As is always the case January and February have been very quiet months for cake. Everyone is getting over the Christmas excess and cake is the furthest thing from their minds. So for most of January I did very little baking and lots of bikini crocheting (more on that later!). February brought with it slightly stretched evenings, more cake and more crocheting. One of those cakes was a Disney Cars cake for my friends 3 year old son.
I knew she wanted me to make the cake but wasn’t sure what Killian was in to these days (last year it was a Peppa Pig cake). This year he has grown into his boyhood and is into cars, specifically the Disney film Cars. As usual, when you search Cars cakes in Google hundreds of images appear so I had lots of inspiration. The one thing I knew about Cars was one of it’s main characters, Lightening McQueen, so I decided to build the cake around him. I found a YouTube tutorial on how to make a fondant Lightening McQueen, this would sit atop the cake that would be covered in black fondant to make it look like a tyre. The actual cake was to be chocolate, natch.
I made the model of Lightening McQueen a few days before so it had time to dry. It was fairly easy, the video was very good and easy to follow. I did have to put the eyes on hold as I realised I had run out of blue food colouring so the eyes had to be added the next day.
On the day of collection I made the chocolate cake in the morning and once it was cooled sandwiched it with chocolate buttercream, crumb coated the whole cake and then iced it in readiness for it’s fondant coating. I cut out a circle of white fondant 6in in diameter (the cake was 8in) and brushed it with silver powder to create a hub cap for the tyre. Once this was in place I added the “Lightening” lettering to the top of the tyre and “Killian” at the bottom. The car, with eyes, was then placed in the middle with the number 3 atop it. Red ribbon was added around the base of the cake and voilà, one Cars cake.
A friend of mine recently turned 40 and as a surprise her husband commissioned a cake. He wanted to celebrate her love of music and the mixed tape was his inspiration. Those of you who are under 30 will need to do a bit of googling now to get up to speed on the cassette tape, the pre-cursor to the CD. The first album I bought back in 1982 (it was bought with my first paycheck!) was on cassette, I wish I could remember the name of the band but the cassette I remember! And then there was the mixed tape, a tape put together for a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend of all the great music you loved and wanted to share with the world. These were always great fun to make and I remember taping songs from the radio and trying to cut it off before the DJ began talking! Ah, memories. Anyway, that was my starting point, the cassette.
I remember cassettes but brought up some images online just to refresh the memory and get some inpiration, my husband also owns some still so I could look at one in real too.
This Sony cassette was my starting point, fairly simple design, just a few colours, should be easy to replicate. The cake itself was chocolate, 9in x 7in, covered in black fondant and detailing in red and white. In a way, a fairly easy one to do.
Using my Silverwood Multisize cake tin I baked two 9 x 7 chocolate sponges and allowed them to cool completely before putting them in the freezer for 30 minutes. This just helps with icing the cake making it easier to handle and doesn’t effect the cake at all. Using chocolate buttercream I sandwiched the layers together and added a crumb coat of icing to seal in the cake and help to give a smooth finish when the fondant is added. The cake goes in the fridge for about 30 minutes and then it is ready for it’s full buttercreaming.
Now the cake was ready for it’s fondant. To get the white central part of the tape I cut out a piece of white fondant to size and put this in place on the cake. I then rolled out the black fondant large enough to cover the whole cake and put it in place. Using the white fondant as a guide I cut around it and pulled off the black fondant to expose the white window. Then it was just a matter of adding the details and lettering. I was having a clumsy day so suffice it to say it wasn’t the neatest cake that I have made but I was happy in the end.
My friend was very happy with the result and that means a job well done!
After testing the malteser cake when my nieces were over I had a commission for one for a birthday cake last weekend. The test showed that the icing needed a bit more malt flavouring. It was ok on it’s own but when you tasted it with the chocolate cake it sort of faded away. So the only tweak to the birthday cake was to add about another 10g of Horlicks to the icing, not a huge amount but it made all the difference.
This version was also completely covered in the icing and decorated with crushed maltesers on the edge of the cake with one whole malteser popped in the middle, just in case you didn’t know this was a malteser cake!
So, that’s a chocolate sandwich cake with malt buttercream decorated with crushed maltesers, chocolate on the inside, malt on the outside! Apparently the cake went down very well with the birthday girl, job done.