Sunday, 16 December 2012

And so I baked a cake

I can make lots of things, but I have never made a fancy cake like the ones that people actually PAY for.  So when the production designer at work asked me if I could make a butterfly cake for his daughter's birthday, I was extremely flattered but very tempted to say no.  However as my new motto is to say yes to all but the most ridiculous of challenges, I naively took it up.  My dear friend (and colleague) JP gave me wonderful advice, gleaned from both personal experience and devouring fancy baking shows on Foxtel.  Then it was on to Bake Boss to get some advice and an idea of the cost.  One of the first things that the lovely women there said unanimously was "that job requires fondant!"  Fondant to me is as foreign as brake fluid and wheel alignment.  However after a couple of calming pep talks, I bought said fondant, kneaded and rolled it, cut out some butterfly shapes and left it to dry.  (A pair and a spare: thank goodness my props job has taught me the wisdom making extra, as the first one I made ended up horribly pock marked!)  The template you can see above is an enlargement of the butterfly that the production designer sent as inspiration.

My mum very kindly allowed me to use her kitchen, her fancy oven and her baking skills as the 40 x 40 cm cake tin certainly would not have fit into my temperature gauge-less little 1970s Kitchen Maid.  The size of the tin required that the chocolate cake recipe be tripled.  Thank you Mum for all of your help!

 After it was cooled (on a spare oven rack!) the cake was cut into the butterfly shape, then iced using a good old fashioned Women's Weekly chocolate frosting.

Then it was back to the fondant.  The first coat of aqua pearl paint did not look great.  I was scared.

The second coat made the effect much more opaque.  After it dried I added the black details, placed the butterfly on the cake, stuck little pink pearls on with special gel, then strewed bronze coloured sugary bits around the edges (it would have been nicer if they had been a bit paler).  Initially I had wanted to surround the cake with little hydrangea flowers, but I read that they were poisonous so I stuck little pink pearls around instead.  (Shhh: this was all to hide my mediocre frosting job.)
The offcuts were sliced and iced and taken to the studio Christmas party.

Sorry about the bad i-phone photos.

This is a crazy time of year!  I hope that you have all had a restful Sunday.


Saskia said...

WOW. Amazingly well-done Sandra. Looks very professional. You must've been quite sad hacking into it. That's one good thing about blogging – things and their stories are preserved for posterity. Love a bit of bronze sugary bit strewing (well, strewing of anything really). Happy Christmas! Hope it's restful.

Sandra Eterovic said...

Thanks so much Saskia -- I did think of you when I posted this one and I hoped that you would like it! Thank you for commenting. :)