Monday, September 10, 2012

A Cat Named Jess

A couple of weeks ago my sister-in-law Irma asked me to make a cake for her daughter Lucia's 1st birthday. The catch? It was three days away -- Yikes! Ok sure, I could do this! The theme was Jess the Cat, a little black and white cat from a kids' T.V show called Guess With Jess. I was familiar with him, so I hit the shops and tried to find a Jess figurine to put onto a cake. When shops number one, two and three didn't stock them, I began to get worried... But only after shops four, five and six confessed they had never sold any kind of Jess product whatsoever, did I begin to fear... would I have to use my imagination to create this cake?  Heaven forbid! Figurines were my thing! It's what I did! Now what do I do? How do I make a cute Jess themed cake without Jess?

I gave it some thought. I hit the internet and looked at pictures of Jess. An idea was forming... Would it work? It had to work, I had no time to keep thinking! It was time to start planning.. So I made a sketch:

I decided to use fondant to make the face of Jess and put it on the cake with little paws hanging over the front of the cake. OK, I could do this... 
I looked at the random collection of fondants I had stashed away over the past year, and to my surprise I was shocked to see that I had every single color I would need in order to make a perfect Jess cat. So I got to work rolling and slicing and trimming and placing piece upon piece. It was surprisingly easy, and pretty soon I had a gorgeous little cat looking back at me! No one was more surprised than me!

I made some paws and added a collar and bell. This thing just got cuter and cuter! And the best part? When I looked at the clock the whole process had taken only and hour and a half! Awesome time! I would definitely be making this style cake again!

Once he was all done, I left him to rest for the night, and the next day I made a cake and added some detail to match the theme of the invitation. Thanks to Juan's genius, I decided to follow his advice and color some wire in permanent black marker which worked a lot better as whiskers than the black floppy licorice sticks I had planned. Thanks Babe!

Just before we left for the party I actually ended up sticking the little paws onto the front edge of the cake instead of leaving them on the board. It worked great, and the whole thing was just so adorable. SOOO happy with it, and it was all done in like 3 1/2 hours! I know, I know, to a non-cakey kind of person that sounds hideously long and arduous, but seriously, I've spent like 6-10 hours making a two-three tier cake before. So this was a lovely change and it felt like something I just 'whipped up'. Needless to say, I'll definitely be making this style cake again. And Irma loved it, which was the best part of all. :-)
Happy 1st Birthday baby Lucia!