Thursday, 24 June 2010
X Marks the Spot
So when an email request for a birthday cake in the style of the X-Box logo came through a few days ago that's exactly what I did, and 5 mins of googling later not only was I familiar with the X Box logo I was able to say 'no problem', one shiny silver and green domed cake coming right up.
It has to be said that sponge cake isn't the most forgiving material to sculpt, it's soft, springy and full of air - which makes it great to eat but not so easy to carve a smooth curve on - and the more you try the more cake you carve - which makes it perfectly possibly to lop off most of your cake in the search for perfection. The trick is to recognise this and use the other tools at your disposal to fill in the imperfections, namely buttericing and sugarpaste.
Think of buttericing as plaster and sugarpaste as wallpaper - the buttericing smooths out any lumps and bumps and the sugarpaste gives a uniform finish. For this cake I used a white sugarpaste and coloured in myself using a touch of black food colouring. As a tip it's easy to colour your own pastel colours in icing but for strong colours i.e black, deep blues, greens, reds etc it's worth buying the pre-coloured sugarpaste as otherwise, whilst you may end up with perfectly sculpted upper arms due to all the kneading you're unlikely to get an even colour in your icing.
The shiny silver finish to this cake was achieved by using a pearlised spray ~ they're available in most good cake decorating shops now and the ones I use are the PME Edible Lustre Sprays, they come in a whole range of colours and are great if you need to give anything a silver or gold finish.
For me, the best bit with any cake is seeing the recipients face when they see it for the first time, and it's especially great when they takes the time afterwards to say how much they enjoyed it, which is exactly what happened with this cake ~ only this being the 21st Century and social media being king the compliment didn't come by post but by twitter.