Practice makes perfect….

That’s what I’m hoping. With Bugs’s very first birthday just a matter of weeks away, The Dude and I got down to some birthday cake business today and did a trial run decorating the cake!

I had baked cakes lots of times but never once had I covered one with frosting (crazy I know!). This trial run would really be a true test of my artistic cement layering skills!

To celebrate Bugs’s special day, we selected a simple number one cake pattern from a vintage Women’s Weekly cookbook to mark the occasion. The Dude was tasked with baking and assembling the cake, while I would handle the slightly trickier decorative portion. Since we were still deciding on cake flavours, The Dude made the two rectangle shaped cakes that were required to assemble the pattern in different flavours -one in chocolate and one in buttercream.

The buttercream cake turned out much flatter than the chocolate cake but we were not discouraged. We continued following the recipe and began to shape the birthday cake. Here’s how the trial birthday cake looked after The Dude worked his magic with a few clever cuts of those rectangular cakes and appropriate placement….

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You can see the centre block is made from the chocolate rectangular cake while the top and base are from the buttercream cake. There were lots of cake pieces left over from the cutting so we paused for a brief moment to snack on a few.

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After our little snack, I went on to make the icing. A few drops of red colouring and the white butter and icing sugar mixture turned a pretty pastel pink – a great colour for a little girl’s cake!

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The moment I had been agonising over had arrived – it was time to ice the cake. I started small, putting a little amount on the centre block…

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The next thing I knew, I was slapping on more and more icing onto the cake, smoothing out the surface (with my spatula) as best as I could while trying to prevent any cake bits from showing. Twenty minutes of intense shaping and concentration later, this was the end result….

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Here’s another shot of the iced cake from a different angle….

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Lots of room for improvement I know! But the end result looked a lot better than I had imagined (it’s true my cake decorating standards are low)! At least it looked like a pink number one cake with a surface reminiscent of the craters on the moon! This cake had character!

The next step of our experiment was the all important taste test. Which cake flavour would go better with the icing? We cut up a slice from the chocolate centre portion…..

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And another from the buttercream portion of the cake to try.

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The slices looked pretty (rustic) sitting next to each other on the plate- I couldn’t resist taking a shot before we started the taste test.

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Both flavours went pretty well with the icing. The Dude and I were in a deadlock over which flavour the final cake should be after finishing the samples. We might need a few more days to decide on this!

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The final decorative touch, according to the recipe, was to cover the iced cake with decorative Smarties. The Dude had a brainwave and decided to make these cute marshmallow flowers with a Smarties centre (which were featured on another cake in the book) instead. I thought they added a really sweet touch to the cake (plus they kind of helped cover up my messy icing skills)!

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We’re still a little way off perfecting the cake decorating but i think we are getting there! Hopefully we can squeeze in one more try in the coming weeks before having to do it for real!
*Keeping my fingers crossed*

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One thought on “Practice makes perfect….

  1. Pingback: The final touch « A happy moment a day- my project 365

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