Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Stacks on!

A good friend of mine recently celebrated her 40th birthday.

A few weeks before the party, her husband had secretly asked me to make a cake for the occasion. Knowing that her favourite colour is purple, her favourite food is chocolate, her favourite animal is the zebra (though I hear it's a bit chewy), and her favourite thing to do is ballet (well, and paperwork, filling out forms, administration, and highlighting words on said paperwork/forms), I designed something that incorporated most of these themes...

But in the end, stuck to just two - Purple, and chocolate. Which was good, because I'm not sure if a chocolate zebra, wearing a purple tutu, dancing on top of a pile of paperwork, holding a highlighter in a hoof, would have worked as a cake :)

With a week to go until I needed to make the Tiffany's jewellery box cake, I really wanted to nail the 'present' cake. To do this, I may have made multiple square/box cakes, of different sizes, so I had plenty to practice with. And so that just incase some zebras were also invited to the party (and they brought their friends), there'd be enough cake for everyone!

I had imagined that if these cakes would look like present boxes, then I could stack them up like  a pile of presents! Because why limit the possibilities. In their design, they would all have a white ribbon around them, with a big white bow on the top/littlest present cake.

With slightly different shades of purple (because, again, why limit the possibilities), the cake bottoms and lids were all a bit 'mix & match'. And with the technique that I discovered making these (which I repeated with the Tiffany's cake), I covered the sides first with fondant, and then added the top. And, of course, to stick with the theme, I used purple buttercream icing ;)

Here's some of the cakes with their differently shaded purple lids:

As I envisioned them all being stacked up in a messy pile (out of the ordinary for someone with OCD, where everything else needs to be parallel), I added the white 'ribbon' at different points on the cakes:

The top/littlest cake was the funnest to make, because it was the cake there'd be a big bow on top of!

I then hit the point where I wasn't sure how to continue. I knew that the cakes were missing something, even though I wasn't brave enough to assemble them until we actually arrived at the party, and still hadn't been able to see them finished... But what? I had started writing '40' in silver on the ribbon (on the middle of the bottom cake just to see how it might look all the way around the ribbons), but it didn't look right...

So I decided to make stars! Hooray for stars!

I made them in each shade of purple that I'd used (plus a couple more), and white, and wrote '40' on those ones. They were all put on wires, and sat patiently while waiting to be taken to the party so that I could work out exactly which part of the cake I'd stick them into...

Meanwhile, the two bottom tier/present/cakes were filled with many cake pop sticks, cut to size, to be able to support the weight of the middle and top 'presents'. It was going to be a big cake. And, it was going to be a heavy cake.

We soon arrive with all of the cakes. Husband had the great (though at the time, I was convinced it was completely idiotic) idea to lift the cakes up on top of each other using two pieces of ribbon... Ribbon! One of the most easily breakable things in the world, next to elastic hair ties!

Sadly (only because it meant that the entire night was then filled with Husband telling me that "he told me so"), it worked! All the process needed was truck reversing sensor beeps, as it felt like the slowest process in the universe, and I think the earth almost had enough time to spin around itself once more before the cake was actually assembled.

Good thing we were only an hour late to the party :/

So after many "ooh"s, "aah"s, and "oh my gosh, is that really a cake?", it was time to sing Happy Birthday and cut the cake... Which began the next stage of dissembling the stack of present cakes. Flat knives and giant spatulas later, it was ready to be cut :)

And here's a quick shot of what it looked like on the inside:

Happy birthday Liz! :)

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