The story of a first birthday cake...

This post should have been published 3 months ago... How did a few days turn into months?

Anyway, here is the story of the first birthday cake for J. Having never done anything like this, I decided on a "simple" hedgehog cake (quickly looking through the instructions, it didn't look too complicated... days later, it was done :p ). Cake from Party Animal Cakes, by Lindy Smith.

Here's how it went:

Friday night, bake the chocolate cake. I followed Lindy Smith's recipe, with 5 eggs. I also prepared the cake board, covered it with green fondant, made a leafy print with a cabbage leaf and then painted over with dark green colouring diluted in vodka.


Saturday morning, prepare the filling. I used the frosting from the heavenly chocolate cupcakes from Peggy Porschen's Boutique Baking. Only mod I made was to halve the quantity of sugar and it was spot on. Cut the cake in 2cm slices and use a spatula to layer the frosting. Now is the time to start carving the cake using a template made out of greaseproof paper (scary moment!). It's only a rough shape, the cake then gets wrapped and popped in the freezer. The scraps of cake and leftover frosting can be used to make mini cakes using little ramequins lined with cling film. 

Saturday afternoon: once the cake is frozen, it becomes very easy to handle and carve into its final shape. For this cake I had to prepare chocolate buttercream so it would harden enough to hold the chocolate spikes in place but I would have used the same frosting if I'd covered the whole cake with fondant.
After the shaping is complete, spread buttercream and cover with the fondant for the head. Trim the fondant all around (you need to make a cut under the nose). 
Up to there, pretty much plain sailing... Who would have thought chopping chocolate flakes and sticking them on a cake would give me nightmares! Anyway, it takes forever, make sure you leave your flakes in the fridge until you need them (I was taking them out a few at a time). I transfered the cake to the board when I had half the back done but left the greaseproof paper. 
Once the cake is done, time to do the eyes and nose. Use a piece of spaghetti to hold the nose in place.   

Ta da, Cake done!


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