Band Wagon Ho!

9 Nov

Have you ever tried to figure out what you can do with a heart shaped pan that doesn’t look old fashioned? Yeah, me, too. I’m not really the hearts and flowers type. I am all for masses of buttercream, so don’t count me out of lots of flowers on cakes just yet. 🙂

One day, I was cruising the ‘net, looking for inspiration and found a nifty Star Trek uniform cake that I filed away for future geeky birthdays, and inspiration hit: Heart, uniform, band, cake! Yeah, that’s it-band uniform cake!

The first thing I do when using something is to find a picture of it. No problem for this. I have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pictures of this particular uniform. In fact, every home game I take at least 200 pictures of it. The trick is to find one that shows the front without an arm, an instrument, or someone’s head in the way. That’s why it took me so long to actually make the cake-sorting through all those pictures. Having finally found one, I opened Word and used Auto Shape to make a heart. Then I inserted the picture over the heart. After that is was 15 minutes of “bring to front, bring to back, format picture, size picture” and all that jazz to get both objects they way I needed them ‘cause that’s how I roll. Why do it right the first time when you can do it 6 times and curse along the way? My biggest act of bravado? Not saving it when I finally got it right. A magic thinker, that’s what I am. Of course it will print perfectly- no need to check. Naw, you won’t need to fuss with it again, just one copy and you’re good to go. Or not. Anyway….  I created it three different times and then saved it.

110 uniform heart cake template compressed

(To find out more about this spectacular band, go here: http://www.marching110.org/ . Do them a big favor and go to Kroger’s website and sign your shopping card up so they get moolah to get them to the Rose Bowl Parade every time you shop.)

Then I said a lot of bad words, dragged my son into it, and we copied into Paint just to be able to save it as a jpeg for y’all. Ain’t the new Office Suite great?

Actual directions instead of rambling. Eventually.

Bake your heart. Well, not YOUR heart. Halloween is over, after all. Bake a heart shaped cake. Cool, torte, fill, and then ice it in the appropriate color. Cover with fondant if you’re into that kind of thing (I am, and I’m not afraid to admit it).  

Next step: decorate as appropriate. Done.

What? You need more?

 Umm, I don’t quite know how to say this. Best to pull it off fast like a Band-Aid, right? Right. Here goes. I didn’t take pictures. Not one. Not this time. I have the final pictures, but none of the process. In my defense, it was Friday night. What’s so special about Friday nights? My Fridays right now are this: get up at 5:30, get to work at 7:40-ish. Leave work at 4:30, fight the Nascar race on the outerbelt, buy groceries. Get home between 7 and 9 at night, starving, exhausted, and a tad cranky. Put away groceries, decide that although you don’t care what you eat someone had better put food in front of you in the next 10 seconds or your grumpiness will reach heights heretofore unseen in this here parts. Eat, stumble to the shower, and remember tomorrow is game day and you haven’t planned what to take to the tailgate. Crud! So much for Woman’s Lib.

I can’t just leave it like this so let’s foray into another cake file and look at the pictures I took for the Star Trek uniform cake. The process is nearly identical, so I think you’ll live to bake another day. If not, invite me to the wake. I’ll bring cake.

Where were we? Ahh, yes- bake a heart shaped cake:

heart cake compressed

Torte, fill, ice:

torted star trek cake compressed

star trek uniform cake filled compressed

(No, I don’t remember what I mixed into the icing. Chocolate something from the look of it.)

star trek uniform cake stacked compressed

(You thought I forget to stack, didn’t ya? Never, my dears, neva!)

star trek uniform cake crumb coat compressed

star trek uniform cake final coat compressed

Okay, we’re back where we were. Yes, we are. I checked. We’re back to “decorate as appropriate.” I checked. If you don’t believe me, scroll up and look for yourself. Stop arguing with me. I’m too tired for this. Let’s move on before this gets ugly, k?

Most band uniform collar stand up like the 80’s never left. How surprised were you when the cool kids started doing that again but called it, “popping your collar?” Man, we were cool before it was cool.

The collar is simply a rectangle of fondant, roughly 5 inches long by an inch to inch and a half tall.

star trek uniform cake collar compressed

The trick to getting this on the cake is folding it in half lengthwise and making sure your fondant has plenty of flex. You can add glycerin or corn syrup to the fondant to help it along. Take the piece to the cake, gently fold it without creating cracks, and place it in the dip at the top of the heart. The folding is the hardest part of it. Do NOT crease the fold. Have patience and expect to re-do it as needed so you don’t get frustrated when the blessed thing cracks like your feet in winter.

Once that’s in place, it really is “decorate as appropriate.” I have no idea what your local band’s uniform looks like. I’m sure it not the same as the ones I know, so I can’t guide you much for this part. The one I made in cake form was fairly straight forward. Okay, I decided to not get too fancy. It was Friday night, after all. Mine had block lettering, and piping. Piping like sewing piping, not piping like frosting piping. I mean, you can pipe on the piping, but the piping has to look like piping. Did I mention it was Friday night?

To cut the letters, I folded paper and used my middle school art class skills. Remember folding a square of paper into a smaller square and then cutting that to make letters? No? Geeze, what school did you attend? Click, click, click, nothing. Hmm. I know I’m not the only one who was taught how to do this. Really. I have this friend…. I gots nothing. Of all the sites on the ‘net, no one has posted how to do this. You can try finding a font in Word- something block letter shaped, or stencil shaped, or something. Maybe the kids have something in their craft stuff. You keep looking and I’ll keep looking and if neither of us finds something in the next 10 years, I promise I’ll make a tutorial for you.

In the meantime, here’s my finished cake:

band cake completed compressed

And my finished cake with its little:

band cakes both completed compressed

It’s not exactly as I planned, but the tailgate DID get tailgate of the week. Coincidence? Yeah, yeah, I know. Coincindence. Our tailgate hosts are so awesome, they don’t need cake to win anything. The cakes were finished in time, though; and in my defense, it was Friday night.

 

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