My wonderful and amazing husband Tyler turned 32 yesterday – which obviously meant that I needed to bake a cake. Recognizing that I tend to under-budget the amount of time my culinary creations will take I decided to bake the cake the day before I decorated. But we were really busy on Sunday so the earliest I could get to the grocery store to collect the ingredients (Tyler wanted blueberry cake with cream cheese icing) was 9:45 pm on Sunday night. From the comments the cashier gave me I have learned that it is odd to start baking a birthday cake at 10 pm on Sunday night, although I still don’t understand why – when else was I going to do it I ask you?
Anyways the cakes turned out beautifully, layered beautifully, iced beautifully and took rolled fondant beautifully (apparently I should bake all cakes at 10 pm on Sundays from here on in).
I really love making elaborate cakes and this coming year will probably see a large number produced. You see my younger brother, Craig, is getting married next summer to the most fabulous girl, Angela, and they have asked Tyler and I to make the wedding cake. We were honoured to be asked and of course said yes…but it means that we feel like we need to practice lots in the intervening period so that our skills are honed and top-notch for next August. So if you have a birthday or other special event coming up, and you’re in Whitehorse, let us know – a cake might just miraculously appear.
Because we have no idea what sort of cake the bride- and groom-to-be will want I have decided to practice a different set of decorating and cake design skills with each cake I make this year. For Tyler’s birthday cake I wanted to practice my painting skills.
Tyler loves the Nightmare Before Christmas, and with his birthday being so close to Halloween it seemed like the perfect design choice. Once the fondant was smoothed over the cake I used food colouring spray paint (yes, such a thing exists) to give all of the sides a mottled appearance.
Then I used food colouring markers to rough in the basic design. I then watered down some black food colouring and went to work with a paintbrush painting in the whole design and painting in drips down the cakes sides to tie them in with the design on the top of the cake.
Finally I mixed up batches of orange and green fondant and sculpted tiny jack-o-lanterns (each with a different face painted on with a toothpick) to rim the entire cake base.
I love the final product, and so did Tyler (he wouldn’t even let me put birthday candles in it because he said it would ruin it). And it was a hit with all of his guests, powering close to 20 people through a Settlers of Catan birthday tournament. I guess it’s now time to start planning the next one – perhaps dinosaurs?