Last year in early December my friend’s 4 year old son asked me if I would make his Dad’s birthday cake (in front of about a dozen people around a table! But I thought it was really cute!). I knew his Dad was turning 40 in January and I had hoped they would ask me to make his cake.
A couple of weeks ago my friend said she had a couple of suggestions for the cake; she beat me to asking for some ideas! Her husband is into off-road bike riding and canoeing. So I thought that it would be a cool new challenge. I knew he was getting a new cycling outfit from his favourite local football team – Swan Districts. So I thought the cake was a great idea to keep in line with the cycling theme. We went out and bought a small bicycle – $3 from K-Mart! (K-Mart is really awesome with their prices at the moment!) And the rest of the cake was up to me.
Now I need to mention some adventures the bike went on. My friend’s son had a good play with it before I took it home. The seat was pulled off, the tyres were pulled off the wheels and it was navigated around. After I brought it home I was on the phone to someone and I had left the bike near the phone, so I started rolling it around. Now this $3 bike’s pedals moved when the back wheel was spun, which I thought was pretty awesome! So I kept rolling it until a pedal came off! As I was rolling it I had been unscrewing the nut! Oops! So I then had to get it back on, which was a bit of an operation. Then I was on the couch taking some measurements of the bike so I knew how big the cyclist needed to be. Absentmindedly I put my pad, pen and bike down on the couch. At some stage later I picked Hamlet (one of my new puppies) up to give him a cuddle. Next thing I know he picks the bike up and charges off with it. I jumped up and rang after him outside, my husband not knowing what had happened! I extracted the bike from Hamlet and knew that it needed a good soak in washing liquid, if it didn’t need it before, it sure did now!
I felt a bit off this week. Not sure if it was the weather, if I just needed some down time or what? So I ended up leaving my cake decorating quite late on Friday. The picture of the cake was formed in my head around Tuesday, so I knew what I needed to do. I wanted to tackle people fondant figures, bigger than I think I have done before. I have seen some awesome ones on Facebook, so I did some Googling about how to do it. The best two blogs I read are below:
One bit of exciting news – just after Christmas I received in the mail a new silicone fondant mat. A friend from my old work gave me two A4 (29.7 x 21 cm or 11.7 x 8.3 inch) sized silicone mats. They are brilliant. When rolling the fondant, it just stuck to my granite bench, even with lots of icing sugar. I was using baking paper sticky taped to the bench sometimes! So when I received these mats they were a god-send. But if I wanted to cover a big cake it got a little difficult. Sometimes the two mats would separate. I had a look in lots of stores but just couldn’t find silicone mats. There were some good ones on Amazon.com, but they wouldn’t post them to Australia. I googled and could not find any on-line stores in Australia. So what next? EBay! And guess what? I got the best silicone mat! It’s 90cm by 60cm (36 x 22 inch)! This was the first time I used it and I loved it. I still didn’t do a perfect job on the fondant covering, but I was a little rushed! (I had to do the cyclist fondant figure three times!)
As I mentioned I had difficulties with the cyclist as I first wanted him riding the bike, then standing next to it, but ended up having him sitting down next to the bike. He had not fallen off, but was sitting down watching the canoeing! Also notice the cyclist is wearing black and white – Swan Districts colours! The person canoeing has a orange life jacket one
To try and cover up some previous scratches on the cake board, I put ‘Happy Birthday Gavin’ there and covered the letters and some of the board with edible gold dust. Once the candles were blown out and the kids were investigating the cake, I told them the gold dust and letters were edible… so of course they were pulled off and eaten! (Also notice the log jump, including groves where the bicycles slice it if they hit it when going over! It was an idea from the birthday boy! )