Sunday, July 17, 2011

British Baking Part 6: Spaced Out

British Baking
Part 6
Spaced Out

My husband and I have this funny little routine that we do with Nick, where we go through a list of professions and see which ones he wants to be.  It is amusing, considering the fact that he is two, and doesn't even know what a job is, but all the same, he plays along with us.  Invariably, he replies no to everything except one profession.  It doesn't matter how long or short the list is, as soon as you mention that one thing, the answer immediately changes from No to Yes.  The conversations go a little something like this:

Mom or Dad: Nick do you want to be a vet when you grow up?
Nick: No.
M or D: Do you want to be a doctor?
Nick: No.
M or D: Do you want to be a writer?
Nick: No.
M or D: Do you want to be an actor?
Nick: No.
M or D: Do you want to be a plumber?
Nick: No.
M or D: Do you want to be a farmer?
Nick: No.

Even when we choose something we know he loves, the answers still the same:

M or D: Do you want to be a golfer? A soccer player?  A ship's caption?
Nick: No, no, and no.

But, when we say, "Nick, do you want to be an astronaut?"  He excitedly shouts "YES!"

And again, we've tried stumping him, making longer and shorter lists, and giving him choices and choices of things he loves, but the answer is still no Mom and Dad.  Only cosmonauts suffice.  Why?  I'm not quite sure, but I find it endearing nevertheless.

It turns out that the same is true when it comes to book selection.  I was a little startled when yesterday we went through his entire stack of books, with Nicholas saying "No, no, no" until the appropriate books were located.

And yes, I know what you are thinking, he does have a lot of books.
We are both teachers, so sue us.

A thought came to me while reading his books to him.  I could finally give the regal icing a try.  I have been extremely intimidated by fondant/gum/regal icing.  It is beautiful.  But it is what all the professionals use, so I have just been a little apprehensive.  My friend Lauren, says it's like using Play-Doh, and frankly, it looks like fun.  I start out with the store bought stuff.  I got this from Tesco, and at home it is available in many, many places like Michael's.
I open it up.  It is soft and smooth.  Yes, just like modelling clay (Lauren, you are dead on), and smells sweet.  I try a small bite.  It tastes pretty small quantities.  People, it is plain sugar, so be warned.  I cover the cupcakes (I just used a simple Fairy Cake/Yellow Cake recipe) with blue regal icing that I round into a ball and smooth out with my hands to make a flat circle. 

There are myriad fondant tools available, and I have none, so you don't need anything fancy, just your hands, a little bit of icing (confectioner's/powdered) sugar in case the heat from your hands makes it too sticky, and your imagination.
Background for the space themed cuppies

Here is where the imagination bit comes in handy:

Not to shabby for my first stab at it, huh?

This is what your son looks like when he discovers there are "Rocket Ship, Rocket Ship!!!!!" cakes
and asks you "Pleeeeeaaaassse.  Very Nice Manners"

And here he is having his second bite of pure sugar.  Oh boy!
Later that afternoon you wonder why he is running around in circles like a dog chasing it's tail.
Then you recall letting him eat an entire sugar rocket, and make mental note not to do that again :-)


  1. Just showed the boys the pictures of Nick eating the cupcakes. I doubt they will stop talking about the cupcakes or Nick eating them any time soon.

  2. What's always bothered me about those Ace of Cakey shows is that they're architectural; there's no sense that the cakes taste any different from project to project, or that their flavor differs from what you can pick up at any commercial bakery anywhere. So have fun with the fondant, but don't go to the dark side.

    And I have to say, your previous concoctions impress without fondant, and look like they're delicious as well.

  3. Ethan- I totally agree with you about the fondant. It becomes more about the art than about the actual cake. I thought it was an American novelty sort of thing but was just flipping through a book at the library where they were basically making jewelry, I mean stringing beads (not edible either) on wire for the top of these cakes. I'm baffled by this... It's fun to try new things and experiment, but when it doesn't taste good there is no point in revisiting it.

  4. I love that picture of Nick eating the cupcake! It's so sweet how he says please first if you're not going to let him have it! That is so cute! When he's older you're going to the star of all of his birthday parties (and his new cousin's as well). I love reading all of these!

  5. Debbie ( The Cake Maker )August 2, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Aimee,Try using cornflour or rice flour when modelling the fondant instead of the icing sugar it's much easier to work with.
    I have to agree with you the cake needs to taste good as well as look good :)

  6. Hi Debbie-

    So glad you had the chance to check the blog out busy girl. It is kind of my fun little on-line journal.

    How is your finger feeling? Any better?

    Thank you for your tips too. I've got a little project tomorrow with fondant so I'm going to give the cornflour a try.

    You are so wonderful to share with me and help me learn. I think next summer you might have a little apprentice (me, not Nicholas, by the way-ha, ha, ha).

  7. Debbie ( The Cake Maker )August 3, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    My pleasure Aimee,
    I can find you plenty to do when you're over here. My finger is much better thanks :)