Cakes in 2012 – Topsy Turvy

topsy_collage1Okay, I’m almost up to date with my cakes from the past 12 months. Actually, I just realised I made this cake late in 2011, but not to worry!

Now this cake was my first ever attempt at a tiered cake. So what did I do but decide on four tiers! Nothing quite like jumping in at the deep end. It was also my first ever attempt at covering a cake with fondant.

It was for Hubs’ 40th birthday party. He’s right into sailing, so I envisioned a little man in a boat on the top, but I wasn’t confident enough to tackle fondant figures yet.  I tried to bring out a watery theme though by using blues, circles for bubbles, and the waves of blue around the bottom.

Actually those blue waves weren’t planned. They were more of a fix-up job. I thought I’d done the right thing by using dowels in each of the lower levels, but obviously I hadn’t done it quite right, because once I’d assembled the cake, it ever so slowly started to lean, making cracks  and ripples in the fondant. I had to put the cake next to the wall so it had something to lean on! I should have left the assembly until right before the party, but I was going to be out the whole day, so had to get it done the day before. We all got a good laugh at my really really topsy turvy cake. We dubbed it the Drunken Sailor cake. Hmm!

I had fun making this cake, and I’m sure I’ll try another topsy turvy cake in the future – maybe not with so many tiers next time though!

Cakes in 2012 – Antarctic theme

My mother in law is a big kid. I don’t think she’ll ever really grow up. And that’s what we all love about her! She loves sailing, and penguins and whales. And has been to Antarctica twice (how lucky is she!). So I decided to combine all of those things in a cake for her birthday last year. And I got to muck around with fondant again, yay!

I covered the cake in white fondant to look like an iceberg. Then wrapped some blue pieces around the base as water (maybe squint a little when you look at the photo!). M-I-L has three kids, so I made three funny looking penguins. And of course a whale squirting out some water to top it all off!

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Harry Potter cake

Still working my way through last years cakes, and we’ve made it to DLT1. She was well into reading the Harry Potter series of books, and was a huge fan. So her choice of party theme was a no brainer! Once again, I looked all over the internet for inspiring photos, and once again I was amazed at the talent and imagination of people out there.

building

I wanted to try my hand at making little fondant people again – I definitely needed more practice after my incredible shrinking pirate! It was a pretty slow and painstaking process, but layer by layer, Harry, Hermione and Ron all started to take shape.

HHnR

I also had a crack at making Hedwig the owl, a sorting hat, a tiny flying snitch, and a book and wand. I got the colouring wrong for Hedwig’s eyes and beak, but I don’t think the kids noticed! And at the last moment I realised Harry wasn’t wearing glasses – couldn’t have that now could we!!

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I decided on a two tier cake {aaah, that reminds me of a 2011 cake I made for Hubs’ 40th. I’ll have to share that later – very funny story there about my first ever attempt at a tiered cake. And four tiers no less!}. The upper tier I covered in fondant, though not my best effort. I didn’t let the cold cake come to room temperature before covering it, and it went all damp and sticky. Not a good look. But luckily I’d made it a marbled shade of grey to make it look a bit like stone. And I pressed little stone shapes into it, so I managed to disguise my mistake fairly well!

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The bottom tier was also supposed to be covered in fondant. I was going to do maroon and gold stripes like the Gryffindor school tie. But I was a bit over fondant by that stage, so just used chocolate frosting, and little golden fondant stars. Have you ever tried to mix a maroon colour? Holy cow, I had such a lot of trouble getting it right, I’m so glad I only ended up having to mix a little bit for the school uniforms!