Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thomas the Tank Engine cake

After the Planet Cake course I tackled the task of creating a cake for my nephew's 2nd birthday, with the help of my sister. My nephew was having a Thomas themed party, so a Thomas cake was inevitable. I did a bit of research trying to find some guides to help me with the cake. I really didn't fin much to help me with covering a fondant cake, although there is a very good tutorial out there to help with the face @

I made the white chocolate mud cake a few days before in a large rectangular pan. I also made the ganache the day earlier.

I cut out the general cake shape, piling up rectangle off cuts to get the shape. I also cut and filled the pieces. One of the tips that i was taught by PC was to do this so then everyone get a good eating experience.

The cake was also set on a thick piece of cardboard which space around the edges. This helps when ganaching.

Once i was happy with the shape i then covered the cake thickly in ganache. The ganache makes a base for the icing to go over later. Once i applied a thick covering i then smoothed i
t out and took away and excess ganache using a hot palette knife. I was careful to get the shape that i wanted.

Once I had done that i then covered the cake with the tinted fondant. I am still not great at this and my fondant did see to crack a bit and dry out quickly.

While i was doing that my sister was making the Thomas face and the other little embellishments
I will say that the red and black was very hard to work with. It was very soft and the colour stains easily.

We slowly added all of the pieces once the cake was covered, and were very excited to see it all come together!

My nephew was VERY excited when he saw the cake stating' oooohhhh wow, Lachie's cake..... choo choo.... woooooowwwww'. Which i think is 2 year old speak for "I'm impressed".

It's not perfect but i am still pretty happy with the end result!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Planet Cake Course

I recently attended a planet cake course. Planet cake are well known for their inventive beautiful cakes. I have long coveted their courses but did not feel confident enough to go. However i recently brought their book and had managed to make one or two cakes. I decided to treat myself and book in for the course.

The course i booked was a beginners novelty cake, in the shape of a circus tent. The skills you learn in doing this include cutting the cake, ganaching, shaping, fondant tinting and rolling, covering the cake, and how to make decorations, including a little clown.
I arrived a little late to the shop in Balmain, which was followed by a mild heart attack when i thought i was locked out!! Thankfully someone arrived after i rang the buzzer.
We had two instructors Jessica and Maryanne who are both cake decorators for planet cake. We were given an instruction booklet to help us along the way. The action started straight away. The pattern of the day involved instruction of a step, a demonstration, and then we do our own. We were assisted at every step of the way. I in particular needed quite a bit of help in shaping the cake.
In the end i was really really pleased with my result. The cake looked great, although it gave me greater appreciation for the work that cake decorators do. It took us from 10- 4:30 to do the decorating.

The cake was gratefully received by a very excited birthday girl!
Cake in the making