Dinner was a sweet sweet carb fest! We had pasta, chilli on jacket potatoes, garlic bread, a mashed potato and cheese bake (I opted not to ask how much cheese was actually in it - best not to know!), swedish meatballs (IKEA style), fried rice, and a few salads (gotta get your 5 a day). I had two, yes two (don't you judge me) big plates full. I had to, I couldn't get everything I wanted all in the first helping. Then there was dessert...
I had mentioned to my aunt that I would be bringing cupcakes for dessert (any excuse to make and eat cupcakes) and thought in honour of the newest little family member I would make some decorated with little baby footprints. But then I remembered it had been my cousin's birthday a few days earlier and I thought - as he is a guitar player, I could hone my skills in cake making, and make a guitar shaped cake. I saw a recipe for one in my Canadian Living magazine and thought I might give it a try. I have had a go with a few novelty cakes before but never quite like this.
First, I made 2 chocolate cakes in 8 inch square tins. I followed the recipe from the Canadian Living magazine (my aunt in Canada gets me a subscription every year for my birthday-love it! and her!) with a few tweaks. Here it is:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder (this I tweaked since I couldn't find any-I melted 2/3 cup of milk chocolate and reduced the oil by about 3 tablespoons)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of cold water or coffee (I used coffee)
1 cup vegetable oil (I reduced this by about 3 tablespoons)
2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp cider vinegar (I used distilled malt vinegar and at first I was a bit worried but there was no taste, not even a hint of maltness)
Grease and line cake tins (I used sillicone ones and just lightly greased them). Bake in 350°F or 180°C for about 25 minutes or until cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and invert onto rack.
While the cake cooled I made the icing. A huge batch of buttercream.
1.5 cups of butter, softened
6 cups of icing sugar
1/4 cup milk or cream
2 tsp vanilla
Beat the butter until smooth and then alternately add the sugar and milk and finally beat in the vanilla. The measurements can vary depending on the consistency I want. Add a little more liquid or sugar as required. This can also be made in advance, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Allow about an hour to stand at room temperature before use.
I cut out a template for a guitar from plain paper. After the cake had cooled, I placed the template (in 3 sections-bottom of guitar, middle and the neck) on the cakes and cut them out using a small knife. Then I divided and coloured the icing as I went along, so as to try and not make too much of a mess (bit late since there was icing on the walls, floor and probably ceiling!)
I then needed a plate long enough to accomodate the nearly lifesized cake instrument. My cutting board was too small, and so was a baking sheet. So I got my saw on! I found a piece of wood-with all the DIY going on around here it's not hard to find - and neither was the saw what with all the tools hanging on the kitchen wall! I ended up with a good sized rectangle and covered it in foil. I put the cakes together and used a little icing between each piece to secure. Then I gave it a crumb coat. A new thing for me. Which worked a treat! I have always just dived right in with the decorating - no preparation for this gal. The crumb coat seals in all the crumbs and gives you an easy working surface for decorating. Here she is:
I cheated and used a packaged chocolate icing (it was nearing 10pm at this point so I thought it would be allowed). You could always add cocoa powder or melted chocolate the the buttercream (or at least I think so-I've never actually made chocolate icing). I used about a cup of the vanilla icing and tinted it blue. I then spread the different colours with a knife (I really need some icing tools) like so...
Turns out my cousin doesn't really like a fuss! Whoops! We didn't sing or anything and kept all birthday kerfuffle to a minimum. And everyone loved the cake and cupcakes, even without the baby feet decor!
|Scrummy cupcakes with edible blue glitter!!|