Monday, 1 June 2015

Port or Cake?

I flew up to Auckland for a short trip to see my family. I was just up for a week, but at the end of the weekend was my dads birthday, though he is not big on sweet things especially cake I thought it would be a nice surprise for him and decided to make him a cake. Being in Auckland means I would also have my mums help with the cake.

Dad loves Port it is his one special treat so for his birthday we bought him a lovely bottle of Port and  ever eager to try new ideas and challenges I thought why not give a bottle of Wine/Port a try. I had never sculpted a cake before but figured that a wine bottle was probably an easy place to start. Now because dad is not big on sweet things we decided to make him a fruit cake lets just say this made sculpting extremely difficult as the cake was very crumbly and it was also hard to cut through the fruit which meant it just came out of cake leaving wee holes randomly placed around bottle.

Here are a couple of progress shots.

We did 2 layers of cake with a thin layer of butter cream in between. The first I put a wine bottle template on and cut this out exactly. I did this same process for the second layer and then using a very sharp knife little by little starting shaping the cake. One thing I would change next time is to make the neck a little longer as I feel it ended up a bit short.

So after I sculpted the cake it was time to crumb coat, this was a bit agonising as well because the cake was so crumbly it was challenging but we got there in the end. After it had rested in the fridge mum started  rolling out the fondant, she had been to a few lessons in Pukekohe for cooking and decorating and she tried to tell me we should be using corn flour rather than icing sugar on the fondant, but being me I had to argue cause everything I had searched and watched used icing sugar and talked about corn flour changing the taste of the fondant and of course mum being mum gave me the benefit of the doubt and guess what? She was right lol, the icing sugar dried out the fondant quite fast which lead to it tearing. You know what they say, Mother knows best!

Because the fondant was a little dry we had a wee bit of trouble smoothing it onto the cake, but I think we did a pretty good job considering and with only 1 wee tear down by the base of the bottle. Which we were able to cleverly cover up with shredded wood which added to the overall effect.

I used a mix of bronze powder and the  Cake Decorators Fluid that I used with Alex's cake, to paint the top of the bottle. The label is an edible print that I got from The Cake Shop which is in Pukekohe. They can print anything on an A4, you just have to email them the document, Such a great idea I have an idea for dads next birthday cake and again I will need an edible label for as well stay tuned for that cake as I am sure it will prove to be my most challenging.

After it was all finished we put it onto the lid of a shoe box that mum had cover with brown packing paper to look like a crate and then we filled the empty space with the shredded wood.

Here is the end result.

A trick I have recently heard of is that you can use a garment steamer to add shine to cakes, if I were to make another wine bottle I think that would be a great effect and would make it look glossy like a bottle. Dad was pretty shocked when we presented the cake to him and it wasn't till a couple of hours later when we asked him if he wanted a piece of cake that he realised it wasn't another bottle of Port but a cake. Thanks dad that was a great reaction! Love you and Happy Birthday!