… Or, Why I Didn’t Post Something Related to Stained Glass Yesterday.
The reason was that it was our niece’s first birthday party over the weekend. In general, I haven’t been able to get as much glass done as I’d like this week due to the fact that M’s parents are in town this week. It’s hard to work, visit/dinner and then fit in glass when you get home at 9 or 10 pm. That being said, I have worked on my light box (just not the other projects I want to work on as well), and have been ok at keeping up on the regular blogging.
But I digress. The reason I did not do glass or post to my blog yesterday was this:
Yes, you are seeing correctly. That is a layered birthday cake in the shape of a 1 (first birthday!), decorated with purple sprinkles and stars. Yes, I made that.
I love baking, but I don’t get the opportunity to do it very often, and even more rare is the chance to be extravagant. I have to say that this is probably pretty close to the top of my list of extravagant baking endeavours, seeing as 6 adults and 1 child only ate the bottom horizontal line piece… It was delicious and awesome, though.
If you’re interested, here’s how I made it:
I did some initial research for children’s birthday cakes online. I looked at lots of option, and decided that I wanted something delicious to eat, but not too far out of my baking experience (for example, this was not the time to try using fondant icing). I found a fantastic blog called Smitten Kitchen (so good!), and used recipes for the cake and for the icing. I love foodie-recipe blogs that have lots of pictures, so I can compare and tell if I’m doing it right.
Next I decided (with M’s help) on a shape for said cake and how it was going to be constructed. I cute the shapes out of paper first to make sure it would a) fit from parts of my cake pans, and b) fit on the plate.
The next step was baking the cakes — ohmygoodness they smelled divine! Even the batter!
Once the cakes were cooled, I levelled them off and cut out the shapes for the 1 based on my paper templates.
The next stage was icing the middle layer. And then maybe eating some of the icing, but not too much because I still had a cake to finish…
Then adding on the top layer of cake. As per something I read on the internet (I think it was from the Smitten Kitchen blog, but can’t remember now), I placed the bottom of the cake facing outwards to make it easier to ice.
At this point, I applied a crumb layer of icing. Honestly, I learned a lot about making cakes from reading the Smitten Kitchen — I put a dollop of icing on the bottom of the cake plate to keep everything from sliding, I made sure my middle layer of icing overlapped the layers of cake to make full icing easier, I used parchment over the plate to keep everything tidy, and I started out with a crumb layer of icing. Before taking this cake on, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a crumb layer!
At this point, I took this bad boy over to the birthday party to finish off the icing and decorations. I used purple sprinkles and added some yellow stars with a store-bought icing tube. Honestly, when I started out making this cake, I thought it would be about 2/3 this tall, max. And then my cake just rose and rose and rose in the oven! I have to say, though, it turned out a masterpiece!
Happy birthday to my niece!