Wednesday, 13 July 2011
When I started to make cakes it was initially because I was to tight to buy a birthday cake for my sons 1st birthday. I thought I can make one cheaper and better and so I set about making one. £70 and one stressed out chef later I realised that cake making was no easy (or cheap) feat. But that didn't stop me and so my passion for cake making began.
As you have seen from my blogs over the past year I have become better and better at making cakes and now have the confidence to call myself quite a good cake maker.
That time of year had come around again though when all the family were looking at me and wondering what I was going to do for my sons 3rd birthday.
Being a bit of a geek I have introduced him to one of the most important films ever made.....Star Wars, and he loves it. He asked me few months back if he could have a Stormtrooper cake and immediately my mind went into hyper drive and thoughts of a helmet shaped cake haunted my dreams for weeks. Finally I plucked up the courage to attempt to make it. I didn't tell anyone what I was making as I wanted the unveiling to be spectacular.
I looked at loads of pictures and photos of Stormtroopers and actually found that there are many variations on the classic design but I decided on mine and so I began to bake.
I baked 4 individual cakes which would make up the helmet shape. The base was a 9" square topped with two 7" circles (sandwich style). The dome of the helmet was a 1 litre Pyrex bowl which I just greased so that it wouldn't stick.
I assembled them with a butter cream filling, placing the circles and domes towards the back of the square. Then using a cheese knife, which I found really good to sculpt with, I shaped the base of the helmet and used the off cuts to form the nose cone.After about 15 minutes of some more sculpting I finally had something that resembled the classic helmet shape.
I added a crumb layer of butter cream and let this dry for an hour or so before adding another fine layer of butter cream and smoothed over with a wet palette knife.
To ice the cake I opted for ready to roll icing and used a 1kg block rolled out to about 4mm thick. With one foul swoop it was over the cake and I spent about half and hour moulding it into shape using both my hands then smoothing down with a icing paddle.
The rest was quite simple as all I had to do was cut out the shapes of the eyes and detailing from some black sugar paste.
I hid the cake so that he didn't see it and all of his friends came around for a classic 3 year old birthday party. Complete with a sing song on the guitar from yours truly.
Then the time came to unveil my creation, I stuck some indoor sparklers in his head along with a candle and made the entrance to a spectacular rendition of Happy Birthday. The look on his and everyone else's face was priceless and he couldn't believe that it was his cake. At one point after he had blown out his candle he even gave the cake a hug, declaring it was his best friend.
I was quite chuffed with myself but can't help but think how do I beat that next year?