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Carol Fitzgerald

Building a life-size Sprint Cup car cake? Easy as pie

From The Marbles

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And now for something completely different...

So I was channel surfing looking for some racing to watch, and what did I stumble across but an episode of TLC's Cake Boss. Not my usual fare, but the episode description caught my eye. It seems that last October, in honor of the Retail Bakers of America National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Buddy Valastro of Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, N.J., (yes, Hoboken) was asked to make a life-size replica of a NASCAR car. Life. Size. Car. Cake. This is every NASCAR fan's birthday dream come true!

Buddy's idea of researching the project consisted of going to a NASCAR Driving Experience, getting into a firesuit, and climbing behind the wheel. Well, he did also take some measurements, but I don't think the final product would have fit the official NASCAR templates.

Most folks hop in one of these cars and promptly lose control of their bodily functions, but I have to give Valastro credit; he got the car up to a respectable 175 mph before they made him come back in. (One wonders what he would have done if they had not!)

What exactly does it take to make a life-size car cake? Some 200, 50-pound bags of cake mix, 1,200 dozen eggs, 56 people, 3,600 man-hours, and an undisclosed amount of fondant and buttercreme frosting. (Mmmmm, buttercreme....) Oh, and don't forget the sheets and sheets of Rice Krispies treats. They constructed it by stacking a seemingly endless number of sheet cakes on a wooden frame, and then sculpting them with knives, adding various goodies for detail. Not content with just creating a car-shaped cake, Valastro also provided an engine bay and recreated a NASCAR-style engine in rather astonishing detail.

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The car was numbered 56 to reflect the number of people who worked directly on it, and they lettered the word "Ganache" on the tires. Ganache turns out to be a pastry filling made from chocolate and cream, but according to Buddy, it's also a motivational word they yell at each other around the cake shop. (Oh, and naturally, there were problems along the way.) And to make things really interesting, Joe Gibbs somehow got wind of this thing and showed up just in time for the big reveal. No pressure, folks ...

So catch Cake Boss episode 17 on TLC if you get a chance, while I find out how much it'll set you back to rent this guy's talents for your own NASCAR-themed party. And there is no, repeat, NO truth to the rumor that Rick Hendrick is auditioning Buddy Valastro for a seat in the 88 car. None.

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