Friday, 4 March 2011

Another party, another cake

I am in cake mode again.

It is Ivy's 20th birthday and such an occasion cannot be allowed to go unmarked by cake.

Ivy is a bit of a sci-fi geek. She recently asked her sister to design her a photoshopped Portal to Another Dimension. It is from this design that I took my inspiration for Ivy's birthday cake.

Ivy loves buttercream and glitter so it was a given that both would be incorporated into the design.

To simplify things, I made a fairly straight forward all-in-one sponge mix which I cooked in two round tins.  That part was easy.

The next job was to make buttercream to sandwich the two halves together and spread around the side of the cake.

I had visions of colouring the icing a deep purple-blue like space. I even had little white chocolate stars to stud the icing with to add to the illusion.

When I made my anniversary cake, I had tried to make black glace icing but ended up with dark purple. Just the sort of dark purple that would be perfect for my Portal to Another Dimension cake. I thought it would be simplicity itself to recreate the colour with my butter icing. Wrong.

It must be something to do with the yellowness of the butter but my icing went brown.

I have always prided myself on being quite good at mixing colours when it comes to painting but food colouring does not obey any colour mixing rules known to man.

I added red and blue and black in different quantities but the best I could manage was a sort of dull lilac. To avoid rendering it completely inedible I settled on that and added the stars. It didn't look like any sort of 'space' I'd ever seen but it was quite pretty.

Again, in the interest of keeping it simple, I had bought a tube of ready made piping icing with a selection of nozzles for different effects. Simple it wasn't. It was incredibly hard to squeeze it out of the tube. Although I admit it kept its extruded shape very well, it did not detach readily to form a clean, crisp rosette when using that particular nozzle. I piped a neat ring of slightly deformed rosettes all the way round the perimeter and my hand was aching like crazy by the end.

Next was the fun part - making the swirling vortex that was the Portal to another Dimension. I thought that mixing the colours would be much more straight forward with glace icing - no yellow butter to confuse the issue. My vision was to make vibrant purple, pink and blue and swirl it all around.  Did I really think that mixing the colours would be much more straight forward?!

My purple turned grey, my blue turned brown. The pink was OK but only because Liberty had just been to Morrisons and bought me a bottle of pink food colouring.

It wasn't how I had imagined but I went ahead anyway and glooped and swirled my dirty colours over the top of the cake.

The saving grace of my disasterous project was the edible glitter I had purchased that afternoon from our local specialist chocolate shop. I covered the whole sorry mess with its light reflecting loveliness.

The final touch was to use the writing nozzle on the dreaded ready made piping icing tube to write on the words Ivy's Portal to Another Dimension. I couldn't fit Dimension on so the Portal changed it's functionality to 'Time'. Artistic license!

All that remains to be said is thank heavens for edible glitter and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, IVY.


  1. In spite of your comments about colours, I think the end result looked brilliant - I am positive that Emily was delighted. All your hard work wasn't in vain and I think you deserve a pat on the back for all your hard efforts. Well done.

  2. Looks brilliant! And Delicious :)


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