*May 2011 update: I have just recently recreated this cake in an 8-layer version! You can view it here: For the Love of Fondant Asparagus (and 8-Layer Cakes).
Funny thing happened on the way to designing my sister-in-law, Mary’s cake for her post-figure-competition celebration: my pink and frilly cake idea got hijacked by this sudden idea that I had to create a hyperrealistic vegetable confection. It was an “Aha!” moment, and I knew right then and there that there was no turning back. Thing is, while training for the IDFA competition, she was so disciplined, so regimented, and so ridiculously sick of eating asparagus. The week before her show, during a text conversation we were having, in response to “How are you doing?” she replied, “I’m loathing asparagus!” So, like any self-respecting sister-in-law and friend would do, I decided to to torment her with a green and spear-filled asparagus cake. See, there’s something you should know: Mary is a foodie, and like me, lives for dessert. This makes her pre-show determination and diet that much more torturous remarkable.
Mary and I talked about the post-show celebration for the weeks leading up to it, and what she really wanted to eat–the girl deserved to eat whatever she wanted, and I was determined to make that happen for her. As for dessert, she knew she wanted rich chocolate cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and fondant, so that was the starting point. Once I had the cake baked, filled, and coated, I covered it in a nice bright leafy green fondant. I then started on the asparagus. Working from a real bundle of asparagus for reference, I rolled out about 150 full-size green fondant spears, a dozen at a time, snipped them to look as realistic as possible, and then let them dry. I also dyed, rolled out, trimmed, and snipped about 400 asaparagus tips and set them aside to dry. Once they were dry, I dusted them with several shades of green edible dusting powder (that I typically use for dusting sugar flowers and leaves), and small touches of red. Once they were all dusted and looking particularly asparagus-ish, I started to assemble it all. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together, but I loved making this cake, and, in the end, I was kind of proud of it!
I’m not sure, but when Mary first saw her cake, I think she may have wondered if they were actually real asparagus. Sure, we were all eager to try (especially my little Reese) a big yummy piece of the cake, but I think, even more so, we were so excited to watch Mary eat hers!
Yay–cake consumption! Reese was so proud to be taking the first bites with Auntie Mary. And, yep, that is a trophy you see–turns out that all of that hard work and discipline pays off! I have to say, Mary’s victory just made the cake that much sweeter, for all of us. Now that she’s competing in the Canadian Natural Physique Championships in April, I think I better kick it up a notch for the next post-show confection…a 3-tier version, perhaps?
Thanks for stopping by! xo