Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cake-skirted Cindy

She just looks like a Cindy. Laura and I stopped at the Dollar Tree before class, not wanting to shell out $6.95 for a doll pick we'd never use again. After skepticism of the choices, pondering the other options, and finally caving in to our cheapness, we both came away with little fairy dolls (the other options were mermaids). I paid the $1.07 in change.

Before I tell you about my doll, I should tell you about my cake. After doing lots of research in the hope of finding a doll cake that wasn't scary, I also found lots of information about the cake itself. Apparently, even the Wilton doll cake pan is too short for a doll, so many people bake an extra 8 or 9-inch round cake and use it to boost the height. As I baked my skirt in a bowl (a perfectly acceptable method, don't scoff), I was sure I'd need this extra lift. Using my grandmother's delicious hot milk cake recipe, I baked these beautiful cakes.

I then proceeded to ice them together, into something resembling a giant hamburger.

Armed with this, and my Cheap Cindy Fairy doll, I only lacked one thing as I entered class: a vision. I had no idea how I wanted to decorate my cake. I realize now I should've looked at pictures of ball gowns instead of doll cakes. If there is a next time (please, no!), I'll know better. I did feel better about this assignment as our teacher explained that the point of this exercise was not idle humiliation, but practice with pressure and control while icing, to prepare us for flowers next week. Ah. Now I understand. She wanted us to use the 104 tip for ruffles (also to be used for roses next week) and the 16 or 32 tip for stars. I dreaded the star tip, because, as I'm sure you will agree, using this tip on a ball gown makes the gown look as though grandma crocheted it. But, like the good student I am, I resigned myself to crocheting and ruffling a ball gown for (now naked) Cheap Cindy.

I might also add, that taking Cheap Cindy's fairy outfit off was quite the ordeal. The neck strap was smaller than her head, so I (of course?) thought to just pop her head off. I then immediately realized that her head might not go back on. It didn't. There I sat, while our teacher warned us about the dangers of using some types of fresh flowers on cakes, with a naked, headless doll in one hand, and her head in the other, trying desperately to reunite them under the table. Laura and I were also trying just as desperately not to laugh. On the verge of collapsing in laughter at the thought of a crocheted and headless doll cake, I handed the doll to Laura, who somehow wrangled her little head back on.

Resolving that if I must make a doll cake, I may as well make it super girly, I decided that Cheap Fairy Cindy's dress would be pink. (Her fairy wings are a shocking shade of lime green, so that ruled out most other colors anyway.) My teacher helped me scootch Cindy's legs into my cake until she stood, nude and creepily sticking halfway out of my cake. I should've taken a picture of that. I ruffled and starred away, until at last, Cindy stood, in all her pink, crocheted, slightly-misshapen glory.

I thought it best to let her hold her fairy wand, since she looked a little bored just sitting there. Or maybe it's a giant bubble wand. What do Dollar Tree Fairies do, anyway?

I must admit, though, that as much as I detest the idea of a doll cake, I have that fondness for poor trapped Cindy as anyone does for something mediocre: just because I made it. And I thought I did an okay job on the icing part (and that's the important part, right?). See my ruffles? You can also tell where I switched from the 16 tip (the small stars) to the 32 (the bigger stars).

I don't know if you can tell, but Cindy does have a little flower detail on her crocheted bodice.

Overall, I'm glad this assignment is over. I'm also glad that this cake will be put to good use. Laura knows a little girl who will be turning 6 this Thursday, and Cheap Cindy will be Happy Birthday to her. And I know for a fact that the cake will, if nothing else, taste good.

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