I spent yesterday putting together a cake for an eleven year old’s birthday. His favourite hockey player is Iginla, so I sculpted a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey out of cake for him. The cake was huge – they wanted it to feed thirty people – and they wanted it all piped, no fondant – so by the time I was finished my hand was very tired (filling a cake that size with drop stars takes a lot of frosting).
I loved the finished product, and so did the birthday boy. All he said when he walked into my house with my dad to pick it up was “wow”.
In the process of making a cake this large I went through huge amounts of vanilla. Given that more and more people are asking me to create cakes I figured I needed a more affordable way to get my vanilla extract – so I decided to make my own. You can do it too: all you need to do is to put two vanilla beans into 250 mL of vodka and then forget about them in a cool dark place for 5 months. Check back in 5 months and I’ll let you know how it worked.