But I'm back now so I'm bringing you a recipe and tutorial for the birthday cake I made for my sons birthday party.
A lot of things have happened while my connections been down, or at least it seems like it. As you know my husband went in hospital for surgery, I'm pleased to update you that he is doing fab and his recovery has been smoother than expected!
My baby boy turned 2 on Monday!! I can't believe he's 2 already. My other baby boy turned 6 yesterday! Crikey, it's scary to think 6 years can pass so quickly.
My friend Sonja gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She's a little stunner - well done Sonja!! Almost makes me broody again, only almost though. :)
Last week I spent a lot of time making the last few things for the party, we have birthday bunting with a difference, cupcake toppers and baking. There was even enough time to start work on a couple of other projects which have been photographed and are waiting for an available post in the near future. You won't be surprised to learn they have a Disney twist to them.
Ok, onto the Pirate Mickey Cake. It is made up of several separate cakes - 2x2layer sandwich cakes and one larger cake, so you'll be baking 5 cakes in total.
This can take some time, it took me 5 hours altogether but that includes the baking and cake cooling times and me playing with the fondant, I had never used it before and I kept messing up - you will see from the final picture that the cake was still far from perfect but for a first timer I was thrilled with it! They say practice makes perfect so I know what I have to do...
To make the complete cake you will need 3 lots of the following:
175g Self Raising Flour
175g Sugar (granulated works just fine)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla flavouring/extract.
Plenty of jam (flavour of your choice)
coloured fondant (I'm sorry I didn't weigh this as I just bought 2 boxes of ready coloured sugardough).
2x 20cm sandwich cake tins
1x 23cm cake tin (I used a springform)
This is my favourite cake recipe and I use it All. The. Time. As you can see from the page in the picture.
Make sure you have everything ready that you'll need and grease/line your cake tins. Although I use non-stick tins I grease them with margarine and baking parchment anyway, it helps my cakes turn out easily.
Preheat your oven to 170*C.
I always draw around the base of my tin onto baking parchment and line the bottom of the tin with it, the last thing I want is to bake my cake perfectly and have them stick to the bottom.
Now that you've greased and lined your tins it's time to mix up the batter. First of all beat together the margarine and the sugar for about a minute on an electric mixer. It should become fluffy in appearance.
Add in your flour bit by bit and add your eggs one by one. Add in your baking powder and vanilla and whizz together for a couple of minutes. It should look smooth and silky, if you're using a stand mixer don't forget to check the bottom of the bowl as most are notorious for leaving a layer of unmixed sugar/margarine mixture there.
Divide your first lot of batter between the greased sandwich tins, once baked these cakes will become one of Mickey's ears.
Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Allow your cakes to cool in their tins for about 10 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
Here are my cakes before decorating. I used 3 separate round cake boards to set my cake on as I knew I had to transport it to the party venue, this way each section of the cake could be taken separately. It made decorating much easier too.
** Repeat this process another 2 times to make the remaining cakes.
For the 'head' on my cake I just made a single large circular cake rather than a sandwich cake only reason for this was I didn't have another tin to use and this springform one was the perfect size. **
Once your cakes have cooled, fill your layer cakes with jam by spreading jam over the top of the lower layer.
Sprinkle icing sugar over a clean work surface, keep an eye on your children or this happens! Made me smile though.
This is the sugardough/fondant I used. I've just noticed on the pack it says you get 100g of each colour. I needed 2 of each colour to complete my cake.
When you're ready to start with fondant, spread jam all over the top of the cake you will be decorating, this will help the fondant to stick.
For the first cake I kneaded 200g of green fondant together and rolled out to a rough circle shape. Loosly roll one end of your fondant around the rolling pin and then carefully try to drape it over your cake. The jam will allow some movement but not a lot so be careful, the fondant also tears easily so be extra careful about sliding it over the cake into position.
You may have some excess 'waves' of fondant at the base of the cake, use a sharp knife to trim these away.
I bet there are proper tools that you can buy to help with projects like these but I'm afraid I improvised with what I had, I imagine all those professional cake decorators are laughing at me right now.
I'm definitely no professional haha.
To smooth the edges of the fondant icing I used a wooden spoon dipped in water, the water just helps the spoon to glide over the icing without tearing it.
You'll need to repeat this on your other cakes too.
For the face part of the cake I used 2 colours of icing, half yellow and bottom half red, you can probably guess that the bottom but represented the famous red trousers. To do this I first rolled out the yellow into a large half circle, I placed the curved side to the top of the cake and the straighter side across the middle. I'm sorry I didn't get any photographs of this step as I was covered in tiny bits of fondant.
I then rolled out a large half circle of red but I cut a straight edge with a knife as this would be slightly overlapping the rough yellow edge.
I rolled out a remnant of yellow fondant and using a small circle cutter I cut out Mickey's buttons. I stuck these to the red 'trousers' using water.
To make the patch and strap I rolled out remnants of blue and green icing and using a sharp knife and freehand I cut out a patch shape and a long thin rectangle. Again, I used water to stick them in position.
This is the final result!
I know you can see all the imperfections on the cake and around the edges but to be honest I am thrilled with how this cake turned out!
All the kids and their parents who came to the party on Sunday loved it!
I know I have a lot to learn in the cake decorating department but I want to be able to show you my learning processes too.
Pop back tomorrow and I'll show you some more party things.
Thanks for being patient and reading today.
Lots of Love,