Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blue Cushion Christening Cake with Sugar Veil Lace

I'm sitting in the silence of my home with a forbidden late night coffee and naughty chocolate biscuits from the stash no one knows about. I can hear the low rumble of my dessert stomach asking for more chocolate and caramel, and who am I to deny it?
I deserve it-finally the kitchen and living room have recovered from the last cake explosion-to my husband's delight it is tidy and clean again. It's not the kind of interesting explosion where the oven flies open and spurts of semi-cooked chocolatey lava-like cake batter comes blurting out. Its the two day cake mess, and then days of aftermath. First of all, there are three small people under the age of five that abide in my home. They all like to get very involved whenever anything edible comes out and it's a recipe for sticky disaster. The rolling pins are dug out and they need their share of fondant and cutters-a quick and easy trade for 10 uninterrupted minutes. Moments later there are sticky footprints on the wall and lumps of sucked fondant through my daughter's hair. And if you have seen my Vienna Rose, that's a discovery worth crying over. She has the curliest cloud of hair and it's like to removing bubble gum when anything makes its way into that glorious bird nest.
I love cake decorating. But attempting it with kids make it awfully, awfully hard to do successfully, and hence, world war three zone becomes a reality. Every time.
I am certain my cake decorating interest is a burden for my husband. It comes with a load-or should I say loads.That is mountains of bowls and pots and sticky things in our tiny kitchen. And those fondant foot prints up the wall, I mean, how on earth?
It takes me about a week of dish washing o finally have a cleared kitchen again. Time to get a dishwasher. But here's the cake that came of the mayhem. A gorgeous pale blue cushion with bows at each corner, featuring sugar veil lace trims and a we fondant baby under a crochet rug. It was for my Godson's christening-and worth the trouble.

It was my first time using the sugar veil and mats to create the lace. I live in a subtropical climate, so this stuff can be the substance of nightmares, and a sticky one to boot. It is quite unstable in humid climates, and I baked it rather than leaving it to set for hours (which I wasn't sure it would do any way considering where I live.) The oven was effective for the most part, with significant trial and error. I was thrilled with the lace it created, as it added a very elegant and delicate touch to the cake. You can fix this lace with water, and I also added small pearl cashous to the top of the swags for a finished look. The cake itself was a 20x20cm square Mississippi mud cake, cooked in a square pyrex dish with rounded edges. The centre sunk a little after cooling but it gave the impression of softness when covered, especially as the baby lay in the middle of the cake. I lightly carved down to the corners of the cake and curved the sides inwards to create the pillow cake look I was going for. Before laying the fondant, I did a thorough crumb coat with coffee flavoured butter cream icing, refrigerated it, and went over it again for a final and smoother coat of butter cream icing.
The baby is less than perfect, as it was my back up baby which I never thought I'd have to use. Silly me left the cake on the table, and came back to find the cake intact in every way but the baby was carefully removed by little fingers. I found it in my daughter's mouth moments later, and she was hiding behind the door. While impressed by her delicate removal system, and grateful I didn't have to remake the whole cake, baby two had to be inserted under that crochet cover, and he happened to have a bit of a scarred face. Don't look too closely!
So-ever wonder why cakes are so expensive to have made? So much work and detail goes into them, even the simple looking ones-It's too hard to put a price on the hours and hours of work that creating a cake entails. If I was paid by the hour for this I'd be charging an arm and a leg! So cakes will be few and far between..for personal eating only and for very select VIP like my new Godson Raffie. When the babies are grown, I'd like to make cakes for everyone. When the time and the environment is right. Bring it on!


Give me some sugar, Sugar...