Birthday Cake - 2016

Every year I ask L what he wants for his birthday cake. And every year it is something totally different that forces me to really think about how I'm going to actually make it.

His initial idea was a town street  made of lollies and chocolate alike a scene in the Simpson's. What resulted was a cabin made of cake and other baked goods.

Trees: meringue piped with a star tip and flavored with some green apple extract. I painted the inside of the piping bag to create variations in the coloring. 

Grass: colored shredded coconut

Path: lolly cake cut into squares and glued down with melted chocolate

Windows: crushed lollipop which I sprinkled into circular cookie cutters and melted in the oven. The different colours come from different flavored lollipops

Door: melted chocolate which I painted with  a mixture of cocoa and vodka (the vodka makes it dry quickly). More cocoa was used to make darker lines to give the impression of wood grains. And a droplet of melted chocolate for the door knob. 

Logs: a flake chocolate bar cut into three

House:  I made sheets of banana cake and mocha cake (chocolate cake with some espresso powder and then the cooked cake is brushed with  espresso). I cut each sheet into two squares and then stacked them, alternating flavors, with Caramel buttercream and Caramel sauce. I then chilled the cake for a few hours before cutting two sections off the top to create a roof shape. This was then crumb coated. 

Icing: I separated the icing into two bowls and colored one blue-gray and the other a purplish terracotta. I had some difficulties with the buttercream separating at this point and found that heating the mixture ever so slightly and then whipping it for five minutes fixed that up nicely. The pattern on the walls was made by dragging the tip of my spatula upwards. I tried to replicate tiles by piping balls of icing and them dragging a spoon through it, doing this row by row. I think it would have looked better if I used less buttercream for each tile. 

All up this cake took about 4-6 hours and it didn't seem so bad cause I spread it over about a week. All the decorations were able to be done in advance.