This week’s cake decorating class required us to bring in a cake to cover with sugarpaste and decorate with a diamond jubilee theme. I made the raspberry and almond madeira cake I baked for my birthday the other week – Victoria sponge would have been my first choice, but my tutor said it would probably be too soft to take the weight of the icing.
I had to trim the top of my cake because it was a bit bumpy. The surface needed to be as smooth as possible to ensure the sugarpaste can lie flat. I then spread the top and sides of the cake with buttercream to help the icing stick to it. Next came the tricky bit – rolling out the icing and covering the cake with it. I managed to roll it out to the right size, but had a bit of trouble smoothing it out once it was on the cake, so I ended up with a few uneven bits that you might be able to see in the picture above.
Then came the hardest part of all (for me, anyway) – piping the lettering on to the cake. We practiced this last week, but I quickly discovered that I’m not very good at it. As I went away for a few days towards the end of last week, I hadn’t had time to practice at home, so this ended up being my second ever attempt at piping lettering. It ended up okay; the ‘Diamond’ was a bit wobbly, but I’d got better by the time I started on the ‘Jubilee’. Still, it could have been a bit neater!
Next, I affixed a crown I made from coloured Mexican paste last week to the cake with royal icing, then made a long sugarpaste ‘sausage’ to go around the base of the cake and textured it with a crimper all the way round. Then I made the bunting, which took the form of a smaller sausage and red and blue triangles attached to the cake with a dab of water (I can’t remember whether the triangles were sugarpaste or Mexican paste, but considering how easy it was to cut into the cake the next day, I think they were sugarpaste).
The whole thing took two hours, plus baking and the time spent the previous week on making the crown. I was quite proud of my effort, although I think it could have gone better (and quicker – again, I was way behind everyone else!). I’d like to practice piping lettering and covering cakes with sugarpaste more, so hopefully I’ll have some time to do so soon.
The cake seemed to go down well at a jubilee lunch I organised at work the next day, although there was quite a lot left over because other people had brought lots of cake themselves! Still, that was no bad thing, as I could take it home and enjoy what was left myself!