So a few weeks ago, I went on a little holiday to help celebrate a good friends surprise 30th. The birthday boy is my partner’s best friend and co-conspirator in mischief. He is the head chef of a gorgeous little boutique place on the Sunshine Coast, and I was very privileged to work with him a few years ago, along with my partner to create his wedding cake (by far the best cake project I have ever been a part of – and in fact the pic on my blog heading). It was so exciting to be part of a surprise birthday celebration, and of course, I really wanted to make a special cake for him as well! There was just one particular challenge with this cake that I have not had to tackle before. This cake had to travel. We live 450 kms away! So how the heck was I going to show up with a cake? Fortunately for me (or unfortunately… it remains to be seen) I will be doing a wedding cake in a few weeks, which has to travel a further distance. So I took this as the perfect opportunity to trial run cake transporting, and get my head around the logistics involved.
This is how I planned the cake:
- 2 weeks before – make up the modeling paste decorations.
- 2 days before – bake chocolate mud cake, wrap & refrigerate to set for journey.
- 1 day before – whip up batch of vanilla bean buttercream & refrigerate for the journey.
- Night before – pack up colours, tips, piping bag & couplings, edible glitter, pallet knife & other essential decorating paraphernalia.
- Day of travel – Prep esky with ice, seal off & stack cake & frosting in to keep cool during trip.
- The trip – super fun drive down the coast listening to great music & stopping at cool places. (If you can’t tell, I love road trips 😉 )
- Arrival at destination – Quick cake assemble!
And that’s pretty much how it all panned out. 😀 Of course I picked a pretty simple design, in order to keep the stress levels down. Just a quick plain cover of the cake in frosting, with a shell border. I made up the 30 in white modeling paste and once dried, painted it with a nice thick paintbrush. I kept the paint job on it rough & alternated colours of dark green, purple, brown & silver for a sort of camo feel.
The other decorations for the cake were a pile of grenades & a Halo helmet , which I also made out of white modeling paste & painted. I had a few goes at the helmet, which ended up being harder to make than I thought. I just couldn’t get the shape right. In the end, I took all of my trial pieces with me, so that I could make a decision on what looked good on the day.
Overall, I was happy with the cake… but only just. Its just that the decorations weren’t as good as I wanted them to be. I felt like I was a little out of my depth with the helmet and grenades. I have only watched the boys play Halo in passing, so I had to get my shapes and ideas off the game, it’s manual & some figurines that we had. Maybe I would have done a better job of it if I had done the hard yards and invested a few hours in game play? 😉
Ummm…. Some how I don’t think I will be playing games in future to improve my caking skills, no matter which way I try and justify it. But this was a great experience in something out of the ordinary for me. Practice, practice, practice! 😀 (Its becoming my mantra this year).
Oh, and one last thing before I go… This cake was the lush chocolate mudcake that I have been making a lot of this year. It is super rich, very adult and… I will be sharing the recipe just as soon as I get a few moments to type it up. Will post it very soon! 🙂
Until next time, thanks for dropping by!