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Evans experiments with baking in 'Nailed It' challenge

MON. | 12-12-22 | FEATURES

     I am usually not that bad at baking, but this time obviously didn’t go that well.

     Keeping in mind that I couldn’t have any outside help with this Christmas “Nailed It” challenge, I decided that it was a good idea to go to the grocery store to buy most of my ingredients. So, I went to Food Lion and found cake mix and white frosting. I knew I didn’t have many supplies in my house, so I started scanning the baking decorating section. I found some pre-made green, red and black frosting. Then, I purchased my items and headed home. 

AM mix.heic

Photo by Anna McLean Evans

     Once I was home, I started making my cake batter, following the directions on the box. I realized that I didn’t have any smaller cake pans to make the cake taller, as seen in the reference picture. I decided to just use the bigger pans I had and split the batter into two. After I popped the cake into the oven, I checked on it every couple minutes until it appeared to be a golden color. I took the cake out and put it in the refrigerator for a couple hours. After running an errand, the cakes were ready to decorate when I got back.

     Everything was going well with icing the outside of the cake. However, when I started on the face of the reindeer, I realized this was my downfall. I had bought icing meant for cookies, which resulted in it being very very runny. I did my best with what I had, but all the elements ended up runny and flat. I moved the cake to the freezer while I worked on my antlers, in hopes everything would firm up. Unfortunately, when I opened the freezer door in the morning everything remained the same. The roses on the top of the cake looked like blobs, so I used the black icing to draw swirls to appear like I had at least tried. Lastly, I placed the antlers on the cake, which didn’t hold up for very long on their own.

     When I brought the final project into class and saw everyone else's, I knew that I had to prepare to accept defeat. I listened to the class’s feedback from the other room and without looking, I knew every comment about the wonky appearance was about mine. I ended up getting last place, but enjoyed getting to try everyone else’s cakes.

     Overall, it was a fun and festive baking experience, even though my cake didn’t turn out how I wanted.

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