A: It is immeasurable, particularly when coupled with a low fat, low sugar, reduced carb chocolate cake with choc/mint filling, suitable for a diabetic*!
*There is no such thing as ‘suitable for diabetics fondant’ – clearly the outer covering of fondant would need to be removed from this cake before a person with diabetes consumed it. But I’m sure I didn’t need to tell you that.
When I agreed to do this cake I must have been under the influence of a full moon or something. Making it was a horrible experience that took me through full scale tantrums (not a pretty sight) and left me with my confidence shot to pieces.
On the plus side, I learned some extremely valuable lessons.
Of course, the first thing I had to do was to come up with a cake recipe suitable for diabetics. This was really difficult and took a LOT of trial bakes. Trust me, when it comes to cake there is no such thing as a good sugar substitute…my experience was that they either made the cakes look great but taste vile, or the cake tasted ok(ish) but didn’t rise properly. In the end I managed to come up with something suitable using a mix of xylitol, fructose and a tiny amount of muscovado sugar.
The next issue was the frosting. Mint/chocolate was the request but, try as I might, I couldn’t stop it from tasting like toothpaste. It didn’t help that the sugar free frosting recipe I initially used ended up also having the consistency of toothpaste. The taste-testers tried gamely but feedback wasn’t good.
In the end I used a packet mix of chocolate flavour sugar free whipped dessert as the base for the frosting, adding a bit of the toothpastey stuff for firmer texture and a touch of mint flavour. It was passable. At least it wasn’t green. I didn’t take any pictures.
When it came to making the shoe I did some research and came up with a couple of guides on making high heel shoes without using cutters and moulds. Simples, I thought, and set to hacking up a brand new pair of shoes. Forming the heels was nowhere near as easy as the ladies in the videos made it look, but I eventually had some heels and soles drying.
…and drying… They took for freaking EVER to dry!
And that’s because I was using fondant (with insufficient quantities of tylenol added). I should have used gumpaste. This was the root cause of subsequent problems. But I didn’t know that at the time.
The first shoe broke while I was trying to fix heel to sole. Frustrating, but copeable…I had a second one.
The second shoe didn’t fit together at all well (not surprising when you look at how wonky the heels are in the top collage picture!) so I had to add the weird back strap of gold to cover up the joins. The front strap sagged because it was too thick and heavy.
The second shoe broke while I was positioning it on the cake, then in trying to fix that I messed up the top cake covering and had to hide the damage with flowers.
This cake was horrible. I hate the fact I had to hand it over in that state. I’m cringing now looking at these pictures. Just awful! Quite frankly, the whole thing was something of an ordeal and it was a looooong time before I attempted another high heeled shoe! I still have no desire whatsoever to revisit the world of ‘suitable for diabetics’ cake baking.
The primary lessons learned whilst making this cake:
- Don’t overestimate your abilities
- Don’t hype up expectation
- Don’t work with black fondant if it’s at all avoidable
- Do take time to practice, practice, practice before agreeing to make something complex for someone
- Do use the correct medium
- Do have a back-up plan for when it all goes horribly wrong