I always loved writing. Two years back I took a step forward and brought together my two favourite hobbies - experimenting in the kitchen and writing, which gave birth to my blog - Apy Cooking. Till then, I was a happy cook, usually satisfied with my experiments (more with the process than the result).
And then I became thirsty. I wanted to do more. There was this urge to emulate various food bloggers. I wanted to make bread, cakes, decorate them, I wanted to fuse food of different cultures. I started getting hunger pangs for bigger challenges. I wanted to make 3D cakes, I included non veg dishes in my cooking, I made fondant at home. Results mattered more than the process and Apy Cooking became a passion than a mere food blog.
And then it was time to leave, to bid adieu to my kitchen in sunny Sunnyvale. Bags were being packed, boxes were getting wrapped, and in the middle of all this, my heart was longing to make something very special for my dear food blog. A doll cake. Seriously?? Just a week left to pack up and relocate to India and I wanted to make a doll cake?? Yes, I did. So I unwrapped the homemade marshmallow fondant, whipped up two small microwave chocolate cakes, drenched them with yummilicous Nutella, spread rolled fondant, dressed up the doll and took pictures like my tail was on fire. I was amazed at how fast I could actually make something and take pictures, much to the surprise of my husband who always claimed I spent more time taking pictures of the food than in actually cooking it. I was so tired at the end of it that all I wanted to do was plunge into the hazelnut frosted cake and take a big, fulfilling bite.
So here's how I made the doll cake. I looked up on the internet, ofcourse, for some ideas. I bought a small doll from Michael's (you can get a bigger doll for a bigger cake). I then made half recipe of microwave chocolate cake and poured the batter into two microwave-safe bowls, one larger than the other. I microwaved the cakes [ smaller bowl - 2 minutes, larger bowl - 3 1/2 minutes ], allowed to cool completely and inverted them. I then frosted with Nutella and placed the smaller cake on the larger one and frosted all over.
I then took a small portion of marshmallow fondant (you can use store-bought fondant), dusted powdered sugar (u can use crisco) on the mat (fondant sticks easily to countertops, add more crisco if not using a mat, or stick parchment paper on the countertop), coloured the fondant and rolled it. I then covered the cake with the coloured fondant and removed the extra bits.
It was time to dress the doll. I do wish I had more time to make the dress a lot prettier. But the large carboard boxes were calling for attention, so I wrapped the poor doll in average "clothes" (thank God dolls don't speak), placed some beads made of fondant and piped buttercream stars on the dress. I did want to avoid using buttercream and wanted to make it all fondant. But just to be safe, I had a small jar of store-bought buttercream icing (thank you, Wilton). I'm glad I had it because Nutella, being brown in colour peeps through the clothes when you try to join two fondant bits. I got away with the beads on her waist, but for the neckline and the little rose on her shoulder (ahem, I'm not exactly a fashion designer), I used buttercream for binding.
I was so happy and thrilled at the end to see the little doll in her pretty dress. Reminded me of the time I had seen a barbie doll cake for a cousin's 5th b'day party. Though not as beautifully decked up as the Barbie doll cake, my little doll stood proud as we celebrated.