In February three close friends were turning forty within a week of one another. I remember them negotiating dates for parties months before. Invitations were issued, RSVPs sent and before I knew it I had three cake orders, three weeks in a row – all for big celebration cakes.
I have this memory of my Dad’s fortieth birthday cake back in 1981. Mum ordered it from a bakery – it was a huge square cake, possibly chocolate, filled with mock cream and coated in chocolate sprinkles. Happy 40th Birthday Dennis was piped on top by a practiced hand. Whilst the fashion of cake decoration has evolved mostly for the better, a big square layer cake remains a classic for big celebrations.
Because there’s so much chocolately goodness, you only need a small piece, making it a breeze to serve up to a huge crowd. You know it makes sense.
Sometimes the design can represent the recipient’s passion, match the party theme or simply match the party girl’s dress.
Cake Journal’s racing car tutorial invaluable. The little yellow Ferrari logo emblems were my own embellishment.
No one was surprised when games fan Marc decided to have a Game’s People Play costume party. A scrabble cake was the obvious choice but I wanted to make it a little more cryptic so I made a giant customised scrabble tile. I didn’t have a giant letter cutter so I improvised by printing out the M to size and used it as a template to cut out the letter from thinly rolled black fondant using a scalpel. Sometimes less really is more.
I love the platform that fondant gives a cake for decorating but covering a whole cake is time consuming (which makes it more expensive). How do you get the look of fondant without the headaches? Make a fondant tile!
Ideally you would make the tile a couple of weeks in advance to give it ample time to dry out. This would make it easier to place onto the cake. I bumbled my way through it and was able to cover up most of my mistakes with strategically placed candles and decorations. But practice does eventually lead to perfection. The tile needs to have a 1cm ‘seam allowance’ on each side so that it’s framed by the chocolate ganache base.
If you use your phone to take the photo (I love my iPhone) you can also text the image to the ‘client’ for their approval. When you get the nod, use the photo as your design map to stick everything perfectly in place.
Then it’s time to party, quadragenarion style!