Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Farm Animal Rainbow Birthday Cake

Over the weekend we celebrated my son's first birthday with some of the family. Of course, over all the presents, Benjamin was more interested in the balloons and wrapping paper than anything else, and I predicted that. I decided to give him a birthday cake he couldn't ignore. Ben doesn't speak yet, but he can make farm animal sounds and loves looking through picture books and pointing out the cows and pigs and dogs and so forth. So a farm animal cake it was to be--even though I swore never again to dabble in icing modeling after the tremendous effort of the first--and what I thought would be the last--fancy cake I made. Anyway I did it again, just because I saw someone else had one it and it looked so cute. Well I learnt from last time where none of the icing dried in time for the party and made the figurines 5 days in advance. It was enjoyable but time consuming and I was glad when it was finished! I cut a few corners and was glad of it. The rainbow buttercake was made up of two packet mix cakes I divided into four and coloured with food dye. It made the cooking process quick and easy, giving more time for the decorating. I also refrained from icing the whole cake with fondant and went for buttercream icing instead--saved some time and stress too. And Benjamin loved the cake! He got very excited about the animals and almost took the cows head off before the party...and after the party, he bit the head off the dog and ate it. Yuck!


1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup glucose (can substitute light corn syrup)
1 tablespoon glycerin 
1 tablespoons butter
2 pound bag of icing sugar, sifted.
1 teaspoon flavoring
Pour water in a small saucepan. Shower the gelatin over the cold water so that the gelatin is evenly distributed.  Let gelatin soften in the water for five minutes.
Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. When all sugar is sifted, make a well in the center of the bowl. Heat the water and gelatin over gentle heat, stirring, until the gelatin is dissolved. Mix in glucose (or corn syrup) and glycerin. Add the butter and mix until melted. Remove from heat and stir in desired flavouring. I used vanilla essence. 
Pour wet ingredients into the well of powdered sugar. Mix with a wooden spoon until cool enough to handle. 
Then use a lightly greased hand to knead the ingredients together. Knead in the bowl until most of the icing sugar is incorporated. 
Turn out on a lightly greased bench and knead until the fondant is smooth and pliable. If it feels sticky, add additional icing sugar. If it feels too dry and doesn't feel elastic, work in a small bit of butter. 
Shape into a thick disk shape and cover with a thin coating of butter. Wrap well in several layers of plastic wrap, and place in a large ziplock bag. The fondant can be used immediately, but works much better if its left to cure for at least 12 hours. The fondant will store at room temperature this way for three months, and can be frozen for up to 12 months. Add food colouring as desired.

The demolition of la cake.

Rainbows inside!

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