She wanted a square cake for about 20 people with the name Alec and his age. For the biscuit and the stuffing she went for a lemon vanilla biscuit with fresh raspberries, raspberry jam crème pâtissière and chocolate butter cream. A very good choice I might say.
For me a birthday cake is not a birthday cake if it's not at least two layers so instead of one big square cake I made two slightly smaller ones so I could stack them together.
Two days before the birthday party I baked two biscuits. For the bottom tier (8 inch square pan) I used this recipe:
- 400 gr eggs
- 200 gr sugar
- 180 gr flour
- pinch of salt
- lemon zest
For the top tier (6 inch square baking tin) I used:
- 200 gr eggs
- 100 gr sugar
- 70 gr flour
- 20 gr cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- lemon zest
Since we talked about either a chocolate or a vanilla lemon biscuit I decided to both as a surprise since I would have two tiers anyway.
I also made some crème pâtissière using this recipe:
- 500 ml milk
- 100 gr sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 35 gr custard powder
- vanilla pot/essence/sugar
The next day I started with making butter cream:
- 128 gr water
- 338 gr sugar
- 150 gr egg white
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 750 gr room temperature butter in cubes
- 200 gr melted dark chocolate
After the butter cream was ready I put half of it aside for crumble coating and to the other half I added the melted dark chocolate.
Now it was time to cut and fill the cakes. I wanted to do the bottom layer first. I cut the cake in three pieces and I spread a layer of raspberry jam on each layer, then some crème pâtissière, stuck some fresh raspberries in it and covered it with a layer of chocolate butter cream. Then I used the plain butter cream to crumble coat the whole cake. I did the same with the top layer.
While the cakes were in the fridge I started modeling the two little dogs. It was quite difficult to get the color right and I wanted the color to be as close to the original as possible. Once I had the color I wanted I stared with making the bodies first. Then the tail and paws and last the heads and ears. Luckily I found a site online who had step by step pictures on how to model the dogs so I followed the steps and they turned out pretty cute.
I also added my own little touch, a tiny heart on each dogs body!
I also made the balloons and stuck them on a piece of rice noodle. Uncooked spaghetti was a bit to yellow and to thick and these noodles were just perfect.
Now it was time to cover the cakes with fondant. In the example cake they used blue fondant. As I would have two layers I decided to cover the top layer with some green fondant (Woezel & Pip are picknicking on the grass so green would be better then blue). The bottom layer was covered in blue since I want to at least keep as close to the original as possible.
It took me three times to get the fondant on the top layer right. Now I know why I prefer round cakes. They are so much easier to cover!
I had no idea how to decorate the cake since the example had only one cake and I had two. I decided to make the top tier similar to the example and the bottom tier would be something from my own imagination. In the Woezel & Pip books and cartoons they use a lot of color. So first I worked on the edges of the cake. I used some green fondant so I kinda looked like grass. And I made a rainbow. This also helps to cover up some of the less pretty parts of the cake.
Time for the top layer. This was fairly simple since I had an example of how it should look like. I made a white ribbon on the bottom and made some bushes. To this I added some little white flowers. I placed the picknick cloth on top, the house in the back (I stuck it in the cake with two toothpicks) and the two dogs on the cloth with the cakes and the bone in front of them. Then I made little bushes with some white flowers. The example had a tree with fruit on it, but I didn't had enough room for that so I skipped it. I press out the letters for the name and place it on the frond. This layer is also finished for now.
On the day of the birthday I had another look at the cake. I wasn't happy with the top layer since it was still missing some stuff. At firs I wanted to make a kite but then I changed plans and made a banner. This was suppose to cover the two sides in the back, but they looked so festive that I wrapped them around the cake. As the name was in the front I decided to make some more balloons to give it a finished look.
Then I got the brilliant idea to use the stars on the bottom layer as well. Just to give it some extra dimension and to make it more fun.
Sometimes you got to know when to stop and luckily I knew. A couple of hours later I delivered the cake while it was raining cats and dogs. I always put the cake together on the spot so nothing can happen to it in the meantime. I also added the age and the balloons to finish it.
Birthday boy's parents loved the cake so mission accomplished! Although she wanted a specific cake I gave her an one of a kind one made just for her birthday boy.