Good news and bad news, and a big Happy Birthday!
Well the bad news is that I have a problem with my camera. 😦 It’s a bit of a disaster, to be honest, and I can’t afford to get it looked at for the time being, so it’s curtailed my photography and blogging activities somewhat. There’s a dark mark appearing in the upper centre of all the pictures I take. It isn’t on the lens, so I’m assuming it must be on the internal sensor. So… fewer blog posts for the time being, but here’s one to be going on with for my irregular series on food and baking.
On a more positive note, it was my daughter’s 10th birthday recently. Ten years! A whole decade on this wonderful, beautiful planet!
I wanted to do her a bit of a special cake to mark such a momentous birthday, and since her obsession at the moment is the computer game Minecraft, I decided to make her a Minecraft cake. This green beastie is a Creeper; a zombie character that comes and interferes with game play and blows itself up at inopportune moments.
First I made a large madeira cake in a 10 inch square tin (trimming off the top and sides) and filled it with my daughter’s favourite butterscotch filling, made with homemade caramel and cream cheese. Caramel is a bit tricky; I panicked when the first batch didn’t caramelise fast enough and made a second batch as well. Luckily they both turned out well, so I poured one into a baking tray and it went all glassy and brittle and delicious, and whisked cream into the other batch to make the sauce to blend with the cream cheese. Once I’d filled the cake, I then covered the outside with buttercream frosting as a base for the fondant icing.
I squished and squashed the fondant until it was nicely pliable, then rolled it out thinly before very carefully covering the cake with the fondant and smoothing it down.
This is where things got a bit more complicated. I’d bought two green food colouring pastes, and worked a tiny bit at a time into hunks of fondant icing to get varying shades of green. I made a 3cm square stencil of taped cardboard to cut around, and cut out over 64 squares (with a lot of spares) of colours, plus another 20 from some black (and black blended with green and white) fondant to make the Creeper features. The squares stuck down beautifully with just the lighted brush of water on the backs.
It was worth all the effort to see my daughter’s face when the waitress brought the cake out at the end of our meal (at a very wonderful local Italian restuarant, by the way, Piazza Firenze, with excellent food and the loveliest waitress you could want to meet!). Happy Birthday Kid! 🙂