Finally, it’s back to normal and regular posting!! A mad last couple of weeks at school and then the first week away on the South Coast of Britain, ‘wild camping’ hasn’t left much time for blogging, but, as promised, here is the ‘Cake Book Britain’ entry that we so lovingly created.
To create a British landmark that would go on a huge map of Britain made entirely of cake and sweets. The cake had to be relatively in scale but no more than 1 metre by 1.5 metres. So, if your building was a big one, your cake had to be slightly bigger, although it didn’t have to be exactly to scale! For example, Selfridges was bigger than The Globe theatre.
We had to submit a proposal and any building we chose had to be linked to the North East of Britain (as it was part of the EAT! festival in the North East). Obviously, all of the North East landmarks went really quickly, so we had to think of something else, and, as I originally come from Birmingham, we decided on the iconic Selfridges building in Brum.
Just under 1 metre by 70 cm.
The inner core was a box, tightly wrapped in foil, and the outer walls would be made of various flavours of cake. We baked eighteen 10″ x 10″ cakes. We sprayed 1,650 white chocolate buttons with edible silver lustre spray. We made 2 kg of buttercream and used five jars of jam to sandwich the cakes. D’s dad made the board. He cut it to size and nailed a ‘backboard’ to it, to reduce the number of sides we would need to cover with cake. It was then covered entirely in tin foil.
The boys sprayed the buttons – we’re not sure how many were eaten in the process, but it was an enjoyable task, by all accounts! They laid them out in rows (this took around an hour) and then went to town, spraying them all over with edible silver lustre spray. What a pretty pattern was left!
The cake walls needed building – we used a ‘brick wall’ formation for strength and dowelled them to the board. We jammed and butter-creamed in between, ‘concreting’ the cakes together.
The walls then needed carving….
The next stage involved buttercreaming and crumb-coating the entire building and leaving it to harden whilst we had dinner! Whilst it set, we coloured the 5 kg of sugarpaste (fondant) icing a dark blue.
The icing was rolled and cut into long strips which we applied to the sides of the cake. We developed the shape of the Selfridges building by layering sugrapaste at the corners, to get the ’rounded’ curves.
We left the cake overnight to harden, covered with tin foil. Then came the tricky bits….
Next morning (the day of Cakebook Britain), D had to take Z to football. He arrived back at 11.00a.m. We started to line up the buttons in rows at 11.30a.m, knowing we had to be finished in an hour and a half.
Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
A well oiled machine – the boys turning over the buttons, me dabbing royal icing onto the backs and D applying them. Apparently, that was his job…. 🙂
Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
Nearly running out of buttons…..
Finished. At 1.45p.m.
COMPLETED!! We had to be in Gateshead for 2 o’clock at the latest, so we were cutting it fine…. it was loaded into the boot and driven to the venue (Gateshead Stadium) where it was placed on the huge map of Britain… Can you see St Paul’s next to us?
The final judging took place – every cake baking team was allowed to vote for one cake. There were some fantastic ones… it was so hard to choose.
Sadly, we didn’t get placed, but the fun we had designing, planning, baking and making it was well worth the effort. At the end of the day, the map was opened up and everyone was allowed onto the map to eat the cakes!!! A true ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ moment!
Stay tuned for ‘Zombie Cake’ !!!