Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Some of my lady friends and I decided to have a Crafternoon this past weekend – well, to be truthful, it actually wasn’t originally all-female: our hostess’s husband was going to make cocktails as his “craft,” but he got scared off by the stitching & bitching.
Anyway, I went nuts all week trying to figure out which half-abandoned sewing/knitting project to resurrect for this occasion (I have a drawerful). Then it hit me: why not play to my strong suit and stick with cake? I had a birthday to go to bake for evening, and I needed an occasion to practice working with fondant, so…Modern Art Cupcakes! Can you guess the artists? Answers after the jump…
I’m a little obsessed with the blog Feasting on Art; unlike its creator Megan, however, I took a totally literal approach to art and food. This got a little geeky: my parents are both art historians and I was pretty much raised in museums, so I had as much fun picking artists as I did making cake. If I had more time I’d probably have gone full on Bernini. Sadly, though, this was only an afternoon project, and I’m still getting the hang of the fondant business, so I stayed kind of two-dimensional. You can see my best use of materials – the dripping Dali clock – better in this photo:
I really just had so much fun with this project. It’s been a long time, but I used to do a lot of clay-based crafting projects and it felt so good getting back to clay tools and doing seriously detail-oriented work. It was also pretty awesome getting my hands dirty. Brought me back to college: I once applied for an arts grant to make a collection of architectural cakes. Sadly, I got shot down: the grant fund was not supposed to cover “food for parties.” Apparently if food-based art was at a student show opening it violated these rules. I found this regulation very lame and spent way too much time trying to get around it; I probably should have known then that I’d wind up as a lawyer…
Next time, I hope the drug store isn’t out of gloves: my hands are still multi-colored. Red-and-blue cuticles were very much worth it, though. I forgot how calming it is to loose oneself in this kind of project; cooking is amazing, but it requires a very different form of concentration.
That said, I did still really enjoy making the base materials – cupcakes and fondant – for this project. I used a Food Network recipe for the fondant because I was too lazy to pull The Cake Bible off my shelf. For the cakes, I went with Recipe Girl‘s absolutely awesome Margarita Cupcake recipe. I cannot praise this recipe enough: it’s box-mix-based, but has so much booze and lime in it that you’d never know. It’s fast and tasty, and the cupcakes’ flavor was fresh and citrusy enough to cut the over-sweetness of the fondant topping. A great go-to!
And finally, once again, Happy Birthday S!