Sunday, 24 February 2013

Beautiful Bouquet Birthday Cake!

So the other half loves to volunteer my cake baking skills - going to have to get him to help on the next occasion! Nearly had a grumpy moment making this cake as I thought it was going to topple over during construction.  After having a search on the Internet for birthday cakes I seen some lovely bouquet of flowers cakes and thought I'd have a go.

The first job was to find out how to make sugar roses on youtube - there are some fab videos on there! As I wanted the roses to dry firm, I needed to find a recipe for the right kind of icing. Thankfully my mum had a 'Floral Cake Decorating' by Norma Dunn, first published in 1977 - so you can imagine the intricate flowers and cakes within. I used the modelling paste recipe (icing sugar 250g, gelatine 2 scant tsp, glucose 1 rounded tsp, water 30ml).  First I had to dissolve the gelatine in the water and then add the glucose (I only had glycerin - but it seemed to work the same). Then you added this syrup to the icing sugar and mix.  This was a tricky bit - I used a hand whisk and also added extra water, as the mixture was not coming together.  Once I'd given my arms a work out and added the colouring, I wrapped it up and left it to stand for the 3-4 hours required.

The icing took a lot of kneading 
Finally suck together
The second job was to create all the flowers - 15 of pink and 15 of red. This job was spread over two evenings and each rose got better the more I did.  I decided to add a couple of bumble bees and ladybugs.  For the cake covering I used ready to roll icing and coloured it green and pink - as I wanted this to stay soft.

Awaiting construction
For the cake, I used the Madeira recipe from James Martin's 'desserts' book (another fabulous Works purchase if I remember correctly!) baking two 6 inch cakes and a a dome of cake baked in a mixing bowl with a 6inch diameter. Also managed to squeeze two cupcakes out the left overs to make sure the cake was yummy - it was :)

I need to find a better way to cut my cakes so that they are flat, as mine were a bit on the wonky side and thought the whole cake was about to subside during construction! In between the layers I put a smear of raspberry jam and pink buttercream. Then I covered the whole cake in the pink buttercream so I had something to stick the rolled out icing too.

The green rectangle was put on first and then a circle of pink to the top. To break up the solid green colour, I added strips and leaves in a slightly darker green.

Then the flower arranging could begin - I mixed up icing sugar, water, glycerine (to make it harden) and pink colouring - starting from the top I stuck on each individual rose in a random colour sequence.  The placing of the lady bugs and bumble bees was next.

To finish off the cake, I dusted it in pink sparkly glitter and added a bow!

Finally the presentation touches - wrapping the cake up in cellophane and decorating the box!

So after 18 hours of cake baking and decorating I was rather impressed with the final cake and nearly 'left it at home' on our evening out for Eleyna's birthday!

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