Rugby Union 70th Cake

Last year a friend asked me to make her Dad’s 70th birthday cake in February. Can you believe that there are only 3 days left in February? I definitely can’t. But it means I have made my second cake in 2015! And this cake came with its challenges!

I love how with each cake I seem to learn something new, or need to research a new technique or a solution to an issue. I always ask my family or friend what they would like the cake to look like and this time my friend came back with quite a specific cake – a blue 7 and a yellow rugby ball as a zero so it looked like a 70. The blue and yellow were to be the colours of Nedlands Rugby Union Football Club. That didn’t sound too bad until she mentioned that it was for approximately 60 people! Michelle's Labyrinth Rugby Cake

My biggest dilemma was how to make a 7 and a rugby ball feed 60 people. I went into Cake Tinz and Things and they had cake tins for a 7 and an American rugby ball, but looking at the tins they looked like two normal sized cakes, in other words would feed about 15-20 people. So I asked the lady what I should do to turn the cake into one that fed 60 people – would I need to put the 7 and rugby ball on a slab of cake? She said 7 and ball would feed 30 (coffee* serve) and that I would just need to make a 7 inch square cake for the additional 40 servings – I have learnt this spare cake is called a ‘kitchen cake’. A kitchen cake is an undecorated cake that looks exactly like your cake when cut and is cheaper than a decorated cake. By also making a kitchen cake, it would save me from the hassle of using cake supports in a stacked cake. But what would my friend think? And would she be happy with coffee serves?

I gave my friend 3 options and sheMichelle's Labyrinth Rugby Cake decided on dessert* serves and she was happy to have a square kitchen cake too and asked for a birthday message on it as well. With the 7 cake I also decided to carve it from a large square tin, because I didn’t think the 7 tin looked very wide and I also wanted to ensure the height of the 7 matched the length of the rugby ball. I would like to thank Tanya from Coxie’s Cakes for suggesting that! So my next challenge was baking, carving and covering!

*Coffee Size: 1 inch x 1 inch x 4 inches (2.5cm x 2.5cm x 10cm)
*Dessert Size: 1 inch x 2 inches x 4 inches (2.5cm x 5cm x 10cm)

I was very happy with the baking and carving. I was surprised I carved the 7 so straight! And I also carved a layer under the rugby ball tin cake and shaped it like an actual ball. The covering of the rugby ball was also a success and I was happy with how smooth it was – until 30 minutes later when a bubble appeared in the fondant with a diameter of approx. 7 cm! I couldn’t believe it. So I pricked it and tried to squish the air out and it didn’t look too bad. But then a little while later another bubble appeared! This time when I pricked it the air wouldn’t come out so I tried to smooth the air out of the bottom of the fondant, but it caused creases in the fondant. A frown appeared on my face! As this was happening I was also trying to cover the 7, which of course had issues itself – it was hard to get a smooth fondant covering on the inside of the 7 without splitting the fondant. I was so close, but no cigar. I got a tear in the fondant. I think at this stage I decided to put my feet up because they were killing me. When I got back up there was another bubble in my rugby ball! It was well past bedtime and I couldn’t stay up all night popping air bubbles, and I couldn’t leave the bubble overnight because the fondant would harden and wouldn’t be pliable – so I cut a slit into the bubble. I got all the air out, but it didn’t look pretty at all. I left it to morning to sort out.

Michelle's Labyrinth Rugby CakeMichelle's Labyrinth Rugby Cake

When I was first imagining these cakes I was unsure how to ensure the yellow rugby ball would be identified as a rugby union ball. So I Googled – my saviour. What did we do before Google? And decided I would make it a Gilbert brand, which is the brand used by Nedlands Rugby Union FC. To keep it to theme I put blue strips on the ball – the strips are wider than the actual balls, but it sure hid the bubble flaws well! I thought the ball turned out quite well. Phew!

