Friday, November 12, 2010

Bake Sale

My first bake sale. Call me crazy, but I'm excited. I signed up the first day of school at Millie's preschool to bring a "homemade" goodie for the sale. I pretty much had in mind from the get-go what I would bring. But as the deadline approached and they sent home a recipe card for tagging, it all of a sudden became real. I HAD to deliver! So the recipe: New Orleans Double Chocolate Praline Fudge Cake. I think I've posted about it before. A daily serving of calories in one slice. Does that ring a bell? The baking went extremely well. I premeasured and mapped out a strategy based on what has worked/not worked in the past. Perfectly toasted pecans. Check. Even cake layers. Check. A smooth ganache. Check. Now, the pralines didn't run off the sides of the cake like I had hoped.

I waited a tad too long before pouring, so it's a tad clumpy. But pralines are pralines. So hopefully what they lack in looks they'll make up in taste.
I think the most challenging part of this whole project was the packaging. I definitely wanted to take freshness and presentation into account. I thought about a domed cake plate with a cute liner and ribbon around the base, but budget became an issue. So I decided on a box. With a window! Who knew? Now, potential buyers could take a peek inside! Now I needed to jazz it up. Decisions, decisions. Plates , cute plates, that fit the box were hard to find. But I finally found one at Hobby Lobby. I definitely wanted to throw some grosgrain ... stitched red ... into the mix, and I found some cute felt gingerbread kid stickers and Christmas labels for embellishments. So on top of striving for an awesome cake, I hoped something would come together for an enticing package. So about five hours after start time, here's my entry for the bake sale. At the finish, the cake looked pretty plain all alone in the box. Luckily, I had a green sheet of scrapbook paper in my scrap box that made a perfect Christmas backdrop for my cake. So it's done!
(Please ignore that the cake itself is not centered on the plate. That bugs me.)
The entry was safely delivered to school this morning, but not without some adjustments in the car and not without a psych out by my husband, who returned home with a tale that it had been dropped by the sweet lady in carpool. Urgh! Of course, I'm thinking about my little cake, my labor of love, hoping it makes it through tomorrow in one piece. Praline has a tendency to crack, ganache to melt. Hopefully, I won't show up tomorrow to a puddle of chocolate. Hopefully, above all else, my cake won't be there at all. If I get there, and it's all alone in the corner with no owner, I might just melt myself. Or have to secretly con a friend to bid. Too bad my mom won't be able to make it!