Friday, 25 October 2013

Things I've learnt about making a Minecraft cake...

You've seen it. I know you have... Or you've at least heard of it!? Please, please, please, let me not be alone in this crazy world of obsessions? Not mine, but my son's!

Minecraft: A game about breaking and placing blocks. An adventure game where brave people/players build structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, and work together to create wonderful, imaginative things... Whatever that means?

If you've heard of the game (maybe even stayed up until dawn playing it yourself?), then I'm sure you've also seen various Minecraft cakes floating around on the Internets lately... They look simple enough, right?

HA! I made one this week... And, well, at the very least, I thought that my skills had developed certainly to the stage where I could put some fondant squares onto a cake without too many dramas... Seriously!

Well... Here are the lessons I've learnt from making a Minecraft cake:

1. You will always need more squares than you think.
2. Measure, measure, measure! If you have an 8" cake, for example, make sure that it can be divisible by the size of your square cutter (give or take a 100th of a cm for example).
3. Buy a square cutter.
4. Don't be afraid to hold up your cake shop lady's time to make sure you're getting exactly the right  size square cutter that you need.
5. You will still probably need more squares.
6. If you're putting green squares onto a chocolate cake, for goodness sake, use green icing! Not chocolate icing. Just in case you didn't pay attention to lessons 2-4 and have gaps everywhere.

Allow me to pause and reflect on what happens to the person who doesn't pay attention to lessons 2-4:

It may still look like a Minecraft grass block (from way, way back), but from close up, looks like a grass block with really visible cutting lines!

7. Even if your son knows absolutely nothing about cake decorating, he may know a thing or two about Minecraft, so hear what he has to say.
8. Sometimes, you might need to use the advice your son has given you, even if he knows nothing about cake decorating.
9. Never underestimate the power of royal icing and a piping bag.
10. If you're using a plunger cutter, and know you're going to use royal icing to fill in the gaps, turn the fondant squares over so that you don't see that annoying little round punch mark.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn't it? It's good to learn from others' mistakes. I chose to share my own hindsight-y wisdom with you, just in case you're about to embark on your own Minecraft cake expedition.

N.B. These same lessons may not work as well with a mermaid cake or cronuts, for example.

I paid very close attention to lesson 9, and filled in all of those 'cutting lines'. Then, once I'd "fixed it", my Minecraft addicted son said it now looked more like what it was supposed to look like... Which certainly helped me sleep that night!

I added (impulsively) "creepers" to the cake, along with birthday wishes to the boy it was made for. Part of me hesitated because "why would anyone want sad faces on a birthday cake?" but I figured that if he was as addicted to Minecraft as much as my own son, then he would know why...

And there you have it. Lessons learned, cake made, slept had, a birthday celebrated, and sanity (somewhat) restored...


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