My son had a last minute change of mind about his birthday cake. Since he was born he has always had a dinosaur cake, as his bequest. Again, this year it was his cake of choice. Excellent, thought I, done it before - easy peasy!
Then last week he announced he would like a Mario cake. He didn't notice the look of mild panic on my face as I said 'Mario! Yes, ummm, well I can certainly try.' For the first time ever I have actually planned out what I am going to do. I am cheating on the icing and use ready rolled and I fear with my colouring skills Mario might look a little sunburnt, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
So, this morning I baked a vanilla sponge, using my cupcake recipe but doubling the mixture. I had plenty of mixture left over and made 20 small fairy cakes, which I might just ice and send in tomorrow for his class rather than the lemon cakes I had planned. In my experience as a mother and a teacher, kids only eat the icing anyway and leave the beleaguered sponge cowering at the bottom of the discarded case. So I may cheat (sssh!) and grab a tub of Betty Crocker icing, give it a swirl and a jelly diamond and send those in instead. (postscript: I did!)
I am currently waiting for the whole lot to cool and will be back later with the next instalment....
Well. I did it. Not well, but I did it! My hands are dyed Christmas Red and Mario looks a bit like he should really be called 'Charlie', he's covered in so much white powder...BUT he is at least recognisable and if you don't look too hard you can't see all the dodgy icing.
Having made the two sponges, I cut around a template I made and then sandwiched them with buttercream filling and spread a thin layer over the top and sides of cake to secure the roll icing.
I had all sorts of 'fun' dying the icing pink, red and blue and rolled it out about 6 times only to rip it as I picked it up. Then I thought about putting a layer of clingfilm down to roll it on (with yet more icing sugar) and this did the trick.
I iced the face first and made the nose. Then I did the hat, the eyes and the emblem. Then I did the moustache and stuck the nose and blue eye bits on. The red 'M' was fiddly, but I got there in the end. For his hair I used chocolate buttercream icing with a grass nozzle to pipe it on.
I haven't worked out how to de-powder him yet, but he looks OK...from a distance!
Cake-making is such a skill (not one that I have much of) from the baking to the icing and I am in awe of those who turn out perfectly presented cakes without a crack or speck of icing suger to be found! To give you an idea of 'behind the scenes' I have included a photo of the carnage left behind. And this is just the icing bit! I can't face clearing it up yet....I need a cup of tea and a sit down.