Thursday, August 16, 2012

Beach Birthday Cake

So for my boyfriend's grandma's 80th birthday, I was invited to make a cake. I was so excited, because a) I love my boyfriend and his whole family and b) it gave me an excuse to make a really cute cake. They love going to a beach in Maine, so the cake was designed after that beach.

I'm pretty proud of how it came out. It was definitely one of my biggest endeavors yet.

The Final Product

A major problem I encountered with this cake was the topper. I have never done a rice krispie topper before and I assumed everything would be fine. I cheated and stuck together 8 rice krispie treats hoping that they would be able to stay up on my center dowel. I was so wrong. After dropping the cake off, I went back home for a bit to clean up before heading back to serve it and enjoy a piece. And when I returned, the whole sun had slid down on the dowel (boo!). See the beginning of it below:


Also, because they don't have air conditioning and the oven was running in the kitchen, some of my details wilted or worse: fell off the cake! The whole thing ended up really shiny because of the humidity. Any thoughts on how to make sure this isn't a problem next time?

Another technique that I was completely unprepared for was the flying birds. I just hoped that they would stay up. Again, they didn't. It wasn't terrible, but they were a little sad by the time I came back.

Overall, everyone loved the cake. It was a chocolate cake with a raspberry preserves filling smothered in a ton of vanilla buttercream.

I made all of the figurines out of bought fondant. No judging. I already had it on hand and wanted to use it up. Also, I figured that no one in this group would eat it anyways. They aren't huge cake people to begin with, and my boyfriend usually picks around the icing, so store bought worked just fine this time.

I cannot take all of the credit for this cake. One of my best friends Aaron was visiting for the weekend and he was such a trooper helping me with this cake. He helped me roll fondant, transport the cake and was just great support in general. I especially felt bad because I made him miss the opening ceremonies to the Olympics the night before. Sorry!

Aaron and I in the kitchen. He wanted to commemorate me letting someone into my space...

Finally, I am still toying around to find the perfect, universal, delicious but easy chocolate cake recipe. I promise when I do, I will post it. The one that I used for this cake was an adaptation of the Mud Cake from the cookbook Planet Cakes. I took out the coffee and tried to make it chocolate-ier and sweeter. It was close, just a smidgen too dry. Oh well. Everyone still thought it was delicious. Me included.

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