Birthdays and car cakes

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It is my husband's birthday today. We have been celebrating since Friday (as you do) and, as every good birthday party requires a cake, I made him my very first novelty cake: a Formula 1 car.

I didn't have any professional tools or experience, just some food colours, some reference photos and a general idea. This is miles away from banana bread and brownies, I tell you.

I baked the actual cakey bit on Thursday night. I let it cool a bit, then carved it out using reference images and a broad imagination. I crumb coated it in buttercream and covered it in light grey fondant. Then, started applying layers and layers of edible food paint (gel and powder colours mixed with vodka!).

I learnt a few things about making cakes like this.

Hide cakes from your husband by storing them in the oven. He isn't likely to discover them.

Make sure that you let each layer of paint and fondant dry off before attempting the next one. Lay everything out on the cake board early on so you get a proper appreciation for the proportions of things (they will definitely need trimming!).

You also discover some fairly ingenious ways of doing things. Like using Oreo cookies (midnight snacks) sandwiched together with icing to make tyres, and spare fondant to prop up the rear wing. Sometimes the solutions come from the things you have around you - and sheer tiredness. 11.30 pm is too late to be working on cakes.

It is no good trying to paint on details the night before the party, after you've waited for him to go to sleep. The red wasn't quite the right colour or consistency, and I didn't have enough time to source a replacement. Ah well, red is red ... Isn't it?

I had to paint on a good few layers of the silver to get I looking more silver Maclaren and less smokey London skyline, and could have done with a few more drying hours!

The red food gel bled quite a bit as it dried, but I don't think that mattered all that much. I added on Graeme's old racing number (82) to the back of the car and hoped to distract him with glistening tyre tread and a chequered flag banner. I'm still really proud of those tyres.

He chose to eat "the engine" first. It was delicious. Arguably the best tasting engine ever.

And now, off to the RAF museum for a day of birthday fun, and then we are bundling up into the car and heading North to Wales to watch the WRC rally for a few days. I've already packed my knitting.

See you all again this weekend!

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  1. WOW WOW WOW, Absolutely amazing Stacy. For a first try, you have outdone yourself. Well done.

  2. Awesome isn't a word I am known to use often but...this is exactly that. Does he know just how lucky he is?

    1. He was so pleased, he refused to share the cake with anyone. Which was nice, in his own way :) Thank you x

  3. Oh you did an Awesome job! I was very impressed. My youngest DD loves to make cakes, I have yet to see anything that elaborate! WTG!


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