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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Deep Sea Diving Cake

Now I consider my self a baker, not sugar crafter.  As you can see from the photograph this is my first major attempt at one of those novelty cakes.  I did not make it alone though, my very good friend Kate helped created many of the items on the cake and she was my 'baking rock' throughout the whole process.  At times I did think why on Earth did I say I would make this cake?  

As you can see from the image this is an underwater deep sea diving cake made especially for the principle of my school who is due to retire at Easter.
I am a Governor at my school and it was decided as it was his final meeting before Easter to make it a special one and present him with a leaving present, card and cake.  It was another Governor who put the idea in my head to create a cake the one shown above.

Apologies, there is not step by step baking photos with this post.  Instead think of this post as a special one off where I simply mention the idea and where the recipes came from etc.

So...here we go...



Deep Sea Diving Cake

The inspiration for this cake came from this photo that was sent to me via Facebook a few weeks before the meeting.  On studying the cake my reply was 'wow, looks great...how much?' as I didn't think for one second the image was being sent because they thought I could make it.  After receiving the reply 'we thought you could make it...' I quickly responded with 'I don't think I have the skill to make it but would gladly pay for it'.  This is the part where Kate came in and said something on the lines as 'we can make that...no problem'.  So, we gave it a go.

As you can see from the photo this was a two tier cake and was covered in blue royal icing.  This sort of icing is not a favourite of mine, I really hate eating through a thick layer of sugar to get to the cake.  Instead I decide to adapt a frosting I have used in the past.  Edd Kimber has a recipe for raspberry ripple cake which is coated in the thickest white chocolate Italian butter cream frosting.  I decided to use this recipe and add blue colouring to make the sea.  Keeping behind some of the uncoloured white frosting to add as a ripple effect around the edge - I was a little put off by a blue cake so thought the white would break it up a little.

The inside of the cake consisted of white chocolate flavoured sponge sandwiched together with raspberry jam and white chocolate frosting.  Hence a raspberry and white chocolate cake.

The recipe for the sponge was taken from the 'Great British Bake Off' cookbook.  I simply baked it twice to construct a three layer cake and used the final layer for the island on top.

Kate and I had created a novelty cake before so we had some experience in sugar craft and Kate had made her own and a friends wedding cake so I trusted her with the technical parts.  We did have a laugh trying to create some of the models!  

As you can see from the photo, this cake was a large bottle of nail varnish, the cake instead was a simple white sponge sandwiched with strawberry jam.

This cake did use royal icing to coat the whole cake and I remember well how difficult it was to get perfect and how many times we took it off and recovered.  It comparison this cake was simple to make and we both knew that creating the diving cake would push us to our limits.  



The little diving man was taking from another cake I came across while researching how to go about creating this cake.  I simply copied him completely from that.  Kate created the lady on the beach and unfortunately she did end up with strange cellulite looking legs...not the original plan at all but Kate's perfectly manicured nails didn't help with her rolling abilities.

Kate made the shark after many failed attempts by me. The palm tree ideally should have been on the island but we struggled to keep it standing up so it was carefully propped up against the islands side.

We were both happy with the coral effect (stolen directly from the photo of the original idea).  This was so easy to create and basically required a small pastry cutter and some colouring to add a ripple effect.

The sand is simply a mixture of crushed biscuits and brown sugar.  The treasure chest is filled with colour 'silver' balls and made from brown icing which tasted like butterscotch.

This was a fun cake to make, we really had a good time (and laugh).  I feel like I learn't so much in making but very much know I am far from an expect cake maker and have a lot more to learn about the art of sugar craft.  I don't think I will be rushing to make another cake like this anytime soon but I was a challenge to make and a very welcomed one.