‘How Hard Could It Be?’ – Episode 1: The Otter Birthday Cake Debacle

When flipping channels, there are three things that must be watched until completion if they are stumbled upon…

  • ‘Rocky’ Movies
  • ‘Overboard’
  • ‘Cake Boss’

I don’t know what it is about Buddy and his lovable band of cake-a-teers (not a word) but I can’t get enough of ’em. Part of me is jealous of them. What an awesome job it must be to get to create edible works of art all day.

For some reason, I got it into my head that I could make my own super-cool cake. What gave me this idea? I don’t know. I’ve never baked anything, ever. But, I’ve watched the show a jillion times. Surely I’ve learned something through osmosis.

Note: My buddy at work is amused that I’m always trying stupid crap like this. He wants to create a pilot called “How Hard Could It Be?” where I watch a TV show and then try to duplicate the skill it’s taken them years to perfect. Sometimes it’ll turn out well like my clay “Community” snowman Senor Chang and sometimes it’ll turn out like the otter birthday cake…

First off, anyone who knows my alliance partner knows she loves otters. What’s not to love? They’re adorable. So, for her birthday I decided I’d make her a sea otter birthday cake. I started with this plan…

I purchased all of the baking supplies the day before and stashed them in our basement. Then I waited until she went to bed on the evening of her birthday to get to work.

I even lit a candle so she couldn’t smell the chocolate heaven that would greet her the following morning.

The perfect crime? I think so.

I baked the first cake and carved out my base. It went exactly according to plan. Seriously, Buddy and his crew have nothing on me. He’d better hope I never move to Hoboken with my bad-a** baking skills.

I did make one change to the design. I didn’t like the round otter aesthetic of the blueprints, so I made my sea otter a little thinner. True artists can work on the fly like that.

However, I ran into a bit of trouble when I went to ice the base. I figured icing was basically like cake spackle or touch-up paint. Apparently this isn’t the case. It’s like trying to spread tar over a beach. I did a quick Google search and learned that it helps to warm the icing first. They never show the icing warming step on “Cake Boss,” so that’s really more Buddy’s fault than mine.

The second cake was out of the oven shortly thereafter and I went to work layering. This proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated as cake, while delicious, isn’t very sturdy. I’d hoped the icing between the layers would act as a kind of quick-drying cement. But, I was wrong.

Not to be deterred, I inserted the dowel and wire supports for the head and the arms. I crossed my fingers hoping this step would help secure the body.

Then we hit some serious trouble…

The cake wasn’t strong enough to support the rice crispie treat arms I had fashioned for my sea otter.

I messed with the design a bit and was able to attach two smaller arms to the front. Not ideal (or attractive) but an otter needs arms. How else would it smash rocks against the clams it holds on its tummy?

And finally…complete disaster.

The otter head I had created from rice crispie treats was far too big and heavy to rest atop its cake pedestal. Slowly the body began to buckle and the head began to sink. Nothing could be done but to watch as our otter friend began to melt as if she were a Wicked Witch  who had just stumbled into a car wash.

What a world.

So, conceding defeat I baked the back-up plan cake and decorated it. Yeah, it’s not nearly as cool as one Buddy and his buddies could make. But at least I don’t hoard trade secrets like his little icing warming trick.

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3 Responses to “‘How Hard Could It Be?’ – Episode 1: The Otter Birthday Cake Debacle”

  1. Kerry Kristine McElrone Says:

    I adore you

  2. LDCH Says:

    I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!! Too cute and good for you.

  3. janet Says:

    this was a great idea!

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