3 Pigs with 1 stone…
This month’s bombshell of the month is Miss Piggy!, she has been front and centre in my life this week, who can complain after all she is magnificent. The Muppet show was a firm favourite of mine from as far back as I can remember, and still is. Why has she been so relevant to me this week?, well she has become a bit of a 3 pigs with 1 stone kind of cake for me.
1- 1st March 2019 was National Pig Day and I wanted to bake a cake for this, who better to represent than Miss Piggy! 2- I have been a bit lacking in my Bombshell of the Month posts and wanted to restart them, again who better then Miss Piggy, she is awesome and a total bombshell! 3- I wanted to attempt to make a ‘budget’ cake, to show the costs involved and that custom cakes and cake artists are not cheap for a reason. Why Miss Piggy for this?, because cheap & Miss Piggy do not go together, just like custom cakes!
Where it all began…
Miss Piggy and I have grown up together right from the start, since her debut in 1976 in Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show, and mine in 1977 in Barking hospital. She has been known as a bit of a diva, loving random French phrases and practicing karate, and was inspired by the jazz singer Peggy Lee.
Piggy’s biography, as told by performer Frank Oz in a 1979 interview with The New York Times, is quite a tragic tale. Growing up in a small town in Iowa, her father died when she was young, and her mother wasn’t that nice to her. Her wiki page is an interesting read, so if you would like to know more read here.
For the cake I had to try and keep my costs down as much as possible, so I would work at minimum wage and try to have no overheads, which meant NO baking or making!.
I walked down to Asda and got myself 2x £1 swiss rolls and 1 tub of vanilla frosting on offer for £2 by Betty Crocker, £4.00 spent so far but it did take me an hour in total to go, shop and come back, so £7.83 for the hour and shop making a total of £11.83.
Next step would be decorating the cake, for this I went online and shopped at The Cake Decorating Company. I needed a 10″ pink cake board, various fondants and modelling paste, edible pens, edible dust and tools. This came to a total of £46.98, plus £3.99 next day delivery and another hour of my time at £7.83. Add these onto the previous tally and my spend so far is at £70.63 and I have not even made anything.. hmmmm.
Delivery has arrived now to get started! I drew out a template for Miss Piggy so that she would fit nicely on the board. I cut both of my swiss rolls into approx. 1 inch slices and laid the first layer out onto the board. I put the template back over this layer and cut around the template to get the shape of the overall cake. I repeated this for a second layer and then cut the face out of my template. With just the face template, I lined this up and added a third layer of swiss roll and cut around the template, then I cut out the nose and lined this up and put a 4th layer just for the nose. I covered the whole thing with the tub of Betty Crocker’s vanilla buttercream icing and gently smoothed.
To decorate I rolled out the 250g pack of skin tone Renshaw ready to roll icing and covered the entire cake, being very careful when smoothing as it was so soft and thin, and using the modelling tools to shape. I cut the full eyes from the template and placed them on rolled out black fondant and cut around, I then cut the lids off of the eyes and cut these out from the fuschia fondant. I repeated this process 3 more times with the white, blue and black fondant and each time cutting the eye template down to the next level. I glued each layer on top of the other with water and stuck in place on Miss Piggy, I then rolled out two black strips a cut into one side with a pair of scissors to create her lashes, gluing these on with water also. For her dress I rolled out some more fuschia Renshaw and cut a strap and two large triangles for her bust. Once in place I gently scratched the fondant with a tool to create texture and a fringed effect. To complete her necklace I rolled out some white modelling paste into a thin sausage and placed onto the larger pearl mould. I gently rolled along the top of the paste pushing firmly and then trimmed the excess off. Slowly peeling back the mould I removed the pearls and glued on with water. For the hair I divided the yellow modelling paste into 7 equal balls, I then rolled these into long narrow strips. Starting from the back, I chose where my parting would be and laid the first strip, gently folding as I moved down and gluing in place with water. I continued this with 4 pieces on the right and 3 on the left.
To finish Miss Piggy I rolled out some more black fondant and cut into a semi circle, I placed this into her mouth. For the inside of her ears I mixed a small ball of fuschia with some of the white modelling paste to create a light pink. I rolled these into 2 balls and flattened with my fingers to the rough shape of the ear, these were then stuck in place with water. I then gently dusted some of the terracotta coloured dust onto her roots and the outer edges of her hair. Using the black pen I outlined the lower eyes and waterline, using the blue pen I coloured the outer edges of the blue in her eyes.
In total this took 3 hours to make and then some as she was so delicate. Total Hours = 5 @ £7.83 – £39.15 Total cost of goods and del = £54.97 making a grand total of £94.12!
I took this into college the next day for consumption, as soon as you cut into it you were hit by the super sweet smell of processed sugar.. SUPER SWEET! I found it hard to distinguish any flavours at all, which is why I would never sell this cake.
I want all of my lovingly hand crafted and baked creations to not only look great but taste amazing too, as do all of the amazing bakers I know. Not only that, but who wants to pay nearly £100 for a fancy £1 swiss roll?, wouldn’t you rather pay for something delicious, dreamy and custom made just for you!
Now I have nothing against supermarket bought cakes, I even have purchased them myself, but you get what you pay for and they are lower in price for a reason. If you are looking for one that is in a lower bracket then I recommend Colin the Caterpillar from Marks & Spencers, he is £40 now. Should you choose to enquire with one of the many wonderful cake artists in your area, remember that they are not crazy prices they are custom creations!
Think like Miss Piggy and sois fabuleux my beauties!