Sunday, September 30, 2012

Making a Pinky Pie

Making food should be fun. Sometimes it’s not much fun, I’ll admit. Creating food that is fun to see, and eat, can be rewarding, though, even if making it presents a few problems.

One of our family’s traditions is that I make my kids a special birthday cake, decorated according to their interests and personality. For better or worse, my 20 year old son is a Brony. For those who don’t know, a Brony is an adult fan of the My Little Pony show. Yes, Virginia, my son watches a show  designed for little girls. He’s not alone. There are plenty of adults from all walks of life that love that show. With that in mind, I had to figure out how to make the Boy a My Little Pony themed birthday cake.

The Boy is not a huge cake fan. Neither is his younger sister. His favorite My Little Pony character is named Pinky Pie. In a state of punnific inspiration, I threw out the cake idea and make him a birthday pie, instead.

I didn’t have a lot of time with this one so, I did the only thing a sensible person would do. I turned to the baking shelves in the grocery store and bought a cheese cake mix, adding a bit of red food coloring to make it pink.

Next came the pattern. I’d found a Pinky Pie t-shirt for sale on the web, and downloaded a picture of it, copying the stylized portrait of that particular little pony onto a sheet of paper to make a pattern for the top of the cake.

Fortune smiled on me in the form of left-over fondant in the freezer. I mixed more red food coloring with some of it to fashion the mane, and left the rest white for the eyes. For the iris, I mixed up some blue food coloring with granulated sugar and sprinkled it on top. The rest was a combination of red and black decorating gel.

A word of warning about decorating gel. Don’t apply it until just before serving. It will separate and seep a colored sugar-water over the rest of your project if you let it sit very long. Blech.

I’m not going to kid you. It was fun, but it was a pain. I had trouble with the pattern. It stuck to the top of the cheesecake when I was trying to transfer the outline. The fondant kept getting way to warm to handle way too quickly and didn’t want to behave, especially for the mane. The blue sugar didn’t want to lay down where I wanted it to. (In retrospect, I should have made the irises from blue fondant). I had to make it a day prior to my son coming for a visit, due to scheduling problems, and so I was mopping up red and black seepage from the gel before showing it to him. ARRRRGGGG!

The work was worth it, though, at least in retrospect. It really was fun to present, and eat. My wife and daughters were impressed. My son was ecstatic. How could he not be? I’d make him a Pinky Pie for his birthday.

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