Thursday, October 15, 2009

Food Network Cake Challenge, Here I Come


But seriously, I made this.  Can you believe it?

I was given the opportunity to learn how to make this cake and couldn't resist.  Part of me thought, I shouldn't do this. 

I'm a baker, not an artist and outside of my Wilton courses, I've never decorated a cake let alone carved one. 

This is going to be way over my head.   But the thought of making A Wild Thing was too good to pass up.

So I went for it. 

Little old me, who has only worked with fondant 2 other times...
Who didn't even know how to make modeling chocolate*... 
Who only puts a knife to cake to cut a slice... 

Created the cutest little Where The Wild Things Are cake.

This is my inspiration.

Image Source:

Pretty good eh?

The legs are fondant.  I mixed a little food color gel with vodka to pant his pants and shirt.

We (oh did I not mention that I took a class to learn how to make this?) were told to use modeling chocolate for the arms because fondant is just too heavy.  I also used modeling chocolate for the teeth and nails (I LOVE the nails).

The hair is black royal icing.

The OH SO TALENTED Chef Janet Ben-Ami of Hey!Cookie taught lucky members of The New York Cake Decorator's Meetup group how to make this masterpiece.  This group ranges from cake novices like myself to professional cake decorators.  The thought of being in a class way over my experience level was intimidating.  But I'm so glad I did it.  First of all, Chef Janet is the greatest.  Janet was the best teacher. You can tell she loves what she does and she was so encouraging throughout the entire process.

The class was 4 hours and well, let's just say I didn't get very far in class.  If I would have been on the Food Network Challenge, Kerry Vincent would have shook her head and said, "You really need to work on your time management skills.  We would have loved to judge your piece, but well, its just pound cake with buttercream." 

But I learned enough to have the confidence to finish the project at home.  And by finish, I mean - color the fondant, roll it out, add the arms, legs, teeth and nails.

He is so cute, no one would cut him.  I think my family was a little turned off to learn there is a PVC pipe acting as his spine (I totally cleaned the pipe before adding cake which isn't even touching the pipe.)

So we took my Aunt Melva's famous pound cake out of the freezer, added some of my leftover buttercream, and ate it while we looked at my Wild Thing.  I love him - he's like a little kitchen gnome.    

What have you been afraid to try in the kitchen but are so glad you did?  Are you going to see the Where The Wild Things Are movie?

* So easy -- For white modeling chocolate, just melt 14 oz of the Wilton white candy chips and then add 1/4 cup of Light Corn Oil. Mix but don't over mix. Lay on a heavily parchment papered cookie sheet for an hour or two.  A lot of oil will ooze out during this time, don't worry.  Once "dry", wrap tightly with saran wrap.


  1. I love love love Where the Wild Things Are...the book is one of my favorites--I won't see the movie though. Anyway, your cake is amazing - I wouldn't cut it either...well I would have to fight off all the boys in my house who would want to. Great job.

  2. I am a huge fan of Where the Wild Things Are, too. I unfortunately won't be able to see the movie while it's in the theaters (I'm not even sure if they have movie theaters in Libya) but I will see it when I get back. Great work on the cake. I have yet to try something that big, but someday. :)

  3. Andrew's Mom - I'm torn about seeing the movie as well. I'm afraid kids will stop reading the book or when they do, instead of using their imagination, they will read/ listen to the story with images of the movie in their heads.
    BUT, I've heard the movie is really good and that many children no longer read this book. So I guess it's okay.
    Christina - enjoy Libya. I love your blog!

  4. holy MOLY!!! what an AMAZING cake!!!! i applaud you for your efforts. i have never worked with fondant. ever. i can, in theory (i've watched tutorials and such) and it LOOKS easy, but i doubt that it is! and i can only imagine how difficult this was!!

    amazing. really.

  5. Thank you Jeanette. This was actually much easier than using fondant on a regular cake. As you can see, I did it in pieces (see the back). =) I didn't have to worry about smoothing it because he is a monster.
    The hardest part for me was the carving. I was afraid of taking too much off and I couldn't "see" where I was going with it. You should try it. It was so much fun!!

  6. I'm totally impressed. I actually just saw the movie tonight and really enjoyed it. I'm not quite sure I'm ready for this level of cake decorating but always love to see them.

  7. That is an amazing cake! I can't believe you think of yourself as a novice! Your Chef Kerry comment sounded spot-on too - I love the Food Network Challenges! =)

  8. Rachel -- I am so impressed! And how did I not know you had this amazing blog??? Well done!

  9. That's a great cake! Inspiration, sweat & some knowledge & you were good to go! I'm patting you on the back.

  10. Thank you Heather and Catherine!