My niece Caitlin turned three this weekend and her inexplicable obsession with turtles was the obvious inspiration for this year's cake. Last year, cats were the primary focus but these days, turtles are undeniably superior creatures. (Photo below taken by my sister Michelle)
The cake itself is the dome of the turtle which I simply constructed with chocolate cake and vanilla buttercream in a plastic-wrap lined mixing bowl. Giving the turtle life and character with rolled fondant details only took me two hours which means I must be improving compared to my previous fondant experience this spring. The birthday hat was my favorite detail, even though Eric commented that, before the polka dots were added, it looked like a hat that Dumbledore would wear.
Rolled fondant (in small 1 kilogram batches) is easy to make at home thanks to my KitchenAid; however, at work, preparing just 6 kilograms is like arm-wrestling with a sticky reluctant octopus. Unfortunately, I overestimated the quantity of green fondant required and so perhaps, green Christmas themed fondant items (holly leaves? trees?) will be this week's project.
What I did not expect was how attached I became to my Turtle Cake creation and how I actually dreaded carving it up for its execution... I mean, consumption. Being so new to the pastry industry, I wonder whether others share the same attachment to certain products of which they are particularly proud. Maybe it is just me, the sentimental fool, who will never be entirely able to let go without some small hint of sadness.