I need to start this post with an apology. When it comes to updating this website I am truly rubbish! Can I make a mid year resolution (that’s a thing right?) and try my very hardest to update this more often. I really enjoy sharing all my food adventures with everyone but if someone can tell me where the time goes I’d really like to know. Can someone tell me how it is almost the end of JULY?
If you follow me on instagram (which you should, I upload some amazing food pics and the occasional selfie, sorry about that!) you would have seen my year in cake so far. I have been a busy baker. My evening and weekend hobby has really come along and I owe so much love to my friends and family for constantly challenging me. I can say that once I’ve completed the cake, those are not the words coming out of my mouth when I’m baking…
Talking of a challenge, the Underground cake was something very different from what I’d attempted before!
Oh Porgie! I remember sitting at work when my phone started vibrating, reading my messages I found a series of photos of an underground theme and a brief over view of what she wanted for her dad’s retirement cake. I was asked for a map, train and the London skyline. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet but I think I did quite well.
The trains are a little big, but following from the Christmas hamper of 2015 my fruit cake has made a bit of a name for itself and I needed to find a way of incorporating it into the overall design. The bottom tier is lemon with a lemon sugar syrup and the top-tier is vanilla, all smothered in butter cream and covered in fondant.
I’m going to make a confession that may not shock anyone reading this that knows me, or has read any of my previous posts, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Shock horror I know, how did you never realise? All the signs were there. In all seriousness though, my perfectionism was slightly worse than usual. I spent a long time sitting at my dinning room table dying small balls of fondant and then sticking them on the cake according to the underground map on my phone. It was a tense couple of hours I’m not going to lie. As someone who hasn’t used the underground for years this wasn’t something I found easy. Porgie’s Uncle told me I did well, I hope he wasn’t just being polite.
Making the skyline was a little less stressful. I printed out a skyline photo from the internet and cut it out. I rolled out my black fondant on my lovely cake boss roll mat and went about cutting around my template. Be careful when doing this that you don’t press too hard on your template otherwise it might stick to the fondant and that is never fun! Once I had cut out my skyline I cut a section of cellophane just a bit bigger than the skyline to help transfer it onto my cake. Remove your template carefully, my skyline was slightly more intricate than the fondant would allow.
Line the bottom of your cellophane with the bottom of your skyline and roll it onto the cellophane, this is when using the roll mat comes in handy. The next bit is a two-man job. Once you’ve added some edible glue to your skyline, focusing on the thin bits, line up your cellophane with the cake and stick it on. I used some tissue to hold the cellophane in place and left it until it dried.
My little train carriages are mini fruit cakes I made in my mini loaf tin. Each was rounded off, covered in apricot jam, marzipan and fondant. I cut the little windows out of the fondant so they laid flat rather than being stuck on top to make it look better. I finished the cake with some fondant train tracks and used some royal icing to stick my carriages down.
My one regret with my cake is the cake topper. I strayed from my phone and neglected to realise that the underground signs are written in white! The topper is made out of fondant, I did run into some issues when it was drying and had to reinforce it with card before adding some cake pop sticks and attaching it to the top of the cake.
Although this cake may have turned the air blue at some points during its creation, it was all worth it to see the happy retiree!