My sister and I didn't really "get it" growing up, but our Mom's personalized license plate was "BLAKLBL" (I won't even go into what our Dad's was...). We knew there was always a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label in the house, and we knew it was Mom's favorite aperitif of choice, but we never put two and two together that her license plate reflected the actual bottle. I guess mine today would be "WINO101", if it was available, but I don't think that police would look to fondly on that choice.
About a year ago, I stumbled upon a Johnnie Walker event that was being held at Fort Mason in San Francisco, CA. Greg, Eric, and I went, not knowing what to expect but knew that we would be enjoying some libations. And, the fact that Greg and Eric were huge scotch and whiskey fans, I knew that I was going to learn a lot by just sitting next to them and hearing their thoughts on the scotch's.
The Johnnie Walker "ambassador" (aka coolest job ever...) walked us through all four labels of Johnnie Walker - Red, Black, Green, and Blue. Up to that point I thought Black Label was the only one that existed, but I was proved wrong, not only with the event, but also with my palate. Greg and Eric and I got to talking about whiskeys and scotch, and I told them I had made a Jack Daniels cake - they suggested I try to make a Makers Mark or Johnnie Walker cake instead. I was very inspired and started to do drawings for both cakes. But, I never took the time to actually make them. The idea always stuck in the back of my mind, but I used the excuse that my kitchen was too small to create these cakes.
Recently, being FUNemployed, I decided to finally make a Johnnie Walker cake, using the recipe that I had used for years that called for Jack Daniels. But, this time, I was going to shape it like a bottle of Johnnie Walker and use the JW in the recipe. I intended on making a Blue Label cake, but I got to the supply store and they were out of royal blue coloring. Then, I found out they were out of black AND red as well. I felt slightly defeated. I thought, well, I know that JW makes a Green Label, and the supply store wasn't out of forest green, so I decided to make a Johnnie Walker Green Label cake (...on the outside, but I used Red Label for the batter for the cake on the inside).
It was so therapeutic - I was in my kitchen for about five hours working on the cake. Most don't understand the time that goes into the shaping of the cake, the coloring of the fondant, the coloring of the icing, the trimming of the pieces, and the final touches to make a cake like this. I must admit that I am slightly rusty on my piping, but that is a whole other entity - NO ONE realizes how difficult it is to pipe A STRAIGHT LINE, let alone letters, on a cake.
It's RED LABEL, but it still served as an inspiration (and ingredient).
My initial drawing based off of pics I saw online (a bottle of GREEN LABEL is about $65 to start, and I really don't' drink hard booze).
Putting the base of the cake together:
Shaving the neck of the bottle, love all of the scraps to the side:
The base of the cake finally coming together:
Adding the "pieced" together pieces of fondant to the cake:
The fondant pieces "pieced" together:
Most people don't know, but you have to use different sizes of tips for this kind of piping (i.e. cursive, block, etc.)
I showed the pics to my sister and Mom in real time via pics from my cell phone. All they could say was wow, and my sister now wants me to try out a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cake (for no reason except she just thought it sounded fun). I didn't think I could get inspired to make cakes like this again, but when booze inspires you, might as well drink it (or eat it).