Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes) might not be my favorite cake decorator (not to mention that his eyebrows are a hat,) but I’m no hater and when a baker gets his or her own show I support it. I guess blowing up cakes and setting things on fire are lost on me, but when I heard that Goldman teamed up with Girl Gourmet to make the Girl Gourmet Cake Bakery I was intrigued. Last Christmas I was inches away from buying my niece their Cupcake Maker when a handful of poor reviews on Amazon swayed me against it. So I was psyched to hear from the Girl Gourmet folks about trying the Cake Bakery for myself. Plus, I’m completely inept with fondant so I figured this was a fun way to practice my skills with Teno. (Teno and I are basically pros at Play Doh so what could go wrong?)
The Cake Bakery arrived this afternoon and I managed to get it out of the package in under an hour, which, if you happen to win the one I’m giving away in this post, you will realize is amazing. Teno, my three-year-old and our friend’s seven-year-old, Milo were hopping up and down with excitement. “Let’s make a cake! Can I help? Can I help?”
This is when it dawned on me – why is this thing Girl Gourmet? Sure, it’s backed by Duff but this thing might as well be a plastic nail salon it’s so pastel and lady-like. I mean, I’m sure my niece would be psyched on it, but Teno and Milo were pretty damn into it. I really wish there were a boy version. Boy Baker? Guy Gourmet? When have you ever seen Duff working with a purple plastic spatula?
Anyway, we sorted out the pieces, installed the batteries and got to work. Teno decided we should make a chocolate cake with blue fondant. It’s pretty easy – you dump the cake powder into the bowl, add a spoonful of water and stir. The batter was might thick so we thinned it a bit, oiled up the microwavable cake pan and nuked our cake for about 90 seconds.
When our steamy little (and I mean little) cakes plopped out we started mixing up fondant. Much like the cake recipe, the fondant recipe consisted of some powder and some water. The blue was really crumbly so I added more water. Now, I don’t know if many of you have attempted to chew gum and eat Tootsie rolls at the same time so I’ll try to think of another analogy. OK – it was like when Play Doh dries out and you add water to soften it and it turns into some kind of magical glop that sticks to everything except for itself. Yeah. That’s what happened. I tried to salvage it with some more confectioner’s sugar but it was a lost cause. Teno ate it.
We had better luck with red… I guess. It was so sticky we couldn’t get it off the mat. I got Teno and Milo to help me sort of mush the fondant onto the cakes in a somewhat meaningful way and we moved on to icing. (The instructions say to roll more fondant and cut out shapes with the wee fondant cutters included in the kit. Teno is three and he knew that wasn’t going to happen.
I loaded up the icing gun thingie with the white icing in the kit and turned the machine on low for fear of a frost-splosion. With our fondant-squished little cakes on the turn table, Milo took the gun and waited about 45 seconds for the first drizzle of frosting. Ok – no need for slow. We cranked it up and Milo went to town with swirls and squiggles while Teno jittered on his step stood, anxiously awaiting the moment to truth – sprinkle time.
I have to say, the frosting gun thing was kind of cool. It worked way too slow, but Milo really liked it and it’s easy enough for Teno to use. We busted open the sprinkle pouch and Teno went to town. At this point, Teno was over it but Milo was anxious to eat. I sliced the cake in two and Milo inhaled his half. Teno ate all his sprinkles and I got a chance to actually taste the fruits of the world’s only two-hour-long 90-second cake.
Well, whatever – it came out of a microwave, we smashed goopy fondant on top, squished white icing out and loaded up with sprinkles. That’s what it tasted like. The bottom line is it entertained the crap out of two high-energy little boys for an hour and had I felt like washing out the mixing bowl one more time, we probably could have gotten another hour out of it.
So I don’t think that was a rave review, but it was honest. Is the Cake Bakery full of high-quality supplies? Nope. Will grown ups love making tiny , delicious cakes on it? Nope. Will your eight-year-old love making edible poo with the brown fondant? Yessss.
You know, it reminds me of the first cake I ever made by myself. A birthday cake for baby Jesus, cooked with a light bulb. Leave me a comment about the first cake you ever made and you’ll be entered to win a Cake Bakery of your own. I’ll pick a random comment one week from today – 7/27.
Update: A winner has been chosen – congrats to Heather, comment #10!