Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to my husband!

Hi Everyone,

Today is my husband's birthday.  The only thing he really wants is a decorated birthday cake.  Unfortunately I'm not very efficient at decorating the cake so every year I have to take the day off.  This is this year's effort.  Last year's effort is here.   I'm pretty happy with it, despite a bit of lopsidedness, and my husband's response when he saw it was "Cool!" so I consider it a success.

I was originally inspired to make a Lego cake by the wedding cake that I saw here.  But I knew that those skills were way outside of my realm and patience level.  So, googling Lego birthday cakes brought me to a neat compilation of Lego birthday cakes here

While fondant would have made for a nice looking cake I wanted to stick with buttercream icing since my husband doesn't like fondant.  I was adamant, though, that I wanted the cake to be smooth in appearance.  I am normally icing skill challenged but by googling smooth buttercream icing I came across the paper towel method of smoothing.  It's brilliant!!! It calls for a crust forming buttercream icing.  Another google search and the buttercream recipe here which is my new favourite buttercream recipe though I reversed the almond and vanilla flavouring ratios.

I had help on this one. My friend, Janice, has been joining me on my cake decorating day for several years. Normally she just keeps me company but this year I recruited her to help with the round peg bits which are oreo type cookies that have been iced. She did a great job, as is usual for her. My focus was on trying to get the butter cream icing smooth.

Overall I think I spent about six hours making the icing and decorating the cake.  The colours took a long time to mix since I started off stingy with the concentrated paste.  I have the hardest time with getting the edges and the top seams to meet in icing.  They keep wanting to lift off of the cake which is very frustrating to me.  If anyone has tips for preventing that, I'd love to hear them.  Smoothing was another chunk of time.  Cleaning the granite counter also was a fair bit of time since I had powdered sugar everywhere!

We're off to dinner shortly.  It's Baton Rouge for our favourite ribs.  Then back home for cake and Baskin Robbins pralines and cream ice cream (no one else does pralines and cream quite like they do). 

It's a good day to celebrate.



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