Friday afternoons and work just weren’t meant to go together. Yet I’m having an extremely tough time goofing off. It’s pouring down rain right now in Lousiville, and that put a stop to the Blue Angel practice session that was in action (they’re in town to help kick off the two-week party orgy that is Kentucky Derby season). Now the only thunder I’m hearing is the natural kind. What a letdown.
So what else can I think of to keep from going back to work?
There is one thing that comes to mind: a giant fried egg cake that I saw on television last night. It was featured on Sugar Rush and I couldn’t help but be amused. Normally, I have extremely mixed emotions about that show. On the one hand, it’s a way to keep tabs on what the dark forces of flash-over-substance baking are up to. On the other, it’s a status report on some of the baking world’s latest technical advances (dubious though I think some of them are). There’s always somebody on there doing something truly wacky with food.
Case in point last night’s show on cakes that look like other things (then just about every cake on that show looks like something other than it is…but I digress). One zany pastry dude had come up with a cake that was the spitting image of a giant fried egg. And when I say giant, I mean truly huge. The “yolk”, a layer cake that had been cut down, shaped, and draped in shiny yellow fondant, was some 20 inches across. The interior was filled with bright yellow crème anglaise that ran when you cut into it (a technique reminiscent of Penn & Teller’s famous bleeding heart dessert of the early 90’s). The “white” was a piece of inch-thick white fondant that stretched three feet end-to-end. The fellow used a mellon baller to give the edges a faux bubbly texture, and an airbrush full of edible dye to add shadow and detail. The creation was garnished with a three-foot long piece of hyperrealistic-looking “bacon” made of chocolate.
Truly, it was a technical marvel. But just as with almost everything I see on that show I thought: who would ever want to eat such a thing? Like the dead-on reproduction of a hamburger that followed it (made with a yellow cake bun, chocolate brownie patty and mango fries) it was incredibly imaginative, but ultimately unappetizing.