I said yes. My first thoughts were to do a number 6 shaped cake with a road and cars on it but I didn’t have a ring tin, so the next idea was a magic related cake as there was going to be a magician at the party. I asked for inspiration from the ever helpful members of Fans of Cake Baker on Facebook and one lovely lady suggested a top hat with a rabbit coming out and even posted a photo for inspiration. This was perfect and well within my capabilities!
I then went through a whole range of ideas as to how I could make good a cake with a hole in the middle of it: from filling the hole with sweets (I thought Minstrels might work best as they wouldn't be as affected by the moisture from the sponge as, say, Smarties which would bleed colour) as a "magic" surprise; to baking a whole other cake (which didn't happen as I had run out of sugar!).
To cap it all my local cake supplies shop (only my second visit and equally as disappointing as the first time) didn't have any ready coloured black fondant. I didn't want to colour the fondant myself as I know from experience it is virtually impossible to get a proper black from colouring white but I ended up buying ready coloured grey as at least this was half way there!
I then reached a point on Thursday night where I had had enough - I scraped the green fondant off the cake base board and the fondant I had managed to colour very dark grey off the cake board that was going to be used as the brim of the hat and called it a day. I would look at it with fresh eyes on Friday.
Friday morning I realised that I had a cake with a hole in the middle which would suit my original idea of a number 6! I was disappointed not to be making the magician's hat and rabbit but relieved that I did at least have a solution. I didn't have enough fondant to cover the whole cake but decided that I could buttercream the sides and put a fondant road on the top.
My lovely friend volunteered to help: we carved the stick bit of the number six; sliced the cakes in half horizontally and filled the cakes with "white" buttercream; coloured some buttercream bright green and covered the sides and top with the green buttercream; cut a grey fondant number 6 and placed this on top; and decorated with some plastic cars and road sign kindly loaned by Justin. The fondant ripped in one place when I was placing it on the cake but we covered this up with some white marshmallows that were cut into quarters and placed the road sign over the top. I then piped some grass around the bottom edge of the cake, in various places around the road and added the birthday boy's name in grass. We added some more marshmallows as the white lines on the road and some fondant blocks for some indoor sparklers and for the candles. Hey presto it was finished!
And the purple sponge? It did turn out purple with a (bizarrely) green outer-edge. I will definitely be trying different colours on future sponges. I hope that the children all got a nice surprise when they opened their party bags!
© 2012 Nicola Noble