So you might have seen the shoes I made from Mexican paste at a recent cake decorating class - I made them in black and pink as I had already decided those would be the colours of my birthday cake. I also decided I wanted a two-tier cake so there would be plenty to go around, though I needn't have worried as we had plenty of cake in the end!
I thought the cake I made for my boyfriend's birthday was such a success that I would do a similar thing again. So I decided to make the Green & Black's Ultimate Chocolate Fudge cake as the bottom layer - you can find the recipe here or in the Green & Black's Ultimate Chocolate Recipes book. As I made it and blogged about it in the previous post, I won't repeat it again here, other than to say that it's really yummy!
For the top layer I decided to do something different and chose Dan Lepard's Easy Chocolate Birthday Cake which I found on the BBC Food website.
It was very simple to make but I liked the sound of the ingredients including double cream, sunflower oil which I thought would make it very moist, and four eggs. However I tend to prefer chocolate cakes that contain melted chocolate and this one used cocoa powder.
You melt the butter in a pan and mix with most of the wet and dry ingredients, then add the milk and cream
Then add the flour and baking powder. I found it made quite a runny mixture which is always nice.
Bake in the oven.... you cover the top with foil initially then remove it later in the cooking process.
So when it came to assembling the cake, I took the bottom layer - the Green & Black's chocolate cake - that I had left to cool, and used my cake wire to split it neatly in half.
Unfortunately it wasn't quite as cool as I thought. When I split the cake, the inside was still quite warm and soft but in my impatience - as I still had a whole birthday party to prepare with just a few hours left to go - I decided to lift the bottom layer anyway to put it onto the cake board. At which point it promptly broke into four pieces!
I wasn't put off by this minor crisis and decided to sit the pieces back together and use this as the bottom layer; I carefully spread frosting (my own recipe of melted 75% dark chocolate, butter and icing sugar) over the top and carefully placed the other half of the cake on top. I don't think you can tell from this picture that it's broken!
When I made my boyfriend's cake I tried to cover the two layers at once with white fondant, and realised it would have been a lot easier if I had covered one layer at a time. So I decided that's what I would do this time, and got out my pink fondant to cover the bottom cake.
However I don't think it was really turning out to be my day! I had bought the bright pink fondant a few months earlier for a cake that I didn't end up making. While the fondant was well within its best before date, when I took it out of the packet I found it was already a little dry. I discarded some of the dryer icing around the edges and kneaded the remaining lump for as long as I could bear.
When I covered the cake, a few cracks immediately appeared, and as the fondant dried out, even more cracks appeared.
It looked fine from a distance but close up you can see there were some really bad patches. In future I'll try to use fondant almost as soon as I buy it!
I also covered the second, smaller chocolate cake and placed it on the top. It looked like it really needed something....
Luckily I had already planned to make the cake a polka dot pattern, so while I couldn't quite hide any mistakes as well as with my boyfriend's cow print cake, I did still have the opportunity to cover a few of the biggest cracks.
I had recently bought a cupcake plunger, to be used when filling cupcakes - you place the plunger over the cupcake, push it down, and pull the handle up, leaving you with a nicely shaped hole in the middle of your cupcake to fill with whatever you want. I hadn't got around to trying it out on a cupcake yet, but decided it was the perfect size and shape to cut circles out of black fondant to make the polka dots.
I used a little edible glue to stick the circles onto the cake - I think it gives a really nice effect. I also found some spotty ribbon that I had left over from something else and decided it would be perfect to hide the joins in the fondant!
I placed the shoes and a sort of pink feather thing that I bought a while ago on a whim on top of the cake. The shoes are slightly the wrong colour pink and look a bit small in comparison to the cake but I was quite pleased with the finished effort!
Here's a close up of the top... I love these shoes! They were made using the Jem shoe cutter set, as described in my earlier post.
Instead of candles on the cake I had mini sparklers! Happy birthday to me :-)