Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ifs, Ands, and a Predictable Pun...

I was told, or read, that the "original" Baby Rump cake started out as a full Sleeping Baby cake. Following the shower at which it was served, all that remained of the Sleeping Baby cake was the tail-end; a diaper clad baby butt with chubby legs and feet tucked under it. Either by a twist of providence or some expert trimming, the cake remnant had a completeness that inspired the original or a subsequent baker to replicate just the hind-quarters portion of the original cake design and the Baby Rump cake was born. Or so the story goes.

 Looking like a case of Solomon's wisdom gone awry, the Baby Rump cake is one of those cute oddities that defy reason.

An adult playing with with a baby or a small child might say something like, "You're so cute I could just eat you up!" and even pretend to nibble on the child. If one interprets this as an expression of affection it is "cute" but taken literally it is quite horrifying. The Baby Rump cake precariously straddles the razor's edge between "absolutely precious" and "disgusting," ready to tip either way based on the viewer's perception. Call it a Sleeping Baby Rump cake and it's cute; call it a Severed Baby Rump cake and it's perverse.

 I am amused by odd imagery and that amusement influences my cake decorating style. I gained a bit of notoriety for placing a dead Vladimir Lenin in a Hot Dog Bun atop a cupcake in parody of several other decorator's odd cake themes. But, while I feel no desire to pander to "cute," I am not striving for "horrific" either. When dealing with half a baby, it seems to me you're forced down of these paths or the other.

Not one to rely solely on my own perception as my guide, I brought up the subject of the Baby Rump cake with my sister who is a dedicated mother of five and a published children's author. Her question was simple. "Where would you put the candles?"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Live and Learn

You know those cakes designed to look like a Barbie doll's dress? Increasingly, I am of the suspicion  that the doll should be inserted AFTER the cake is baked.