husband and friends are such enablers, that a lot of my crazy ideas end up coming through to fruition. “Let’s tile pi into our kitchen!”, “Let’s tile Fibonaaci into our bathroom wall, because I love Mathnet!”. “Let’s make costumes and dress up as Weeping Angels!”, “How about we do a tornado-smashed gingerbread house?”. “Silence of the Lambs is a perfectly legit ‘food and wine’ theme for my competition cake for a fancy Food and Wine show!”… sure, some people think I’m crazy, but hey… we have a lot of fun!
The lack of “That’s taking it a bit far…” guidance in my life led to last night, and my very first boob cake – years after retiring from the cake business. Let me back up a bit here…
My friend Michelle (of our Floor Tiling Tutorial fame!) was involved with the organization of Amanda Palmer‘s Minneapolis Kickstarter House Party. The theme was extravagance, and she offered me the opportunity to make a crazy cake for the event. While I’m still pretty caked out, I thought this would be a fun break from everything else, and a chance to flex some creative muscle. Plus, the event was WAY in the future – I think this conversation happened a year ago – so it gave me time to “recover”.
Flash forward to last week. In the midst of doing promotion for my new cookbook (“Sweet Corn Spectacular“), and with the release of my latest Spandex sewing manual (“Fitness and Bodybuilding“) coming up in just a couple weeks, I sat down with Michelle to hash out design ideas for the cake.
Between the guest of honour being so ripe for inspiration, and the theme – “extravagance” – being vague enough to not really guide or hamper design possibilities, it was really hard to narrow down what direction we wanted to go with the design.
The one thing that we knew for sure was that it would be chai flavoured – my most popular flavour from back in my cake days, the flavour that I get the most compliments about from my cake cookbook, “Evil Cake Overlord“, and it was the flavour that I’d served as a TARDIS cake at Wootstock, where I’d met Amanda’s husband – Neil Gaiman.
… in other words, it’s the flavour I’ve kind of become known for.
We’d tossed out a few ideas for design, between myself, Michelle, and her boyfriend Peter. Nothing was really grabbing me, so I joked:
“Why don’t we just do a pile of boobs? Hahaha!”
They laughed, and then stopped. It just clicked with all three of us at once, and all of a sudden I was on track to make my first boob cake ever.
(If you have no idea why we picked that, check out this coverage of Amanda Palmer’s response to a sleezy “Daily Mail” article about her: Amanda Palmer: “Dear Daily Mail”).
We decided that it would be a varied representation of boobs: Different shapes, sizes, and skin tones. Different types of nipples. We’d have some pierced, maybe a tattoo, and a mastectomy scar. As Peter put it, it would be “Boobucopia: A boob for everyone”. The whole thing would be accented with piped frosting “black lace”, to represent the bras that these boobs would be “escaping from”.
I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous. It’s been half a year since I last baked a cake – the one I served to Gordon Ramsay on MasterChef. It’s been a FULL year since I last decorated a cake – the “Robots and Doughnuts” one I did for an art show cake competition. I was honestly kind of worried that I’d be out of practice!
In the end, I was really happy with the results:
We delivered it to the James J Hill House for the event last night, and I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. I’ve got to say, I don’t miss the stress of delivering tiered, carved cakes halfway across the city. Due to the shape of the carving, the cake wasn’t the most balanced and stable cake ever… “My boobs were wobbling and bouncing” the whole way there, LOL!
We finally got to relax, sit back, and just take in the responses to the cake. All of the planning and effort (and destroying the “purity” of my browser history! LOL!) to get a variety of boobs was definitely appreciated, as people oohed and ahhed over them. The final tally had the cake at:
5 different custom blended skin tones
1 mastectomy scar
1 tan line
1 with freckles
1 with a birth mark
I want to give a big shout out to my friend Julie Schanke-Lyford at Fabulous Functions for helping us out with a last minute decor crisis, and hooking us up with reasonably priced linen rental… at the last minute! I can’t imagine how busy she must be right now – summer is always a busy time for wedding planners, but Julie has been actively promoting GLBT rights and serving the gay wedding market since before it was “socially acceptable” to do so – Now that “gay weddings” can just be “weddings”… she must be swamped. About time! Be sure to check out her Facebook page, here.
Amanda arrived, loved the cake – dubbed it “BREASTS OF ALL NATIONS” – and many photos were taken and tweeted:
… and then she had the idea to get EVERYONE together and do a big, “Wedding style” cake cutting, en masse. Hilarity ensued as she handed out cake and instructed everyone to NOT EAT IT til she was ready. On her mark, everyone fed cake to the people next to them… it was pretty awesome, I’ve never seen anything like it!
… and then the cake no longer looked like a big pile of boobs!
Everyone ate, drank, and socialized before filing into the music room for the coziest little concert I’ve ever been to. My husband was the official photographer, and took several hundred photos of the evening – bookmark (I seriously just typed that as “boobmark”!) this blog entry and check back in a few days for a link to the online album he’ll be posting! (Edited to add: Here it is!)
In the meantime, Click here to visit my Facebook page album for this entry, to see larger sized images of those you see here!
What a great night!
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