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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

nailed it...at home

so you've seen "nailed it" on netflix, right?  the show where they bring on amateur bakers and have them recreate some sort of crazy concoction usually made of cake and fondant and assorted decorations, which usually results in hilarity because it's just so ridiculous.  well, they started doing a "nailed it at home" challenge - you buy a ticket, which gets you a box full of (almost) all the ingredients needed to put together a fun themed baked treat that you assemble while on a zoom call with a host and the other participants.

you know we had to do this. we love watching the show, although i'm definitely no good at cake decorating.  that's been proven time and time again.  heh.  i was pretty excited when the goodie box arrived, just a few days before the day of the challenge.

the first two steps of the process needed to be completed a few hours before the start of the zoom call, so on saturday morning i pulled everything out and mixed up the batter to bake the cake.  this is also when i realized that i didn't have a basic 13"x9" cake pan in the house.  i don't even know how that's possible.  i ended up using the one pan i had that's slightly bigger, and i just hoped the cake wouldn't be too thin.

here's the instruction card i was referring to, with a picture of what the finished cake would look like.

when it had cooled fully, i sliced the cake as directed.  it baked beautifully, and luckily wasn't as thin as i'd thought.  body and wings, ready!

the bean came out to join in the fun, and we logged on and waited for the party to start.

a few minutes later, we got to see how many other people were playing along.  there were a LOT - which makes sense, considering this was a virtual event and you could join in from pretty much anywhere.

our "show producer" appeared next, to welcome everyone and then introduce our host for the hour - cathy ang, one of the actresses in netflix's "over the moon."

we started the decorating process by spreading frosting all over the whole cake.  this wasn't easy, with the cake so soft and fresh and the frosting slightly stiff and thick.  the logical step here would have been to thin the frosting out a little, but we were on limited time and just worked with what we had.

one of the show's judges and baking experts, jacques torres, appeared on screen to offer some baking tips.  too bad he talked about how to bake the cake, which we'd already done, so it really wasn't helpful for us at that moment.

they threw out some "challenges" throughout the hour, like having to work with just one hand, not being on your feet, and this one...not using hands at all.

when we'd covered the cake sufficiently with frosting, we put it in the fridge to chill a little while we rolled out the fondant.

pictures didn't really happen here because our hands were such a mess from everything we were doing.  here's when we spread the fondant over the cake and tried to pat it into place, only to find that we were a little short for the nose of the rocket.  oops.

no worries, though.  we just used another piece of fondant and covered it up.  not perfect, but good enough.  and i kept getting cake crumbs stuck in it.  d-oh!

the rest of the decorating process went pretty quickly, using all of the candy and the candles we'd found in the box.

i think we did a halfway decent job, considering.  we got to see some of the other participants' creations and ours was up there in terms of recreating the basic shape and style of the example.  and then it was all over.

the messy aftermath:

and the final photos.

we even managed to take a time lapse video of the whole thing.  here's an hour of cake decorating fun condensed down to about 23 seconds:

they're doing another challenge next month, holiday-themed.  you know i've already joined the waitlist to buy a ticket for that one.  we can't wait.

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