Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Fish Tale

I just got back from 5 glorious days in the Florida Keys.  Gorgeous, lazy days, filled with the the touch of ocean breezes and views of the never-ending sea.  I'm usually content to sit on a stretch of sand and stare out into the yonder for hours upon hours at a time.  But because we went down for my husband's birthday, I found myself on a fishing boat. Granted, I did more videoing than actual fishing, but it was an absolutely amazing experience to be in the middle of the ocean with nothing around except rolling waves in every tone of blue you could ever imagine.  It was humbling, really.  And breathtakingly beautiful.  So that was my favorite part of the trip.  Note -- it has nothing to do with fish. Because, confession?  Fish kind of freak me out.  Something about the scales, or the gaping mouths, or . . . something. But my husband? He looooves fish.  He loves to go fishing, he maintains two aquariums in our (tiny) apartment -- he is a fish aficionado.  So of course, for his birthday cake, I had to make it about fish.  For my loyal followers who've been with me since the beginning, you may remember that I did an aquarium cake at the start of the blog (it's not my best work -- but it's nice to see how I've improved over time.)  So, instead of repeating that theme, I decided to do a deep sea fishing cake. I went all in, and even dyed the cake blue on the inside.   It was a blue velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and a cheesecake mousse filling.  At his request, I stuffed the filling with Kit-Kats -- but it wasn't the wisest decision since the cake had to be frozen in advance.  The texture changed quite a bit -- so if you're planning on freezing cakes, don't put anything crispy in frosting and expect it remain that way after defrosting. . .

Yet again, the cake sunk. I now have a deep-seated fury against my oven, although I probably should redirect my anger at the floor.  The oven shakes when anyone walks anywhere near it (which in my apartment, is anywhere period) and I'm pretty sure that that's what's disturbing the process.  Easy fix in this instance.  I used the crumbs from trimming the cake and stuffed the middle hole with them.

Again, don't fill gooey stuff with crunchy stuff, freeze, defrost and expect everything to retain its original texture.

Tried an ombre look for the sides of the cake -- lighter blue at the top, darker at the bottom -- just like the ocean!

And some white frosting thrown in at the end to reflect the foaming waves (and the thrashing fish.)

Okay, everyone, here's where it gets exciting.  You would not believe the amount of research I did for this cake.  I checked out the most common trophy fish in the Keys, and found a ton of photos to use for reference when sculpting.
  Do you know what fish this is?  Looks kind of generic right now. . .

 Crazy how just adding some color to the mouth makes it so much more realistic!

 And a little more color. . . 

 And there it is!  It's a Mahi, for those who (like me) aren't so into fish.  Luckily this one's scales didn't freak me out as much as the real thing. For all of you who are wondering where it's tail is. . . patience, it will appear.

Gotta have something to take the goods home.  

And here is the best part -- seriously. . .
 Feet first. . .

 Some dental floss for the line. 
And how about those flip flops?

 He's starting to come together!

 Hahahaha, look at his expression! I love it.

Oh boy, he has no idea what he's in for!

 Wow, that's going to be one heck of a battle!  On our trip, my husband had to fight one fish for 15 minutes -- this looks like it's going to be a much, much longer effort! 

Spoiler alert -- he gets the fish.  And we get the cake!

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