Monday, July 12, 2010

Making a Christening Cake from a Wedding Cake Tier

After searching the internet high and low and not really coming up with anything useful, I thought I would let the greater world know how I went about turning the reserved fruit cake tier of our wedding cake into the cake for Tilly’s Naming Day/Blessing/Celebration (we really ought to come up with a good name for the day soon… it already having taken place an’ all…)

Because I’m a pillock, I didn’t take a picture of our rather lame attempts at preserving the cake. It’s been 19 months since the wedding and the cake has merely been wrapped in a tight layer of shrink wrap/cling film and then covered with tin foil. That was it. It was sitting on a rather fabulous tray that I’m now delighted to have back in action, but other than that, there was no freezing, no lacing with alcohol… nothing.


So the first step was to work out what to do with the icing layers (which had gone rather offcolour and dented in the housemove it had endured…), and then try to se if the cake was edible, without ruining it. I poked a knife into the icing, and it came off, relatively easily, leaving behind the gorgeously sticky marzipan intact. Result! Quest 1, complete!


We decided the safest place to test the cake would be from the middle which was at greatest risk of drying out or going rancid. Cutting it straight down the centre, we then cut a very slim slice alongside it to be the test piece. Hard times… The taste test proved EXTRAORDINARILY positive, and we were a GO on the cake transformation. Quest 2, complete!


First half was transferred to the ‘cake board’ (read-chopping board covered in tin foil as the shop was out of the size we needed when I’d gone hunting, and I’m a bear of VERY little patience…), followed swiftly by the second…


A little bit of ‘squodging’ (technical term) of marzipan and the seam was nigh on invisible. Result!


Then came the scary bit: rolling the white sugarpaste layer, without cracks, dents, lumps, air bubbles, bits of crud stuck in it, etc etc. After oodles of surfing, I took away the most repeated advice: WARM UP THE ICING. This involved excessively kneading three packets of white icing, helped by the fact that it was an INCREDIBLY warm summer day that day. Rather than use icing sugar, which has a reputation for drying out the icing too much, we stuck a taught layer of cling film to the table and rolled on that. Not only did it stop the icing sticking, it also became an extra support when the time came to lay it on the cake using the old roll onto rolling pin, heave onto cake technique…


From the centre, we eased the sheet over the cake and round the edges using small circular rubbing movements to ease any air pockets out. I used a butter knife to push the icing under the cake, cutting and edging it in one. Warm, dusted hands smoothed the top. Scary quest 3, complete!


Speaking of scary – check out my icing colouring technique. Looks like someone’s murdered a ghost… If that’s possible…

Check into the next post here for how to turn this lovely plain white cake into a confection suitable for a very special little lady…

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