Friday, 14 August 2009

Birthday Cake

It's my sister's birthday today and to celebrate we're having a get together with some friends at my house tonight. My husband likes to bake so he said he'd make her a cake (which means I help out with the decorations and cleaning!). As we both have to work today we were busy cake making last night.

We'd come up with a fairy garden theme, complete with a little cottage, pond, gnomes and toadstools, and of course a fairy. I did a sketch of what we had in mind. A bit ambitious perhaps but we thought we'd have a go.

My sketch of the cake

It took a long time to decorate and the kitchen looked like an icing sugar bomb had exploded with some butter cream and food colouring mixed in! As if that wasn't enough mess, Jay's hand mixer decided to burn out (literally), the motor started making a funny noise, then I noticed it glowing blue and orange through the vent! He turned it off just in time before the whole thing went up in flames, but there was plenty of smoke and a rather strong burning smell. Time to move the cake out of the kitchen while we tried to get rid of the smoke! Come to think of it, I've been involved in a few incidents in the kitchen where something's caught or nearly caught fire, maybe I should get a fire blanket or extinguisher!

Things weren't going too bad, although mixing coloured fondant icing was a bit time consuming, so I reverted to painting some of the objects with the food colouring. Sculpting with fondant icing is quite tricky, it's too soft, I managed to make the fairy (just) but had to give up on the idea of gnomes and toadstools as they were too small and fiddly to sculpt out of fondant icing. I'm sure there're plenty of people that could manage it but I was losing patience and time was getting on.

Edible fairy wings!

The fairy wings are made out of edible wafer paper with coloured sugar sprinkles glued on (yes glue - but an edible version). I made the sugar sprinkles by putting some granulated sugar into a food bag, added a few drops of red food colouring and mixed it all together, and there you have it, some pink sugar sprinkles! We've used these coloured sugar sprinkles on top of cupcakes before, which adds a nice bit of sparkle and crunch.

Yummy cupcake with home made sugar sprinkles!

With everything pretty much finished, the cottage was done (which is basically a mini cake, sponge, jam, butter cream and covered in icing), the fairy was done, as were the pond and flowerbeds, all that was left to do was the piped icing shells around the bottom of the cake. For this we needed royal icing as it sets nice and firm, providing you get the mixture right. I don't think we'll have any problems with the royal icing setting firmly, the mixture was so stiff it was a job to pipe! I think it's safe to say that things weren't going too well with this cake, and we've done a few novelty type cakes in the past, none quite as eventful as this one.

So here's the finished cake

It's hardly in the same league as Ace of Cakes (a tv programme about Charm City Cakes, a bakery in America that do amazing novelty cakes) but I'm sure it'll taste great....I love birthday cake and can't wait to try a piece of it.

We've got another cake to do in a couple of weeks time, I hope that one goes smoother than this one did!


Dee said...

OMG, that is so cute! You and hubby did a wonderful job, I bet your sister loves it!
How wonderful that your husband enjoys baking, wish mine did. I've been on a chocolate cake frenzy, lol.

Jessica said...

Thanks Dee, my sister did love it and it tasted fantastic, so good I just had to have a piece for breakfast this morning!


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