May 28th, 2009

beginner cake decorating tips?

hi everyone,

my boyfriend's birthday is coming up soon and i'm going to try to make him a vegan cake decorated like a NYC yellow cab as hes a cab driver.
i've never decorated a cake before and i really don't wanna mess it up so i'm looking for any and all cake decorating tips you have!

i got a 3d car cake pan (  so specifically, i'm looking for ways to make layers out of a 3d cake like this although not using a traditional cake leveler/slicer (i couldn't find one large enough!). i heard you can do this using dental floss but i can only find flavored dental floss. would this change the taste of the cake at all and make it 'weird'? or is there a better way for a beginner to create layers without a slicer?

theres a ton of small details on cabs and i want to try to get the most i can for him. could frosting be applied using a small art paint brush, if its somewhat thinned? i don't have nor know how to use cake decorating bags. or is there a better way to do this using regular household items?

it said online that this type of cake requires one cake mix box to create. but i'd rather stay away from a cake mix box as the time varies when adjusting for vegan ingredients and i'm super paranoid of this messing up. does anyone have any good CHOCOLATE cake recipes that create an amount equal to one box of cake mix? its a strange request so i don't even know how to search for that.

are there any other tips or tricks a beginner should know before decorating a cake? i will appreciate ANYTHING. thanks!

non-acid forming meals?

so, i'm away from home and my lovely pantry and my 100+ spices and flavorings for the next 3 months. this week i really started getting acidy whilst weeding the asparagus bed. it got so bad that i had to stop working altogether. (boss lady gave me deglycerinized licorice, and it worked so-so, tasted worse, and then i drank some ginger tea, and that also worked so-so. (i guess it all had something to do with the baked beans, saurkraut and carrot-rhubarb stew i had made the day before. (not all together in one stew. that's what it sounds like. no. the stew was for dinner, beans/kraut for lunch.)

then i thought. every single one of my easy to make not too many ingredient meals are all acidy. chana masala? check. chili? check. spaghetti? check! gah! i drew a complete blank on what i should make! i ended up making a red lentil and chickpea mush thing with only a teensy bit of my beloved biryani paste. but i don't even know if THAT's non-acidy. bah! right now i'm finishing up my baked beans because i don't want them to go bad. zantac for me tonight. *feels conflicted about the strawberries that are hanging out in their little box*