Sunday, 29 April 2012

Cake of the week - A (Blackpool) football cake

This is one of those cakes that I thought up at the last minute. As I mentioned last week, it was husband's birthday on Tuesday and needed to make a cake. I decided I was going to cover it and do some design but I wasn't really sure what.

Suddenly I thought that perhaps I could make a Blackpool cake - for which I'd need tangerine (bright orange in other words) sugar paste. As I am not good at piping or intricate designs, I struggled as to what to do when I came up with the idea of using hexagonal tiles to make it look like a football, allowing some of the tangerine shine through.

All I had to do was make it. The cake was actually chocolate, from Ruth's recipe. As I have her book, I was so glad to see she's included a scaleable version of it in her new book with different quantities and cooking times for different sized tins because sometimes, you just don't have the right sized tin. I make this recipe a lot now; it's easy and it never lets me down.

Having made it and left it to cool on Monday afternoon, I decided I had better get it covered with sugarpaste that evening as I wouldn't have too much time to do cake decorating the next day. I am so glad I did as it then took me most of the rest of the evening. First, I had to colour my sugarpaste. This proved to be way harder than I thought and however much I added, it never seemed to reach the required shade, even when wrapping it and leaving for 10 mins to let the colour develop, as Ruth advises. And trying to work it in to the paste was harder work than kneading bread dough! Eventually, I gave up and settled for a pale orange colour - or maybe it's more peach. Lesson learned - bright colours need huge amounts of food colour.

Then I followed Ruth's instructions for covering the cake with sugarpaste. I now know that the secret is keeping the sugarpaste quite thick as this makes it easier to handle. After a big deep breath, I got it on the cake without rips or holes, and it looked pretty good. Result! By this time, it was past midnight but I thought I had better plough on.

The hexagonal tiles were a challenge. I would have preferred a hexagonal cutter but had no time to get one so I scaled a hexagon to the size I wanted, printed it out then once cut out, used it as a template to cut around, having rolled out some black and white sugarpaste. I placed the tiles gently on the top of the cake to figure out the pattern and after a few goes, I came up with a pattern I was happy with and I brushed where I was sticking each tile with a little water to stick them to the cake. By the time I'd finished, it was way past 1am and my kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it. According to Helen, that's early for cake makers! I left everything as I was very tired by then, but I went to bed with a sense of achievement that it looked quite good. And it tasted nice too!

What do you think?

Linking up with Helen's Cake of the Week feature.

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