Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Barnacle! Quasi! Peso!
When I was asked to make an Octonauts cake for a little boy's fourth birthday, I was very relieved to have all the coloured fondants from the Bakel's Pettinice range on hand to use. A year ago I would have had to mix up all the colours myself, which is incredibly time consuming. Having pre-coloured fondant to work with saved me a massive amount of time in creating the colourful characters from the cartoon series, Octonauts.
I made this cake on the same day as the purple 30th birthday cake, so I still had to struggle with the hot weather. Once again the ganached cake had to be set in the fridge. And I also had to work cornflour into the fondant to ensure it would go on the cake. Unfortunately, I think I put a bit too much conflour which changed the chemical composition of the fondant, which in turn caused cracking and scarring on the sharp edge. While I was able to recover the fondant this time, I found out a couple of weeks later that too much cornflour can actually wreck the fondant all together.
The thing that took the most time with this cake was making all the creatures, including the Captain Barnacles, Quasi and Peso figurines. They each had to be the same size, and needed to have the little details on them to complete their likeness. I have to say, as with all cake art, you're really just trying to create an impression rather than an exact replica. And these guys impressed enough for the little boy whose birthday it was to ban everybody from eating them.
My special tip after doing this cake is to try and complete your cake the day before it has to be delivered. This one had shiny patches on it because of the cold ganache, and I'm convinced it might have dried out if it had been left to sit overnight like the purple one.
Oh - and both of these cakes had to travel a good distance to be delivered. I was thrilled that neither one came to grief in the car, but I'm sure this was out of pure luck than anything else!