Friday, April 1, 2011

Sugared Cinema: Fight Club (1999)

Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived.  I see all this potential, and I see squandering.  God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars.  Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.  We're the middle children of history, man.  No purpose or place.  We have no Great War.  No Great Depression.  Our Great War's a spiritual war...our Great Depression is our lives.  We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars.  But we won't.  And we're slowly learning that fact.  And we're very, very pissed off.

I wish I could say that it was Chuck Palahniuk's novel that drew me to this movie.  Or Brad Pitt and his "industrial discotheque" wardrobe.  Or the grimey, pulsing Dust Brothers score.

No.  It was definitely Ed Norton.

I've since moved on from him (from an infatuation standpoint, at least) but Fight Club still remains his 2nd best film.

I wanted to create a cake modeled after the trademark soap, one that would be suitable for, say, Tyler Durden's retirement party.  I've also been wanting to try my hand at poured fondant and this was the perfect cake to experiment on.  Unlike traditional fondant, poured fondant is simple to make, easy to dye (anyone who's worked with the other stuff knows what a bitch it is to color) and creates a smooth, shiny (and soap-like!) surface.  Think giant petit four.

Fight Club Soap.  That You Can Eat.

You'll need:

2 pound cake loaves (Sara Lee is fine)
fruit jam
a batch of Quick Pour Fondant
pink food coloring (I used Wilton Rose)

Slice a thin layer off the top of one of the pound cakes.  You want a smooth, flat base for the letters to rest on.  Trim a little off of both ends, rounding out the corners so that it resembles a bar of soap.

Cut the other loaf into 1/4-inch slices.  Carefully cut out the letters using an Exacto knife or something equally sharp.  You should be able to get 2-3 letters out of each slice.  Save the scraps and make yourself a parfait.

Apply a glaze to the cake.  This will help the fondant stick to it more uniformly.  To make the glaze, put a few spoonfuls of jam into a bowl and thin it out with a little bit of water.  Microwave for 15-20 seconds then lightly brush onto your cake.

Carefully arrange the letters one last time then transfer the cake to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.  Prepare and dye the fondant using the recipe I linked to above.

When the fondant is ready, pour it evenly over the cake.

To clean up and define the areas between the lettering, I cut a drinking straw to about a 4-inch length and used it to blow out the excess fondant.  It sounds odd but it's really not.  It's a lot like the last 30 seconds of a drive-thru car wash when the leftover droplets are blasted off your windshield by that enormous air cannon.

And you're done!

Hm.  Something's missing.

There.  Much better.

(To make "suds", pour some heavy cream into a bowl and whip it until it starts to foam.  Skim the suds off the top and spoon them onto your soap.)

Welcome to Fight Club. 

The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.  The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!  Third rule of Fight Club: if someone yells "stop!", goes limp, or taps out, the fight is over.  Fourth rule: only two guys to a fight. Fifth rule: one fight at a time, fellas. Sixth rule: the fights are bare knuckle.  No shirt, no shoes, no weapons.  Seventh rule: fights will go on as long as they have to. 

And the eighth and final rule:

if this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to eat this cake. 


  1. OMG pardon my language, but this is Freaking amazing!! your too cool for school dude, MY hubby would LOVE this...he loves fight club, but I think American History X is his best!


  2. Is it a cake or is it soap? April Fool's!

    Fantastic! So clever. Never used poured fondant. Now it's on my list to try. Oh and about your crush on Ed Norton - Ditto. I got over mine too.

  3. amazing! i'm impressed. i think it was brad pitt's ripped body that made me love fight club. once i got over the abs, i have to say the movie is pretty damn good too.

  4. Oh.My.
    You have outdone yourself yet again, Ali. Excellent. So, what is Ed Norton's #1 film? Quite the tossup, for me, between Primal Fear and American History X.

    I'm over him as well.

  5. Wow wow wow! That's so cool. I have ZERO talent for things like that, so I'm always totally in awe of those who do.

  6. First I learn of your Alan Rickman fandom and now you tell me that you're also an Edward Norton fan? The Universe wants us to be friends girl.

    This cake is off the hook.

    And I have to agree with Margie, in that I'm torn between American History X and Primal Fear as being his #1 movie. That being said, anytime I'm scrolling through the tv guide and see Keeping the Faith is on, I have to tune in.

  7. I love the added touch of the whipped cream suds!

  8. You are both hilarious and clever! Love it!! Especially the suds, hee hee! Except every time I think of fight club now I think of that one episode of 30 Rock when Liz was laid off...

  9. are you serious? that is fantastic! you must have extreme patience. i want so badly to try this, but i know i would fail miserably.

  10. Thanks friends! If you haven't worked with poured fondant before, I highly recommend it. Pretty easy stuff. I debated putting the cake in the shower but it wouldn't fit on the soap holder (not really.) And while Primal Fear r-r-r-ruled, American History X is my favorite.

    (Wendi, maybe we can work a Norton intermission into our Rickmathon?)

  11. this is truly impressive.

    i am not a fan of fondant, but how does poured fondant taste?

  12. That is pretty damn impressive. Although I've never seen this movie so I don't know the signifigance of the soap. Obvs. I've heard the rules though so I'm totally in the dark with this post. I just concentrated on the leftover pieces of pound cake. There would be "parfait", there would be me, popping bits of Sara Lee in my mouth as I worked. But that's just me.

  13. Angry Asian - It tastes pretty similar to donut glaze. You can flavor it with different extracts and it doesn't have that weird texture thing going on (my issue with molding fondant.)

    Shannon - Girl, you don't even want to know how many scraps ended up in my belly. Sara Lee pound cake is the ultimate April Fool's Day food. So light, so airy...17,000 calories.

  14. I love you for making this cake.

    Looks amazing.

  15. You are so cool it hurts, I have to say this is my favorite one yet!

  16. Just learning rolled fondant myself, but have read a bit about poured. What an AMAZING cake. And I'm not easily sold. Excellent photos, too.

  17. Thanks guys. And hi Kellypea.

  18. This is incredible! It looks so good I wouldn't even mind if it tasted like soap! Love from New Zealand -Stef

  19. This is bad ass! Can I say that? BAD ASS. Truly original and well done :)

  20. Ahaha, this is awesome!! So much fun!!

  21. Now THAT is some cool shit right there. Well played, Ali. Well played.

  22. Hi! Hope your having a great day, I got that Robot glass from the dollar bin at Target.

  23. This is so creative and impressive! It makes me want to decorate loaf cakes all the time...or at least when I find free time :)

  24. What can I say, I worship the ground you walk on.

  25. You have outdone yourself! That is truly incredible.

    oh, and 1999? really? I can't even believe it's been that long.

  26. Greatest movie and book ever. Ever. Fight club is amazing. You could even say epic.

  27. Very cool! I love food and crafts inspired by pop culture. Fabulous!