January 23, 2005
Cake decorating of yesteryear
12 years ago
The olive cake terrifies me.
"That'll scare the little snots quiet so you can get back to your drinking."
Shouldn't this be NSFW due to the "Teen Swinger Cake"?
These are awful. Crocheted yellow dress? Who wore that? Blimey.
Wow, people were homely back then. And so were their cakes.
I'm still homely.
No way, Nostril. I refuse to believe it.
Ah, this reminds me of favorite
on MonkeyFilter. Surprisingly I didn't see any cakes in there, any of which could have been topped off with a Norman Wilton decoration masterpiece.
Aye, I lived in yesteryear once and it was not anything to get nostalgic about, I can tell you.
I vaguely remember my mother taking a cake decorating course sponsored by Wilton when I was a wee monkeylet. Sca-ry!
I hate everything about this.
What the intradimensional cheesegrating encephalogram typewriter, mrs?
Wilton books from the early 80's are very interesting, in that a lot of the current interesting techniques (like gum paste and a lot of the fondant work that can be done now, or pulled sugar translucent ribbons) weren't being used, so they had to make do with vast amounts of buttercream frosting and some royal icing flowers. Today, cake decorating looks a lot better, but you have to understand that a lot of the reason is just that there are more materials. A professionally decorated cake then was made by doing a lot with frosting and decorating tips - now it's more like a mixed media art form, with many ways to make creative and interesting shapes. I know it's easy to make fun of the cake decorators, but I have a lot of respect for the people who had to work with really crappy materials in the 70's and 80's and still managed some pretty innovative stuff. You have no idea how time-consuming it is to work in buttercream like that.
Mmmmm, can't forget that wonderful frosting that tasted like it was made with shortening. Especially good spread on that nasty dry crumbly cake. These were the cakes that made me take cookies to the school bake sales. Who the f*** could compete with moms that spent 14 hours frosting a cake?
Now, listen, why did you just censor that? I find that very offensive. If my 79 yr-old sainted granny can finally come out and say 'fuck' then you can too. Come on. Say it loud. Let it out. I have graduated beyond it. I say "fuckity shit-bags"
Cool, musingmelpomene, thanks for the bit of history.
But those cakes look yummy - follow the link on, and you can see a strawberry cake that's all red and beautiful. Mmmm...cake. What does fondant taste like?
There are fashions in cooking as in so many other things people do, it seems. Remember my mother back in the forties and fifties used to make cones out of paper and fill them with frosting, then snip a bit off the tip and use this to decorate her cakes. There were no available tools for doing this. She also made ingenuous use of sliced candies such as gumdrops and of glazed sliced fruit (strawberries or peaches or cherry halves). There amounted to a craze for upsidedown cakes at one point -- pineapple, peaches being the two encountered most often. They were popular because people didn't have to frost them, I think. Then there was a class of cakes that got frosted with a kind of drippy glaze, and often had shredded coconut or grated chocolate shavings scattered atop them as well. I associate these with the sixties in particular.
She made her cakes from scratch for many years, disliking packaged mixes, with the exception of a gingerbread mix. I think this may have been due to our having so many accomplished cooks in the family among the older generation -- could have been self-defense on her part. Never knew her to use a packaged cake mix until she was getting quite old, anyway. Frosting made with butter tastes much better than frostings made with other substances.
Oh yes, I've heard of the
pineapple upside-down cake
- looks good to me, but then I like pineapple. That drippy glaze class of cakes sounds a bit like how German chocolate cake looks, but I don't know. Good frosting is the best part of cake (if not technically part of it) in my opinion. Sometimes I forego the cake in favor of it.
musingmelpomene, am I right in thinking that though you can now do great decorative things with gum tragacanth and what have you, the results are often not edible - which sort of undercuts the appeal of icing, doesn't it?
Some eat the icing first, some save it for the last, two different ways of appraoching life whenever a slice is passed.
What does fondant taste like?
Like ass, in my opinion. It looks beautiful and smooth on a cake, but it's basically just sugar. Great for decorating, not so much for eating.
no comments on Catman's apparent gynomastia? are you all high on the sugar?
Fondant tastes pretty much like sugar. It isn't as yummy as good buttercream. Gum paste is in fact edible, and all the things I make with it have no inedible parts that aren't very easily removable. Pulled sugar ribbons are thin, translucent sugar and are tasty and melt in your mouth. I prefer not to use fondant even though to an extent it can be easier to do that than make frosting perfectly beautiful and smooth. Because as someone said above, fondant has looks but not taste. My amaretto buttercream is a lot better on a wedding cake than fondant. Also, dry cake isn't a necessary attribute of a decorated cake - in fact, that's really fuckin' bad. I make good, moist cakes. Whee. (This comes from someone who used to win state fair ribbons in cake decorating, so I suppose I have at least a little perspective.)