Saturday, April 17, 2010

One for the footy lovers.........

I am very excited! This is my first paid cake that I had to come up with a design concept and carve out a shape from a cake on my own.

The customer is throwing a surprise 40th for her partner, Jeff (obviously, he is called Jeffro in typical Aussie fashion!). He loves the North Melbourne Football Club and she asked me to build a theme around that.

I came up with three designs. One design was really ambitious and involved carving out a kangaroo! Thank goodness she went with my recommendation of a jumper.

I loved the idea of using the jumper to celebrate his birthday.  I had seen a few cakes on the internet but all of them looked pretty square and were of the front of a footy jumper. I wanted something with more shape.

Enter, the Workaholic! I found the shape I wanted from a footy site and he got the tools out and carved it from one of my masonite boards using my paper template. Love your work, workaholic. This made it so easy to carve the jumper shape out of the actual cake later.

This cake is pretty big. It is actually 2 x 10 inch cakes, cut and built back into a rectangle before the carving. I had seen notes on doing a rectangle using an 8 inch cake but I am really glad I went with my instinct and went bigger.

Turns out the carving and ganaching were the easy bit. You then need to do a white fondant layer. This was surprisingly easy too. Amazing what happens with practice.

Then the hard bit. Creating the jumper. To do it in the right "Planet cake" way, you actually have to do another layer of fondant icing, piecing together the jumper. So I measured and divided and added and then cut out individual stripes, sleeve edging and neck edging. Almost like a sewing pattern I guess. Then you need to work super fast, because you need to place all the pieces on the cake and then smooth the joins together before the icing starts to harden. If you take too long the joins wont smooth together.

This is probably were I need more practice because some of the joins are a little dodgy but I don't think the untrained eye would take too much notice.

After I got the jumper pulled together I hand cut out some letters and numbers and made a cardboard template before hand cutting them from the icing. Hate the lettering part. Wish they made cutters that were half decent and came in lots of sizes instead!

The cake was finished on Thursday and then I basically had to hold my breath and hope my little people didn't touch the cake or I didn't accidently knock it over until today, Saturday. I hid it in the guest room but I am angling for my own "cake room" that no one can enter. The kids are just so interested and inquisitive about the cake's progress and it is really making me anxious having my hard worked on cake finished and just sitting there! Yes, the control freak is alive and well!

My favourite part was delivering it to the customer and seeing her face. First, the Workaholic and I had to debate over who would hold the cake and who would drive. The cake is really heavy so we went with me driving and the Workaholic holding. It was the slowest drive I have done in a while. LOL. Then we get to the gate of the property, just outside Alice Springs, or in the Rural area, as they call it, and it is a dirt road with lots of pot holes from the recent rain! Oh no! But we, and the cake, survived.

The customer's reaction was priceless. She gasped and her hands went to her mouth. I think the delivery is going to become one of my favourite parts of the process.

I didn't take many photos at all as I was so intent on doing the actual cake, but here are a couple I did take. Must remember to take a breath and take more "in progress" shots.

Pre numbers and other finishing touches.

My cut out paper numbers and the process I go through to decide what size and proportion.

All in all, I was very happy with the cake and can't wait to dream up the next idea.

Until next time.........

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