Sunday, 11 September 2011

Minnie Mouse birthday cake

Suffering from cake making withdrawal symptoms, I recently volunteered to make a Minnie Mouse themed cake for my friend's daughter's third birthday. Having searched the web for inspiration, I e-mailed her a selection of ideas and was very pleased when she came back wanting the same cake as I wanted to make!

Rather than making a Minnie Mouse face, I opted for a round cake with a Minnie Mouse black hat with ears (see here for original inspiration cake). 

I covered the cake board with white fondant icing and cut out small circles of pink icing (using the bottom of a small icing nozzle) which I randomly placed on the board and flattened with a rolling pin and added a pink ribbon around the board.

I baked a 9.5" round cake and dome cake (in a small pyrex bowl). I trimmed the top off the dome cake to level it and covered the large cake in pink and the dome cake in black. For some reason, both cakes developed air bubbles under the icing (I have never experienced this before) but I "popped" these using a needle inserted at an angle (this makes the hole less noticeable). I then added circles of white fondant to the pink cake for Minnie's spots. I added a pink fondant ribbon edge to the black hat to tidy the join with the main cake.

The ears were tricky. I rolled even balls of black fondant, mixed with some gum tragacanth (this makes the fondant stronger and more pliable) and flattened them with my icing smoother into circles. I then flattened one edge and curved the whole ear. Keeping the curve while the fondant dried was the hardest part but I ended up creating domes in tin foil and lining with greaseproof paper to dry the ears in. If I was to do this again, I would try to allow more time for the ears to dry (I was limited this time to two days) and I would smooth the foil cup, as some of the creases from the foil transferred to the back of the ear! I then fixed these ears to the hat using bamboo skewers (I always try to remember to tell people that I have used these and that they are inedible!).

This was also the first time I had a go at making a fondant bow; I did a little research on the web and was really pleased with the end result. I cut out two even rectangles, placed a piece of tissue paper in the middle of each and folded the rectangles in half over the tissue. I then "gathered" the straight flat edges and placed the two loops of the ribbon together and stood the bow up. Another smaller rectangle was wrapped around the join. The tissue is used to help keep the fullness of the bow until the fondant dries and then gets taken out (cotton wool balls or a roll of kitchen paper can also be used). I added white fondant circles and stitch marks to the middle wrap around.
Finally, I cut out a fondant 3 in pink for the hat and the little girl's name in black. I struggled so much with the letter cutters and still need lots more practice with them. I think I need to add lots more gum tragacanth to the fondant when using for letters and allow it to improve for a few days before using it where time permits. Plenty of lustre dust and the cake was finished. 

Overall I was pleased with the cake and I have learned various new skills and techniques that I can use on this or similar cake again.

© 2011 Nicola Noble

No comments:

Post a Comment