I hope you have all had a great Christmas / New Year break with friends and family like I have !!
Everyone likes a 2 for 1 deal right?
Well that’s what I gave to my friends and family for my 40th birthday party. I know I’m the one that should get the presents right? That’s just the kinda guy I am.
I decided to have my party on New Years Eve so that everyone could have 2 parties in one!! And party we did, we even showed up the neighbours. In the end we finished up about 1:30 – 2 o’clock which was a pretty good effort I thought.
So you’d think being the cake fairy and all, that the birthday boy would know exactly what sort of cake he wanted wouldn’t you? well let me tell you that wasn’t the case. I wanted to make something cool or a bit different but I was really drawing blanks trying to find something that resembled me. I nearly made a castle cake because some of my friends call me Mike the Knight, I used to play Dungeons and Dragons and I loved playing that style of rpg on the playstation. I left my run a little too late and being cheap I didn’t want to fork out the money for fondant so I dropped that idea.
I ended up going through my pintrest pins trying to find inspiration. Finally I decided what I would like the cake to look like, it included some new techniques I hadn’t tried before. Next was the flavour, I had a few ideas one was a chocolate cake with bacon butter cream the other was a bright orange velvet cake. I had to rule out the velvet because the cream cheese icing wasn’t going to handle the 35 – 36 degree days we’d been having. I chickened out on the bacon buttercream too, I think I need to experiment with that to get it right. So I opted for an orange drip cake, chocolate mud with vanilla buttercream, decorated with gelatin bubbles and a Malteser boarder.
Now with a direction, I had somewhere to start. The cake was 4 x 10″ layers of my chocolate cake. I wanted it to be tall so that the drips had more of an effect.I stacked the cakes with a layer of buttercream in between and crumb coated it.
I let that firm up in the fridge overnight before doing the top coat. During that time I got working on the bubbles. In the last post I mentioned I’d made some but didn’t get to use them, well I still didn’t but I made some more, this time in orange to match the ganache.
They are really easy to make. Blow up some water balloons and stick them to skewers. You will need something to hold the skewers while they dry. I used an old egg carton or you could use a cake dolly or something like that. Just use 2 parts water to 1 part gelatin. Let it bloom then microwave it for 10 – 20 sec till it melts. Add in your colour and a bit of luster dust for a bit of shine. The next important step you need to grease them before you dip them into the gelatin. I forgot to do this, thankfully I picked out white water balloons to use. Allow them to dry for 5 to 10 mins then dip them again. I dipped mine 3 times. If the gelatin starts to harden in your bowl just put it back in the microwave for another 10 seconds. Allow them to dry for 24hrs then with a pair of scissors cut into the balloon allowing the air to escape. Pull on the balloon to release it from the bubble, depending on how well you covered the balloon you may need to cut some of the bubble away to get the balloon out.
Back to the cake, now that the cake has cooled it’s time for the ganache. Again this is a process that takes time as the ganache needs to cool so that it isn’t too runny. I melted my chocolate in the hot cream and added the orange once it was all melted, mixed it through and waited for it to cool. And waited, and waited, and waited. I’d read that you don’t put it into the fridge because it crystalises and doesn’t give a good finish but the problem I had was because the temperature was so hot in the house it was slowing the cooling rate of the ganache. I ended up turning the air conditioning on and transferring some into another bowl constantly stirring it while in front of the air conditioner. When I thought I was getting to a good consistency I started spooning the ganache on to the top of the cake close to the edge. As I carefully persuaded it over the edge it slowly cascaded over creating beautiful drips of orange against the white buttercream beneath it. I thought I was doing pretty good till I got all the way around to the start and saw that most of the drips were either all the way to the bottom or almost at the bottom. Turns out what I thought was a good consistency was no where near it. So I scrapped it all off and started again. This time it was a lot closer, still not perfect but better. Then it was just a matter of adding the bubbles and the finishing touch being the bottom boarder.
This is the finished result.
This is me cutting the cake in the custom that we are all now accustomed too.
And this is the result of cutting the cake.
Looking back I’m happy with the result but I should have been more experimental, it was my cake after all. But a hot kitchen in the middle of summer is not somewhere you want to spend hours on end and with lots of family to catch up with. In the end I had a great night we sang, we danced and we posted the shenanigans to facebook. A big thanks to all who could make it and a maybe next time for those who couldn’t.
Until the next time!
Thanks for Readin’