Last week the very nice people from Dr Oetker sent us a pile of baking treats to play with and youngest teen got excited about our blog for the very first time (he is a very keen baker)… “What. you mean we got all this for free?” he spluttered…and proceeded to take control of the blog post.
We ended up doing two major cake sessions, both of which involved us eating far too much.
Cake one. Sandy’s layer cake
Youngest teen’s favourite TV show is Ace of Cakes, which he is hooked on and when he saw the ready-to-roll coloured icing thought we might make a full size moterbike, a to-scale Les Paul guitar or perhaps a penguin pool party, all of which had been on the show recently. Thankfully, the pack was too small to consider these ambitious examples, so we settled on an iced layer cake (suggested by TWR reader Sandy, who was visiting) which used every colour in the pack and was dead easy. It reminded us of the previous coloured layer cake we admired.
Tips for making
We made a small (6 inch square) cake and the icing was just enough to cover, you will need more packets for a larger cake.
Roll out each icing colour to just cover the cake, we started with yellow and ended with black, but whatever. Trim the excess from the corners (or do ‘hospital corners’ on the icing).
To stick the layers of icing together ONLY damp the cake side area of each icing layer (you want the top to roll back freely). We used a bit of apricot jam but water would work.
Use cornflour NOT icing sugar for dusting the icing, and dust each layer a little where the top square will be so it will roll back easily when sliced.
Use a scalpel to cut into the layers of icing on the top, be careful not to cut into the final layer of icing, but if you do by mistake brush the cut lines with water and stick/blend it back together.
If you want a cleaner look when you’ve finished, brush the whole cake carefully with a damp paintbrush.
Cake two. Cake Pops
Jane and I came across cake pops (the next big cake trend apparently) when we were at the No 7 launch of the new Stay Perfect nail colours (current fav colour Hot to Trot) recently, the varnishes were great but the cakes were delicious, we’d not seen them before.
Turns out they are beyond easy to make, and they are a MASSIVE trend in the US where the terrifically inspirational Bakerella blog (I think she may have invented them) shows a million ideas of how to decorate. There is no point in me telling you what to do, just follow the brilliant instruction here. You just need to know that you make them out of OLD CAKE…how useful eh? I’m already planning a post Christmas cake, cake-pop session).
Discovering that you could mash redundant sponge with a bit of butter icing and create something delicious was really very exciting. You could even use one of the cake mixes if you don’t normally bake. Youngest teen and I got to work decorating with melted chocolate and Dr Oetker citrus flavour strands , although you can get wafer daisies too.
I’d had enough decorating after this, and was slightly sugar-rush headache-y from too much licking the bowl, but youngest teen went on to free style decorate the remaining pops with the icing scraps from the previous cake and what was left of the sprinkles. A fun time was had by all.
Tips for making
We used lolly sticks and a couple of chopsticks we had hanging around, as we didn’t have any of the round sticks. All worked brilliantly.
There is no cooking involved (although you do need a cake from somewhere) and making the balls is really easy, small children would love wasting an afternoon with their hands stuck in cake and icing.
When decorating your pops, you will need to stick them into a half orange to hold them steady.
Our decorating skills are neanderthal compared with the quite breathtaking creativity you can see on Bakerella, our favourites were the South Park gang and the Burgers and Bees….we need to practise I think….