Friday, June 4, 2010

VeggieTales, VeggieTales... The Bob and Larry Cake

My oldest son turned two last summer and we decided to have a VeggieTales themed party. He loved VeggieTales and so it seemed like the perfect fit. I decided I would be adventurous and attempt to make a Bob and Larry Cake. I really liked how it turned out and it was relatively easy to make so I thought I would share some tips for those of you who might want to attempt your own Bob and Larry.

What makes Bob and Larry achievable for a non pastry chef like myself is their simple shapes. Larry is the cucumber and is made using a 9×13 rectangular cake. Bob is the tomato and is a 9″ double layer round cake. A few tips and tricks.

Frosting: You need to use the gel color to get the right deep shade for Bob and Larry and generally you will need to go to a craft store or bakery supply store to find these types of dyes. If you use regularly food coloring you will need so much of it that it will end up diluting your frosting too much. I used store-bought vanilla frosting. I had a 5 1/2 month old and had no desire to make the frosting from scratch but feel free if you wish. Plus I surprised my son with the cake and do to the size and it being August in Vegas that meant I only had 2-3 hours to assemble and decorate the cake so homemade frosting wasn’t an option. I used the black gel that comes pre made in a tube for the lining and eyes.

Freeze the Cakes: I made the cakes the night before and then froze them. I learned this trick from a professional cake decorator. If you freeze the cakes it makes it easier to cut and shape. It also reduces the crumbs.

The Peas: If you have ever watched VeggieTales you will know that the Peas are one of the best parts of the show. I got the idea from one of the cakes I found off the internet to make sugar cookies and decorate them like peas. It was really quite simple. Again because I was going for simple I used store bought sugar cookie dough. I used the same icing that I had already mixed for the Larry Cake and I added eyes and mouth with the black pre-made store gel icing. For those at the party that were familiar with VeggieTales the peas were the best part. It was something easy that was an extra special touch. If you have older children this could even be a way for them to get involved and help.

Shaping: One of the tips I found on the internet that really made the cake look good was to cut a piece out of the Larry cake so that the Bob cake could fit tightly into Larry. Larry is bent around Bob often in the show so by cutting a semi-circle out for Bob it gave the same appearance as the cartoon. I used the extra pieces of cake left over from cutting Larry into a cucumber shape to make Bob’s stem and dimensional noses for both.

Photo: What really helped me get the right look was to have a picture of Bob and Larry handy. We have several of the videos and I found a good example to copy. This helped to have close by as I was decorating.

Display: I got a large silver cardboard piece to display the cakes at a local party store. It cost less than $3 dollars and was very stable. To help the cakes stay in place I used a dot of icing to secure them to the board.

Tools: An offset spatula is a very good and inexpensive investment. I have a great one that I love from Pampered Chef but they aren’t hard to find generally. I also used some really basic kitchen tools like toothpicks to get the “hair” on Bob’s stem to shape just right.

Overall it was a lot of fun to make, my son was so excited with the results and I would recommend attempting the cake to others! Happy baking!

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