Occasionally – three times a year, to be precise – I divert away from yarnie crafty-ness to confectionery! (The making of, I mean – the eating of I do all-year-round!). A tradition has grown up in the family, that each kid is allowed to select their theme for their birthday cake; and I endeavour to bring this vision to life – or at least, to mould it in sponge and sugar.
Next Monday DD will be eight (I can’t believe it either! Mind you, she’s 8 going on 18, judging from her attitude and self-confidence) Anyway, her party this year will be in Funtasia Waterpark, Drogheda. She’s been hankering after this for at least two years now, but we’ve held off until now. It suited us, this year, to not have a party in our garden; as we’ve done for the past few years. It also meant that I could “get away with” (for want of a better phrase) only inviting the girls from her class – of which there are only 11; versus inviting the whole class of 25!
The cake she chose this year was very in-keeping with the “theme” of her party:
I thought – for today’s blog post – you might enjoy a tour of the process:
People say to me “how do I manage it” or “it must be very hard”. My answer / secret is investing in the right raw materials.
I’ve learned this the hard way. The first cake I tried to ice, I used ready-to-roll icing from my local supermarket. It was a disaster! Now, I invest in sugarpaste and paste colourings from Kitchen Compliments. They have an online shop – for when I’m organised enough to think about it the week before I need it!
For the rest of this post, I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking:
I baked a basic chocolate-flavoured sponge in Pyrex bowls to give hemispherical shaped “moulds” to work from. I trim the crusts. Then I start dividing up the sugarpaste and kneading it.
To colour the sugarpaste, use a toothpick to add a little bit of the paste colouring at a time. (I think I got a bit carried away with the pink!) Then slowly knead the icing until the colour is consistent throughout.
Cover the cake in buttercream, mould sugarpaste padding pieces into required shape and stick on.
Roll out the icing and lift it up using the roller. Cover the cake and smooth it all over. The heat from your hands helps to relax the icing. Add a few finishing touches and you’re done!