Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tardis Cake

It's Spiff's 31st birthday today!  Happy Birthday to a great guy!  

We love Dr. Who in our house.  So when I came across this awesome Tardis cake online one day, I knew it would be the perfect birthday gift for Spiff.  I'm such a newbie at caking, and it took me months of planning to pull this off.  I moved away from my sister and all of her cake supplies, so I had to purchase my own supplies.  Then, since it was a special design, I had to buy some special tools and supplies.  I enlisted my graphic designer friend to format the text for me.  I almost can't believe that it turned out so well!

It started out like this.  
This puppy is 16 layers (4 cake mixes!  Spiff's traditional birthday treat is a lemon meringue pie, so I made him a lemon cake), four cake boards, and supported with Bubble Tea straws.
At this point, it looks like a Dr. Seuss hat that could never be an awesome cake.
*Note that Square in the corner.  I bought that at the hardware store for $4 in order to frost the tall cake.  It turned out to be the most invaluable tool for making this cake.  I could not have done it without it.  Money well spent.

Two batches of buttercream frosting and hours of straightening later, and we have this beautiful straight-edged column!
I used the Aussie Smoothing technique to get the sharp corners.

It took me about two hours to cut out these panels for the side of the cake.
I used this wax-paper transfer technique for applying the fondant to the cake.  Loved this technique!

All four panels on the cake...finally.

Top, corners and signs on!

And done!
I used the wax-paper technique to put the window panels on, too.  It saved me a huge headache!  I will use it for any pattern I ever put on a cake.

And Ta-Da!!!  Here's the finale!  Complete with candles, cobblestone-covered cake board that I painted with color dust, and David Tennant himself (dressed as Christopher Eccelston, for any Dr. Who junkies who will question that detail).  If you look closely, there's even a little light on top, although it didn't show up very well.  I bought a pack of tiny LED fingerlights online for 48 cents in order to put a working light on the top of Spiff's cake.

My lessons-learned on this cake:

1.  Caking is way more fun and goes a whole lot faster with a buddy.  I miss my sister!

2.  A 16-layer cake requires a whole lot of frosting.

3.  This marshmallow fondant recipe worked like a dream, as long as you only add 1 1/2 pounds of powdered sugar to the melted marshmallows, not the full 2 pounds.  It was perfect.

4.  Swiss-meringue buttercream frosting melts in a warm kitchen.  It's very stable as long as it's cold. As soon as it warms up, though, the frosting will melt and the cake will get bubbles.

5.  A fondant-covered cake that is stored in the refrigerator will sweat and be tacky when removed from the fridge and warmed.  You are not supposed to touch the fondant until it stops sweating.  If your kitchen is too warm, like mine, then the frosting will start melting, and you realize that you need to get that cake back in the fridge ASAP, but you need to get it on the cake board, which was the reason you got it out of the fridge in the first place.  You will smash your carefully-created, sweated-over cake with a huge handprint while transferring it onto your cake board if you handle it while it is sweaty and gooey.  This will also make you mad and want to cry.  The lesson here is this:  Transfer the cake onto the cake board while it is still cold, directly out of the fridge.  You can touch the cake while it is still cold.  Then you can put it back in the fridge before it all starts to melt.  You will wish you had thought of that after you are trying to repair the damage to the cake from that ginorous handprint.

I'm so happy with how it turned out, and I am happy to have poured so much creative energy into something that I gave to my wonderful Spiff.  I sure do love him a whole lot.


kalie said...

Are you joking, girl???? That is the most amazing thing I have ever seen! Wow! You are amazing! And I had the same problem w my fondant bubbling from the Swiss meringue...never again. :)

Pulcheria said...

Wow! We are so impressed! And we LOVE IT! You are so awesome. Now, I want to go watch another episode...Happy Birthday Spiff!