It’s been a while since I have posted anything new on the blog so I thought I’d check in with you all by sharing a picture of a Spam cake I made over the winter. My church has a food pantry that we open up to the community twice a month. The pantry was starting to get low on canned goods after the holidays so the church decided to hold a contest among the various small group Bible studies to see which group could donate the largest number of canned goods to the pantry. The winning group received some individual baked goods from a couple of women in the church as well as a cake, made by me, to share with the group at one of their meetings. I was given free reign to make any type of cake I wanted. Well, what better way to celebrate a canned food drive then a cake that looks like a huge can of Spam?
So that is what I made. I took a few pictures of the process but someone (I won’t name names *cough*my kids*cough*) deleted those pictures from my camera so I am just going to have to do a little explaining. I bought a small can of Spam and carefully removed the label from the can. Using my copy machine I enlarged the label to the size I wanted then cut it out, piece by piece, to use for the various patterns. I thinly rolled out colored modeling chocolate and used the patterns and a sharp knife to cut each piece of the label.
The cake was covered in fondant then the blue and gold color were added with an airbrush. A funny (not-so-funny) story about the airbrushing was that I started up my machine to begin spraying the blue on the cake but no color came out of the airbrush. I kept waiting and waiting, expecting color to eventually appear. After several seconds I looked down in frustration only to discover that I had the airbrush turned backwards and there was blue food coloring all over my waist and all over the room behind me. Sadly, these types of things happen to me all the time. I thought it was going to be impossible to clean the room but about a week later our basement, where my cake room is located, ended up flooding and all the flood water cleaned up the room spic and span. Talk about a mixed blessing!
Okay, back to the cake. Like I said, I airbrushed the color. I made a faded effect with the blue, just like on the real label. I then attached the modeling chocolate pieces with some thinned down piping gel.
The cake board is also covered in fondant and made to look like a wood surface. There is a great Youtube video by Elisa Strauss on how to make a wood grain in fondant.
Finally, I thought the cake needed something laying beside it on the baseboard. A fork or spoon just seemed a bit to classy for Spam. That’s when it hit me… a SPORK! A plastic spork is the perfect eating utensil to capture the sophistication of a can of Spam. So I found a picture of a spork online and printed it out to use as my pattern. I cut it out of gum paste and laid it on top of some wadded up foil to allow it to dry in the correct shape.
I then had another slight tragedy. Remember the flying wiener dog incident from my VW Bug cake? Well, it happened again. I set the cake on my kitchen table to take pictures. After a couple of pictures I decided I wanted to switch the lens on my camera. In the 10 seconds I was gone from the room to get the other lens, my naughty wiener dog, Peanut, jumped up on the table, via a chair, and took a bite out of the corner of the cake. I frantically did the best I could to fix up the corner before I had to deliver it. Thankfully it was for church friends. I figured they could practice their forgiveness skills on my dog. I never did get another chance to take any more pictures of the cake.
It ended up being a big hit among the members of the Bible study group and no one cared about the little bit of dog nibbling. In fact, the best part was that some people even asked where the cake was as they looked right at it. A couple people told me they thought it was just a large can of Spam from Costco laying on the counter. Those are the types of comments that make it all worth while, even the airbrush disaster and the naughty dog incident. One thing I love about cake decorating is that every cake has a story. Most have two stories; one story is the reason for the cake and the other story is about the making of the cake. For me, cake decorating is never about the end product, it is always about the journey in getting to that end product; the good, the bad and the ugly.
Until next time, God bless and Sweet Dreams.