So I promised a while ok (Ok, quite a while ago) that I would show you what I did with this fondant sheep... it found its way onto a baby shower cake for my boss!
My boss and his wife are both American, and actually met while they were working at our company's head office in the US. After they got married, he got a promotion and they came to London. Now, baby showers are a big deal in America - some people set up gift lists as we do here with weddings, and the mother-to-be's friends have a big party and play games like tasting baby food and quizzing the parents-to-be about baby-related facts. So I gather from the internet, anyway - I've never been to a baby shower before! They haven't taken off in the UK at all and while I do think it would be nice to celebrate an impending birth (and be pretty handy to get a whole bunch of things you need for the baby), some friends I've spoken to say they find it really mercenary and would never dream of registering with Toys R Us in the same way that they registered with John Lewis when they got married. But I guess if it's generally accepted and what everyone else is doing...!
Anyway, since the folks in our US head office knew both my boss and his wife, they wanted to throw them a baby shower that they could also be part of, so we set up a fake meeting invite for my boss, invited his wife into the office, and set up a video conference link between the two locations. We decorated the rooms and the US team said they would order a cake - and I volunteered to make one.
And where does the sheep come into play? Well, my company's logo is a kind of sheep - it looks nothing like the one I made out of fondant but I think mine is a much cuter, nursery character-style version. And to be honest, I was going to make a teddy bear but ran out of time and had already made this sheep in the cake decorating class!
I decided to make a simple victoria sponge and followed a Mary Berry recipe that I found on the internet. I also made good use of my new Kitchenaid that I had got only a few weeks before!
Beating the eggs
Adding butter, sugar and flour
Mix it all up - I sometimes find I need to use this protector if there's a lot of flour, otherwise it goes everywhere!
Tasting the batter - chef's perks!
I love the fact that the Kitchenaid bowl has a handle, so it's really easy to hold and scrape out the mixture with a spatula
In the oven waiting to be baked
Now for the tricky part... rolling out the white fondant.
As well as registering at three different places for baby gifts, my boss's wife told me they had also chosen the colours lavender and mint green for their new daughter. I thought that was really nice and a good way of making sure they didn't receive an ocean of pink!
I used the Tappit alphabet set to cut out some letters
I moulded some of the coloured fondant into cubes and stuck a letter on top. It's supposed to look like the alphabet building blocks that children have.
The cake, when it had come out of the oven
I sandwiched the two cakes together with buttercream and spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top and around the sides
Then I covered it with the rolled-out fondant icing. This is pretty neat, for me!
Smoothing down the sides
I wanted something to decorate the sides of the cake so it didn't look too plain. I had some baby-themed cookie cutters, which were quite small, so I used them to cut out shapes of the coloured fondant: a rocking horse, a baby's bottle and a teddy bear.
I used a small amount of water to stick them around the side of the cake
And here's the sheep I made a while back in an edible modelling class. I'd been wondering what to do with him...
I think he looks quite cute sitting on top of the cake!
Finally I added the alphabet blocks, which spell 'baby'
My boss and his wife really liked the cake and I was very pleased it turned out well :-)
I'm updating this post to send this celebration cake to Tea Time Treats, hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Kate of What Kate Baked. Tea Time Treats was one year old in November so their theme for this month is celebration cakes.. and what better thing to celebrate than a new baby?