I was really looking forward to this week's cake decorating class as we were making a car cake - and I'd already decided I wanted to make my boyfriend a car cake for his next birthday! Admittedly we were making a generic car, and not an Aston Martin which is what I want to make for him, but the same basic principles would apply - and I do have 11 months to perfect my technique!
A madeira cake is one of the best kinds of cake to use if you are carving or shaping. Lorna, my cake decorating class teacher, gave us her tried-and-tested recipe for a madeira cake, which turned out perfectly. What follows is pretty much the step-by-step process I followed - we were shown how to do the basic car cake in the class then I sort of freestyled and finished it off at home!
Slice equal widths off the sides of your cake as shown below, then place the pieces you have cut off on top of the cake.
You can level the top of the cake if it isn't particularly flat - in fact Lorna told us to do this. But I liked the curved effect that the raised top of the cake gave, as I didn't think the bonnet of the car should be completely flat.
Next slice through the top sections at an angle as shown - this will be the top of the car and the windscreen.
Viewed from the front
We used a round cookie cutter to cut out holes in the bottom of the cake to make the wheels. To be honest I don't think it would matter if you didn't do this but it does look quite nice. I think my wheels are a bit too close together too - but I don't own a car so that's my excuse for not knowing what one looks like ;-)
Stick the top pieces on with buttercream then cover the whole cake in buttercream. I should probably have covered it with vanilla rather than chocolate buttercream but I didn't have time to make any and used a tub of Betty Crocker - and discovered at the last minute that I only had chocolate!
Then cover in roll-out fondant. Everyone else in the class used coloured sugar paste - a few of them used red as the cars did end up looking quite cute and cartoon-y and the red ones looked a lot like the ones from the movie Cars. But I covered mine in white fondant, as I had a plan up my sleeve!
Then Lorna told us to add windows, wheels, whatever we wanted and to generally bling up our cars. I used my phone to go online (note to self: clean icing sugar off phone!) and look at pictures of my boyfriend's Aston Martin (did I mention my boyfriend has an Aston Martin? lol). I wanted to make sure that the bumper and windows were the right shape. I made them from black fondant that I had from a previous cake and had just the right amount left over (well, almost!).
Adding the bumper, window and lights at the front
To make the wheels I made a thick disc of fondant - it had to be pretty thick to fit inside the holes I had cut into the cake. This is why I don't think you necessarily need to cut holes. I also had the idea of using a piece of licorice wound round into a circle but I didn't have any and I wanted to finish this cake the same evening.
I also ran out of black sugarpaste right at the end so coloured some with black gel - but it's very hard to get a true black colour when you do that, which is why the side windows look more grey than black!
I was quite pleased with it! I think from the front it looks like a black and white police 'panda' car!
This was as far as I got in the class. As I said, I'd had an idea which was basically to spray the car silver with edible lustre spray, but I didn't think of this beforehand so didn't take my spray to the class. While I would otherwise have sprayed the car before adding the windows and bumper, I didn't want to take them off again - so I decided to cover them in foil to protect them while I sprayed the rest of the car!
Here's the spray that I used - I actually bought it for my Jubilee cake but it's good to get more use out of it! You can't quite see on the front of the can but I promise you it is called "Edible lustre spray" and says at the bottom "for cakes"!
Here it is, in all its spray-painted glory!
I tried to make a little Aston Martin logo but it was so small and quite fiddly - I think next time I would have to make the cake itself bigger so I could make the logo bigger.
I also made a registration and used an edible ink pen to write on the number plate.
The finished car - my boyfriend really liked it! He didn't get to eat any though!
We've all had rather too much cake lately so I gave it to his mum to take into her workplace, and she said it went down very well :-)
It's not a true Aston Martin shape as the bonnet needs to be longer and wider but this isn't a bad stab at my first car cake!