(Setting: early Summer in the American Middle West. Shannon has been up for hours planning the day, doing some grocery shopping, and has just returned from the gym. A thought occurred to her while on the treadmill – a rare happening – and she can’t wait to tell the one person she knows will be excited about it.)
Shannon: (slams outside door and sets her things on the counter) Lottie? Lottie!
Shannon: Lottie? Hello?
(A slight fear creeps in to Shannon’s heart as she wonders where her sheep is. She goes quickly to Lottie’s new home and rings the bell.)
Shannon: (hesitantly ringing doorbell) …Lottie?
Lottie: (muffled) …Mmmmmrrrrrpphhhhh…
Shannon: Are you in there?
Shannon: (opening door, seeing Lottie) What the…? Sweet Lord, Lottie; it’s almost noon.
Lottie: (after some unintelligible muttering) Is it time for our vacation yet?
Shannon: Noooo…remember what I told you the other night? We still have a few things to take care of before we leave. That’s kind of why I’m here.
Lottie: Did you bring coffee?
Shannon: (sighs) No. But if I make you some, can we discuss one of the projects we have? It’s for Movita.
Lottie: Movita??!?! Is she coming?? Please get me coffee; I want to look my best. Is she taking a sabbatical from school? Did they kick her out?
Shannon: NO! Lottie, seriously, focus; I told you this. She’s graduating!
Lottie: WHAT? Already?! So I guess that mixer incident didn’t count against her…
Shannon: I guess not; I’m pretty sure everyone in the class made their fair share of mistakes.
Lottie: Yeah, but I mean, that was a pretty big mistake, no?
Shannon: (with growing impatience) Lottie, I was wondering; when was the last time you did anything in a mixer? Or like, with your day…
Lottie: Oh, okay, fine, that’s really nice. I don’t even have opposable thumbs. Or thumbs in general. I can’t believe you would even say something like that when I’m not even capable….
Shannon: You’re right, I’m sorry; that was uncalled for.
Lottie: (in a huff) …uh, yeah.
Shannon: Listen, I came here because I need your help: I’m trying to figure out what to make for Movita’s graduation cake, and I just can’t think of the perfect thing. It’s almost deadline time, and I still have nothing. What do you think?
Lottie: Hmmm…hey! What about fashioning a giant stand mixer out of cake and throwing a scale model of Movita into it!
Shannon: Well, you know, I actually did think of doing that, but there’s no way I could execute that properly.
Lottie: Right, you’re right; because you’re sort of a hack anyway and you haven’t been to pastry school…
Shannon: Yes, that’s why. Thank you for that.
Lottie: What about a scene from her future Sprinkle Toes bakery?
Shannon: Unfortunately, I did that one already. I loved that cake.
Lottie: Right! You know what I loved about that cake? Those tiny pastries. Remember those? You decorated like, what was it, 7 million Cheerios or something in royal icing and sprinkles? That was pretty epic. You lost to a 12-year old girl with that cake, right?
Shannon: Why yes I did, Lottie. And I’m probably going to lose again this time, but that’s not the point, is it. So do you have any other thoughts?
Lottie: Well right now, my thought is that you should make me a few of those cereal donuts again…remember how you saved the leftovers for me? Those were delicious. You know, I wonder if you could make like, tiny cinnamon rolls like that too. Have you ever had Waffle Crisp? Those things would make some excellent cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Do we have any of those around?
Shannon: Seriously, Lottie, I need your help; I can’t think about making you breakfast right…wait. Did you just say something about Waffle Crisp and tiny cinnamon rolls?
Lottie: Yes; finally you listen. I said them in the context of “go make me some for breakfast.” I’m hungry.
Shannon: You just gave me an idea.
Lottie: Oh good heavens…
There’s a lot that I can’t do, people. I can’t fly a plane, visit haunted houses, or bungee jump. I blame most of that on an overabundance of imagination, which gets the best of me in most frightening situations.
The benefit of a runaway imagination? This cake. That personality trait, paired with the ability to enjoy doing a lot of tiny work at once, is the reason this cake stands before you today. Because I may not be normal, but I’ve learned how to harness my particular brand of crazy and use it for good.
This is my entry for Movita’s Bake My Cake 2013 competition. She’s graduating from baking school after a year filled with a good amount of tears and frustration, but ultimately tons of success. She did great, just as I knew she would, and she deserves a huge celebration in her honor. Even if she hadn’t graduated, she would still deserve it, because she’s awesome. I’m proud to call her my friend, and am continually amazed at what she has achieved.
I’m not going to lie: I really want to win this time. I’ve been in three other competitions of hers: Bake My Cake 2012 (with the cake Lottie was referring to); Pumpkin Carve-Off 2012, in which I made Lottie a home she has since rejected in favor of a vintage dollhouse; and Ginger 2012, where I didn’t even make the first-round cut because a gaggle of professionals showed up with ginger-Buckingham palaces to beat me. I have never won, but I almost have; I really think maybe I can pull it off this time, but I need your help. Voting happens this Monday, June 18, and I would love it if you would cast your vote. For me (just to be clear). I mean, you could vote for someone else and I’d never know it, and that’s okay too. You just vote for the cake you like best, but I want that to be my cake.
This cake is my first attempt at Momfuku confetti cake hack. So many people get deterred by the sheer amount of work that goes into the original, so I’m trying to find an easier way to get similar results. The first try was good, but not perfect, so I’m heading back to the drawing board with it. The frosting is the original confetti cake frosting, because that’s delicious and in no way difficult to make. Finally, the cake is covered in tiny handmade cereal donuts (Froot Loops), cinnamon buns (Waffle Crisp), and cookies (Cookie Crisp).
And this is what a 6-inch cake looks like covered in wee pastries.
To sweeten the pot a bit in the hopes of getting your vote, I’m also going to do a donut tutorial for you. I’ll show you a step-by-step on how to make these donuts; it’s not difficult, but I’ve made them so many times by now that I can tell you the best way to go about it, if you’re interested. I’ll have that for you tomorrow. For now, please head over to Miss Movita Beaucoup’s blog, wish her a happy graduation, and take a look at some of the other cakes competing for your affections. You can read the note I sent her along with this cake, which includes many other explanations as to why it even exists.
See you tomorrow with my donut tutorial and a plea for your vote. I want to win this time, people.