Tonight I attend week 3 of a cake decorating course I enrolled in after finally admitting to myself that all the book reading and internet searching in the world was not going to make it any easier to cover cakes flawlessly. In week 1 we created petal paste roses and in week 2 (last week) we tackled leaves, and tinting our roses.
I am particularly excited about tonight’s class because it is the week where we do actually look at cake-covering, and it can’t come soon enough for me! The mini cake making an embarrassed appearance in this blog is the most recent in a long line of exercises in frustration, and rampant over-decorating to hide a less than flawless surface.
This mini cake is made up of two little cylinders of chocolate mud cake sandwiched together with a little bit of buttercream. Since I baked them in a mini cake tin, and levelled them with a cake leveller, they were exactly the same size and had very neat, crisp, edges and sides. I crumb-coated them with buttercream, very sparingly, and then had a crack at covering them with the rolled sugarpaste. So far so good.
After giving the mini cake a good go over with a smoother I was fairly happy with the result. Next morning, however, seeing my efforts in the cold, unforgiving light of day, I found it had taken on distinctly pyramidal proportions, and a serious case of middle-aged spread. Have I perfected the world’s first muffin top mini cakes?
Since this was intended as a Bon Voyage + Happy Birthday cake for a friend, I decided to push on and endeavour to mitigate the night bulge with some judicious embellishment. The first step in this direction was to add an embossed border. Mental note #1: make embossed borders thinner!
I probably should have stopped at this point, but decided nonetheless to mix up some royal icing and pipe a dot trail at the base of the border. Mental note #2: I suck at dot trails…
I had made so much royal icing that when I had finished I began to look for ways to use up the leftover icing. I tried my hand at lettering, piping my name all over the kitchen counter, but then fell victim to the temptation to pipe more things on my mini cake. BIG MISTAKE. I had the idea that a pattern of dots would help hide the lumpy, bulgey, and occasionally finger indented surface. Despite my best efforts at flattening the little peaks on the dots with a dampened finger, as one is apparently meant to do, I can’t help thinking my cake looks like it has developed a multitude of extraneous nipples. Oh dear …
You can judge for yourself.
The final touch was some gold lustre on the leaves to match the rose. None of these efforts was ever going to hide the undulating roughened edges of the cake board but I finally knew I ought to stop. Let’s not talk about the edge that I put a glass down on (and judiciously moved to the back while taking photos).
Needless to say my friend still loved it. Don’t you just love forgiving friends?