Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy B-day Sis!

Well, it was my younger sister's sweet 16th birthday last Friday... and being her big sister I decided that I was going to whip up a fantastic cake. I wanted to try my skills at using fondant and gumpaste to decorate the cake, a daunting task... but one that was totally worth every second. As I worked with the fondant, I began to learn how to manipulate the rolled icing and thanks to the world wide web I was able to create a successful b-day cake that my sister was sure to love.

While I was sure that I wanted to use fondant, the trickier task was actually developing a game-plan and deciding what I wanted the cake to look like. I know my sister is a huge fan of Japanese anime, so that helped a bit; however, I would have to select only a couple key-figures from some of her favorite animes to fit onto the finished cake... and that was tricky. The birthday cake eventually comprised of figures from: One Piece, Natsume Yuujinchou and D Gray Man.

Above: Group Shot of the One Piece Cast

Above: Timcampy from D. Gray Man

Above: Madara from Natsume Yuujinchou

My rough sketch of what the cake will look like... as you will see, it looks nothing like the finished product :P

I decided to complete this project in two days, giving me enough time to bake, layer and decorate the cake with less stress and no time-pressure. So, I baked the cake in the morning of the first day and allowed for it to fully cool. In the evening used the fondant to cover the cake and then left the more detailed work for day two.

For the cake's bottom layer, I used the white-cake recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Cookbook. I cut the cake into two layers and placed prepared chocolate frosting in-between the two pieces of cake. For the upper tier, I used a halved recipe of the Food Networks Chocolate Bundt Cake to make a 5-inch round cake; again, cutting it into two layers and placing frosting in between. The halved recipe made more batter than necessary for the 5-inch round cake, however this extra batter was needed to make miniature cupcakes that I would later use for making Madara's and Timcampy's bodies.

The bare layers of the cake. Bottom Tier: White cake, covered in fondant with a grey "chain" wrapped around it. Top Tier: Chocolate cake covered in blue fondant for the "ocean" and tiny brown "islands"

Chopper's Hat from One Piece

The Skull Symbol on the One Piece Pirate Flag

Natsume's book (Yuujinchou), with Madara the cat sneaking around in the background!

Poor Timcampy... where are his wings?

There they are! I used gumpaste to make Tim's wings, as it is more sturdy than fondant after it dries. I used strategically placed skewers for easy attachment of the wings to Tim's body.

Yay! Tim has his wings... I placed his wings on just before I presented the cake to my sister, as I was whether it would be well supported.

Well, there's the end product! It took about two days to finish, and my sister was very appreciative of my efforts.

My sister really loved the cake and was at a loss for words. My entire family was very impressed with the work I had done. After all the toils of working with the fondant, I was just praying that the cake tasted as good as it looked... and thankfully, it did! However, my sister was unwilling to eat the figures that decorated the corner because she stated that they were "too cute", and now I am torn between what I should do with them!! Should I eat them? Can I keep them? Well... my sister or I decide what is to become of the fondant figures, they will remain in an airtight container in the freezer.

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