The 7 was a bit of a dilemma. I was unsure whether I should leave flaws on the 7, or try to cover it with a square on fondant – which would identify I didn’t do the best fondant covering. I finally opted for the square covering and depending on the angle you look at the cake, it wasn’t terrible. I can say it was a huge relief when the cakes were picked up! I also got a lovely message from my friend when she saw it – I was so relieved! But yesterday I saw a photo of the cake and the fondant looked a little worse for wear on the outside of the 7! Ahhh!! My friend and her hubbie still seemed so happy, and her hubbie even said the cake was “created by the ever so excellent cake creating master sculptor funky icing artisan Michelle”… how nice is that!? :)Michelle's Labyrinth Rugby Cake

So I learned some new termsMichelle's Labyrinth Viking Cake about cakes, I had some happy friends but I also had left-over cake! I was having lunch with an old friend on Monday so I decided to make a simple cake and I put some Viking Helmets on it – for two reasons, the first being my friend’s sons (‘B’ and ‘C’) love Horrible Histories so I thought Vikings would go down well, and the second reason being that one of my sister’s friends has asked me to make a Viking cake in March. I am so excited! I love Vikings, so I had Vikings on the mind and thought a couple of helmets would be cute. My friend’s boys loved the cake and the helmets and they even put the little helmet on their heads! Seeing kids loving my cakes and hearing my friends really appreciating my efforts makes the long nights, stresses and sore feet worth it! So here is to some exciting cakes in my the near future! I also hope you have some things to look forward to in your lives, it is so important to have something to look forward to – it is a key to happiness! That and cake is also a key to happiness! :)Michelle's Labyrinth Viking Cake

 

 

 

 

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Coxie’s Cakes is a small homeMichelle's Labyrinth run business based in North of the River, Perth. Last year when I left work and had some time I was surfing Facebook and checking out all the amazing cake decorators out there. Somehow I stumbled upon Coxie’s Cakes (I believe it had something to do with her Alice in Wonderland cake) (https://www.facebook.com/Coxies.cakes) and have been following her ever since. Considering how big the world is, it is pretty cool how I found another cake lover living so close to me. She officially became a business on 27 September 2012, so she has been going strong for nearly a year. She even won Australian Cake Decorating Network’s Decorator of the Year 2013 for her Me To You Teddy Bear.

Michelle's Labyrinth  Michelle's Labyrinth

I often share Coxie’s Cakes on my Michelle’s Labyrinth Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/michelleslabyrinth) and my friend’s daughter saw the unicorn cake above in June and requested it for her birthday. So I have had a couple of months to think about this cake. I wanted to make it a bit special, so I thought of making it a rainbow cake! Rainbow cakes are also a favourite of Coxie’s Cakes so I have seen them often and have wanted the opportunity to make one!

A rainbow cake means making the actual cake the colours of the rainbow. It has been a while since I thought of the order of colours of a rainbow, so I checked Wikipedia for what the colours are: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet! I swear we had a rhyme of the acronym for rainbow colours, but I cannot recall it. Can anyone remember? Michelle's Labyrinth

Since I had to buttercream between each of the 7 layers I thought I may as well colour the buttercream icing the same colour. I also wanted to make it a little different from the other rainbow cakes I have seen. I was quite happy with the result :)

Michelle's Labyrinth

So here is my Rainbow Unicorn cake with ‘Uni’ the Unicorn on top :)Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

  Michelle's Labyrinth  Michelle's Labyrinth

And here is a close up of “Uni”, who had to be hidden from a Great-Uncle and a Grandpa who threatened they were going to eat her! Michelle's Labyrinth

Now I had to include a photo of the birthday girl. She is very hard to capture on film! Although her brother is definitely not camera-shy :)Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth   Michelle's Labyrinth

I was chatting to my youngest sister about this cake and she said “Don’t forget to put a fae star in it so the lucky child that finds it can see faeries for a time”, so as usual the cogs of my mind started turning. I had an idea that the birthday girl may like to keep her unicorn for a while, but I know that kids love to have a bit of fondant to nibble on while the cake is being cut, or with their slice of cake. I have had a couple of children cry over my cakes because they wanted a fairy, or they needed a piece of rainbow, or they had to have one of Buzz Lightyear’s buttons! So now I try to find out how many children are going to ensure they have their piece of fondant! This year there was going to be approximately 5 children at this birthday gathering, so I thought I would make them a rainbow each – I was on a theme! Since the birthday girl turned 8 I figured I may as well make 8 rainbows – with a fae star on the end so they could see fairies for a time!

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I received a SMS at 8:30pm saying the kids were on a sugar rush. “So hyper!” But maybe it was the fairies and pixies stirring them up! And hey, who let them have 2 rainbows each because there were only 4 kids! :)

Now it was a toss-up whether to leave you with the words from “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (which I sang a few times during the wee hours of the morning while making the layers of this cake) or with the other thing my sister sent me when she heard I was making a Rainbow Unicorn cake… so here you go – both at the same time :)

Michelle's Labyrinth

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?

Source: http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/thewizardofoz/somewhereovertherainbow.htm

 

 

 

 

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