When Beyoncé announced her twin pregnancy on Instagram, I immediately wanted to create a Bey-inspired cake using one of the iconic images.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please check these pictures out. They include things like a Nefertiti bust, a backdrop of a blue sky (in front of a blue sky), a green tulle veil, and an underwater shoot with backup dancers.
They are an enticing mix of Frida Kahlo and that birth of Venus painting where she’s standing on the oyster shell and an old car and Beyoncé looking totally stunning. What’s not to like?
They are not your run-of-the-mill pregnancy photos with couples standing in fields of wheat at dusk, or posing in a studio and doing weird touching in black-and-white.
Of course, any pregnancy photos risk looking gawky and forced. If you haven’t recently, may I suggest you take a visit to Awkward Family Photos’ pregnancy section?
If I get pregnant again, I will definitely do an underwater mermaid shoot with my squad like Beyoncé did. Or maybe me swimming with my big pregnant belly bobbing in and out of the water. Or maybe just a shoot of me eating an ice cream cone next to a body of water – or maybe just on my couch – which would basically be me caught in my natural habitat.
If you want a full analysis of Bey’s pregnancy photo shoot (plus pictures), please see this hilarious write-up.
I was all set to do a cake with the uber-famous Beyoncé Instagram twin pregnancy announcement. And then the Grammy’s happened.
I’m just going to be real here and admit that I didn’t (nor do I ever) watch the Grammy’s. And also, just being honest again, I really haven’t been able to keep up with hardly any new music in years. I learned about Adele’s “Hello” song from this Saturday Night Live sketch. Since I don’t live under a rock, I did know about and listen to/watch Lemonade.
But in any case, I did watch Beyoncé’s performance at the Grammy’s. (In case you missed it, here is the best available video I could find). And, yes, she was stunning and powerful in her full-bodied pregnant glory.
It was some straight-up performance art that I bet made those of the Ina May Gaskin ilk swoon. I mean, you know some midwives were FREAKING OUT about her performance.
It brought me back to my own female-power-ballad feelings I had when I was pregnant. I can’t remember a time that I felt more goddess-like and mighty. Beyoncé just effused that dynamic pregnancy energy in all of her blinged out glory.
One of my Facebook friends, Delondra Williams, wrote some really spot-on thoughts on her performance: “She is a GODDESS. This is a society that likes to tell mothers they are now ugly and disposable, and she has made it her single-handed mission to portray mothers as the universe itself. She gets every YES from me forever.”
“As I just said to Nick [her husband], ‘She just got everyone in the world to listen to a poetry jam on the awesomeness of motherhood…while pregnant with twins…and while looking amazing…and centering religious iconography around black women. Go ahead and launch yourself into space right now, because your life is NOT GETTING BETTER THAN THIS.'”
Yup, I think I’ll just go ahead and launch myself into space now, Delondra. Preferably wearing Bey’s golden fertility goddess outfit and crown rather than the astronaut suit.
The intro to her performance started with a mic-drop from Lemonade: “Do you remember being born? Are you thankful? Are they hips that cracked? The deep velvet of your mother and her mother and her mother. You look nothing like your mother, everything like your mother. You desperately want to look like her … You must wear it like she wears disappointment on her face…. Your mother is a woman, and women like her cannot be contained.”
So the cake had to be in honor of Beyonce’s Grammy’s performance. And I wanted it to be bursting from every direction with gold.
I made my favorite butter cake – which has this incredible sugar cookie taste.
And then I made a humongous bowl of homemade salted caramel. Have you ever made homemade salted caramel? Stop what you’re doing and get a candy thermometer because this stuff is like the water of life itself. I layered the cake with this liquid gold.
And then I made a cream cheese-based frosting to cover the cake with. I added some of the caramel to it to add a caramelly depth.
Our house smelled like burnt sugar all weekend.
I had also made some homemade gold sprinkles using a brittle recipe (sans the nuts) and grinding shards of hard caramel in our Cuisinart. They looked like amber! Not sure if you can tell here, but the cake actually sparkled.
I really wanted to do a good job with Beyonce’s face. Usually when doing a cake portrait I just draw it freehand without any practice first. But I didn’t want to mess up Beyonce like I had messed up this Prince cake. Plus, I felt like I needed to conceptualize how she would be presented on the cake – do I a portrait or a full-bodied image?
I settled on focusing on her portrait and did a pre-cake sketch!!!
I actually re-drew her face several times before being okay with the final look. Here is a creepy picture I took after I removed one of the faces that I didn’t like.
But I’m proud of the final rendition.
Beyoncé in all of her fertility goddess splendor on my super golden caramel cake!
This cake doesn’t put up with your bullsh*t. This cake says, “Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks.”
Don’t want a slice? Better call Becky with the grocery store vanilla cake.
Because this cake was just Bey-ond. It was ooey gooey and tasted like a heightened caramel sundae.
Aaron and I each had a slice, but we decided to deliver the remaining cake to our neighbors who always willingly oblige when I pass cake off to them.
In other news, Ansel is tough to pin down these days. He is constantly on the move. Here he is doing one of his favorite activities of recent – pushing a Christmas popcorn tin around the house. Can’t stop, won’t stop!
Happy Monday and happy Mardi Gras! (Enjoy this over-the-top king cake I made last year!)