Drummroll, please!

On Saturday I had to bake a cake in the shape of a snare drum for the 50th birthday of a drummer in a band and it was the first time I covered a round cake in fondant. I had known for a few weeks that I had to bake this cake and after the previous experience of trying to cover a square cake in fondant and how difficult it is with just two hands I wisely invested in The Mat.
http://youtu.be/nu6QpimDDDQ

(Sorry, I tried to embed the video but for some reason it won’t work!)

Ok, I’m not as good as Kathy (the woman in the video) when it comes to rolling out the fondant, in fact, that needed a lot of elbow grease but my rolling pin may simply not be up to the job (it’s a wooden one with no handles, not a good buy actually); however, once you’ve rolled it all out the next steps are as easy as shown in the video. I am so pleased that I bought this mat!
I had googled images of snare drum cakes and there are fantastic looking cakes out there… but waaaay too over the top for my skills. I was particularly worried about the lugs (I thought they were called brackets actually) but thanks to printing out several pictures of actual snare drums and a sudden burst of courage I just went ahead and improvised and used whatever tools I had in my kitchen to add finishing touches. Plus edible silver glitter spray and liquid silver paint. The last bit that went on yesterday was the badge on the side. I didn’t know what kind of drum the birthday boy used so I assumed he had a Pearl drum (which turned out to be correct). I kept the “Pete” in the same writing style as the Pearl logo.
The cake itself is a two tier chocolate cake with a raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream filling.

And here’s the end result! It’s not as sharp lined as I hoped it would be but I am actually very pleased with it! What do you think?

Wiff Waff!

I had to make a ping pong table cake a few weeks ago for a friend’s birthday, who organised a wiff waff competition. I baked two chocolate sheet cakes and used a chocolate fudge buttercream for the filling… that was the easy bit! The tricky bit came when I had to cover the cake in green fondant. The cake was huge so at first I had to clear my kitchen counter from all the stuff that usually stands around (sugar, tea, various coffee pots, kettle etc. etc.). Rolling it out was no problem but lifting the big fondant sheet over the cake was! I tried five times all in all, every time the fondant either tore or I couldn’t get it all the way over and in the end I had to step away from it and go to the pub to calm myself down with a couple of drinks! I must have had a pound of icing sugar in my hair and all over me, not to mention all over my kitchen floor and appliances!
When I came back I covered the two long sides in fondant strips and then just did one big one and smoothed it over the short sides. Easy! 😉
Cutting the white strips and making the bats were no problem whatsoever. Finding the right net/mesh however was one. I briefly played with the idea of making my own net with spun sugar but decided against it when I found a pair of white tights that I didn’t know I had. I cut a small strip off the thigh and just wedged it between two kebab skewers! Voila, the cake was done.

Fireworks on a cake

Ok, it’s probably not what you would classify as a “real” firework, but it looks like one. I’m talking about a cake ice fountain. I finally got to use one on Saturday. I made a chocolate raspberry torte for a 50th birthday and since I knew the cake was going to be presented when it was dark I thought that’s a perfect opportunity to see just how those firework fountains work.

I was very pleased with the outcome of this firework! And with my cake of course!!!
I used a different cake recipe for this than for the last one I baked (you can find more info on my facebook page). I used my now all time favourite chocolate cake recipe by The Pink Whisk and only discovered after I had one cake in the oven and already cracked my eggs for the second one that one batch would have been enough for two 8 inch tins…. never mind I thought, it will just be a very tall cake then.
When the second cake was baked and both were cooling down I took four punnets of fresh raspberries and emptied them into a bowl. I ate a good handful of them as there were a lot of them! I marinated them in two tablespoons of framboise liqueur, two tablespoons of sugar and squeezed half a lemon in it, too.

I whipped a pint of double cream and about half a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste until it was stiff and put the bowl into my fridge to keep it  cold while I took care of the gelatin (follow the instructions on the package! I used four leaves of gelatin).
I mixed the gelatin with the raspberries and then folded the fruit mixture into the whipped cream.
I cut my cakes into half (with a knife and a piece of strong thread) and put the first layer face down on a plate (I didn’t cut off the top to make it even, the weight of the cakes and the filling would take care of levelling it out). Then I used some black current jam (I could have sworn I had raspberry jam at home, but we must have eaten it!) and smeared the first layer with it. Top with a generous layer of raspberry cream and lay the bottom half of the first cake on it, bottom facing up! Repeat with jam and cream and add the top half of the second cake (top down) on it. As before add jam and raspberry cream followed by the last bottom layer of the second cake (again bottom up, so you end up with an even and levelled cake). Fill any gaps with cream so your cake is fairly smooth all around. Place it into the fridge so it can set.
An hour later or so, I made a chocolate butter cream and covered the whole cake in it. It went back into the fridge to harden before I made my final decorations, a big fifty sprayed in edible gold spray on top and music notes around the cake (the birthday boy is a musician). I also used some chocolate stars between the candles and of course, the cake firework!!!
As I had a slice of the cake on the evening and even though I made the cake I can honestly say that it was delicious!!!