I am saddened today to bring you the news of the tragic and untimely (if not inconvenient) demise of Horstachio R.K.T. (Rice Krispie Treat) Cake Sr. His unfortunate undoing was brought on by several factors ranging from the softness of his body to the heaviness of his head (all you out there with big egos should remember this.) His passing brought on long minutes of tearful mourning from myself and the present members of my family, followed by frantic thoughts of "Now what do we do?" (Oh, and there are no present plans for a Horstachio Jr.)
So here's how it happened: the addition of his head and neck (molded from rice krispie treats) to the top of his body, anchored with dowels, created enough weight on one side of the cake that a large crevice formed down the middle of his body, which prevented his head from staying up straight, something that is completely unfixable. The bad news is, this happened approximately half an hour before we were supposed to leave for my nephew's birthday party. With no way to fix the disaster and no time to make a replacement, I did what I could to "paste" the body back together using the fondant decorations I had made for the outside. Basically, my nephew got a very large, rectangle-shaped cake covered in what looked a lot like the streamers on the outside of a pinata. I still got a lot of compliments, all of which I took with a grain of salt. And no, I did not take any pictures. I would have preferred that this travesty of a cake never see the light of day.
In an effort to draw out the good from the bad, I am happy to report that I have learned a few things from this disaster that I will hopefully be able to put to use in the future. They go a little something like this:
1. Chocolate cake is a very bad choice when carving - it crumbles relentlessly. I recommend having the vacuum (and preferably someone to do the vacuuming) on stand-by.
2. Crumbled chocolate cake will be tracked everywhere, by everyone, and ground into your carpet. Carpet cleaner is also handy to have on stand-by.
3. When creating any sort of cake that is intended to defy gravity, one must use a very dry, very dense cake to accomplish the feat. These cakes will not be enjoyable to eat, but hey, they'll look good.
4. Rice Krispie Treats are much heavier than you would think. Less is definitely more.
5. Any cake that is destined to fail will not do so until the 11th hour.
6. If there is a possibility of a failed cake, prepare your back-up cake first. It makes it easier to swallow your mistakes.
7. Swallowing your mistakes while decorating your cake will make you completely uninterested in eating any of the finished product.
8. Fondant does not cooperate when you are in a hurry (similarly, neither does a 3-year-old.)
9. A crack down the middle of your cake is not the end of the world, no matter how much it feels like it is. A quote from my mother-in-law "it still cuts the same".
10. 10-year-old boys do not care if their birthday cake looks nothing like Horstachio. As long as it tastes good, they are happy.
*On a little side note, I have been informed by my brother-in-law that there is someone working at the University of Utah that has a Horstachio pinata sitting on her desk. Apparently she got it from my most favorite party supply store in the whole world....