Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Turning 40 and the Bikini Babe Cake !
Here lies the culprit of my long absence...
At a lunch with friends about a month ago the conversation got around to the upcoming 40th of a friend of ours. His wife was hoping to surprise him not only with a wonderful weekend away but a cake in the style of a busty bikini babe. She had approached a few cake places but nobody was willing to assist. The only one place on the coast I could think of would have charge a huge sum for the job.
I volunteered to make the cake if she was happy to let me have a go. I was quite excited at the challenge that lay ahead.
I spent a lot of time researching pictures of bikini cakes. I make no apologies for not creating an absolute original design. Its not my strongpoint and so many others have gone before me that I have copied a design from a cake that I researched on google.
I made a very large basic dark chocolate mudcake recipe using two large sheet cake tins. The cake had to feed approx 30 people. I have illustrated the creation here for you so its easy to visualise it all going together from design to finished product:
After I had found a design I wanted to use, I drew up a plan at full scale on a large sheet of paper.
From this scale I could figure out how big the cakes had to be and how big the 'Boob cups' needed to be. Sourcing a round mould of the right size, depth and ability to be baked in the oven was a challenge. I eventually used a small ceramic bowl that would usually be used for nuts or dips - luckily it was dishwasher, microwave and ovenproof !
The two mudcakes were baked, cooled and then placed in the freezer until i was ready to decorate them. I wanted the cakes frozen for a couple of days then thawed also to enhance to gooey 'muddiness' of the cake also.
From the dimensions of the cake I had a custom board cut and covered in cakeboard paper ready and waiting. To stabilise the cake and provide a workable platform I cut another thick cardboard template to the same dimension and shape as the cake and covered with cakeboard paper also. I used the board to assemble the cake and help make it a smooth transition to the large board.
The mudcakes upon thawing, were completely covered in dark chocolate ganache which I make by pouring boiling pure cream over baking chocolate and whisking. The ganache needs to be made ideally the day before you wan to use it then refrigerate overnight. Soften a little in the microwave to use.
I ganached the flat cake first and set it overnight in the fridge. The next day I added the two 'boobs' on top of the ganache and covered them too in ganache and returned to the fridge for at least 4 hours. When everything was set - I removed it from the fridge and used a Hot palette knife and my hands to smooth the ganache into an even and smooth shape. The knife can only do so much. I had great success dipping my hands in the hot water getting rid of excess water from hands and smoothing the chocolate. This is the point to also add your abs and belly button but be gentle.
Then returned to the fridge overnight to set. The cake is now completely sealed in the chocolate and will not go stale.
I had tinted all my rolled fondant icings in advance so I had everything ready to go in ziploc bags. I use gel colours to get nice vibrant colours in the fondant. As you can also see the create the nipples and for a bit of fun I used 2 'Strawberries & Cream ' jellies. Hahaha.
The next day was gonna be a big decoration day. Start in advance by gathering everything you will need so its all on hand.
Fondants, knives, rolling pins, any cutters and latex gloves.
First task was mammoth - getting the 'skin' on the body. How to get it over the boobs without it all falling apart quite literally. How to move the super large sheet of fondant from bench to cake....
I rolled the fondant for the 'skin' out on the bench and measured the size required. It was big !
First things first though, I painted a glaze onto the ganache to help the icing stick. I looked at my very "normal sized" rolling pin... My rolling pin just wasn't going to do the job. Think think think - Eureka ! A cellophane wrapped full roll of christmas paper. Long, strong and plastic covered. I rolled the fondant onto the long roll, very very carefully liberally dusting with cornflour on the way to ensure it would not stick to the roll. I started from the bottom of the cake and gently rolled up towards the chest. All was well. Now just gotta get it over the hill (!) I slackened out the fondant and eased it as best it could. I had to make a few nips and tucks but we got there.
I then went to work on the top and the straps. I really recommend getting the little roller tool that gives the stitching lines - it makes all the difference to the look of the bikini or any clothing item.
Once the full bikini was on and straps in place, I added the little tattoo using Americolor Pens.
She is looking very gold in this pic - thats just the way the flash showed it up. In the 'flesh' she looked more spraytanned bronze than shiny gold. The flash has just picked up the gold.
One last touch was needed and I completed this on the day we transported the cake to the venue. The birthday banner. I used my pasta machine to achieve the beautiful long ribbon and worked some kinks in for interest. The letters were then added.
The final finishing touch just lifted the cake to another level. I glazed the whole cake with Edible Lustre Spray in CLEAR from PME Arts & Crafts. It gave the bikini an almost wet look. Awesome!