ta-daa! i did it! i finished bebe's 5th birthday castle cake!
now give me a glass of wine...
this is a long post full of pics...here's a collage if you're pressed for time...
remember these little flowers i made a few days ago? all 330 of 'em? well, i'm so glad i made extra!i'd say i had about 40 or so extra little flowers left at the end. i'm bringing them along with extra buttercream for any emergency fix-ups i might need to perform on site.
and these sparkly iced conical roofs? yes indeedy, they came handy in completing this project.
the main roof was a cinch to attach...just plop it on the 10-inch cake!
this was my least-favourite part of making this cake: attaching the plastic dowels to the column bases, allowing it to set, and then shoving the whole thing down into the beautifully smooth surface of the cake layers. stupid dowels
There was a moment today when I kind of just stood there, catatonic; eyes glazed over.
My lower jaw dropped...piping bag still in hand.
My hands were stained an unearthly teal blue and my black apron was covered in confectioners' sugar. I couldn't stop staring at this monster I had created. Never in my life had I created a cake so huge. I thought back to this morning when I was reading and re-reading the instructions in my 2008 Wilton magazine, trying to decipher exactly what I had to do and foresee where I would meet up with catastrophe. I had come too far to let some stupid dowel-incident wreck the whole cake. Stomach, being the structural engineer that he is, warned me not to forego the plastic dowels. In fact, he poo-pooed the straw idea from Beranbaum (too bad!) and said that they might buckle under the weight. Mind you, it's his job to err on the side of caution.
So, I went with the huge dowels. Can someone tell me if there's a better way to stabilize the castle columns and also provide support for the top tiers? 'cause these stupid dowels not only puckered out my cake sides but they also took up good cake real estate!
and many thanks go to the wilton turntable you see below the cake. it was a lifesaver! the cake was super-duper heavy, but the turntable spun for me smooth-as-silk!
you can kind of see there's a little "post" on the top column. it's a wooden toothpick that i glued on with white chocolate. it's holding the little flag that says "happy 5th birthday..."
here you can see there are a few pre-made disney figures in royal icing. you can figure out the theme, right?
i also piped some buttercream "sea plants" and "coral" along the bottom of the cake for that underwater feel. don't you feel like you're in the ocean? ha ha!
The problem with the dowel support system is that it requires you to shove this 3/4 inch hollow plastic tube into a cake. What happens is it displaces some cake, forcing the sides of the cake to buckle...out! I had to hold my hand against the side of the iced cake to ensure that it didn't crack open. I was a tad concerned. here you can better see some of the coloured spray i employed. what a cool toy!
Fortunately, I had sprayed the whole teal blue cake with a series of colours: blue, green and violet to add some interest and dimension. As well, I realized I'd be decorated the heck out of it so I hoped to cover up some of the bulges from the hidden dowels. I used white chocolate candy melts to "glue" the castle columns to the cake base and to attach the conical roofs to the column tops. you have to shove the little plastic door into the cake side before decorating with flowers. at one point, i was thinking there was way too much plastic than there needed to be...
by now, you've figured out the theme: it's Ariel's Castle! under water! and people, i was too lazy to sprinkle brown sugar on the cake base to make it look like the bottom of the ocean. i also wanted to add little crabs and other sea life but heck, i just want this over with now!
This was truly a labour of love. That moment I had in the morning was interesting. I had a smidgen of doubt and wanted to just not do this anymore. Fortunately, this passed and I kicked myself into high gear. The tasks were actually very easy to complete and I didn't have any problems. It was just a lot of work...
Now, I'm crossing my fingers that this'll all get transported to the site in one piece.
yikes! mustn't forget the "Ariel" candle!
Thank you so much Sally, from PinkBytes, for bestowing this "Hard Working Food Blogger" Award to me! I'm very grateful to the many people who visit me and to the cool bloggers who take the time out to leave comments. I read all of the comments and I like how it connects us all from around the world! I will be passing this award along when I'm back from my post-castle-cake vacation!