While I was recuperating I have to admit that I did end up watching quite a bit of TV. One of the shows I got into was an American TV series called Ace of Cakes. It is basically a reality tv show about a cake shop and all the cakes they make. They make some mad and wonderful cakes of all different shapes and sizes. It was inspiring!
When I was invited to my friend’s Birthday party the other week, it was the perfect opportunity to try to make an Ace of Cake type cake.
I had lots of questions: Where would I start? How would I make the cake stick together? How would I make black icing? The gift of Google answered all my questions. Butter Icing makes the cake stick together and I bought black icing from Cake Craft World.
And here it is! I was really pleased with how it turned out, and it ‘wowed’ the birthday girl, so I was happy!
CAMERA CHOCOLATE CAKE
It took me three days to make the cake in three different stages. This is mainly because I left things to dry in the fridge overnight. You could possibly make it in a day, with long periods in the fridge, but just make sure the cakes are totally cold before you start cutting them, otherwise they will break apart, and you will get crumbs everywhere.
Make three chocolate cakes (recipe below), and once cool, store in the fridge. Cut the tops of the cakes off to make them as flat as possible, and clear away any crumbs. Make the buttercream icing (recipe below). First, focus on the lens. Take one of the cakes and using a large cutter cut out two circles. Sandwich the circles together using the buttercream icing, and then cover the whole lens with icing, and store in the fridge to set.
Now sandwich the remaining two chocolate cakes together using the buttercream icing. Cut the shape of the camera body out of the cake using a serrated knife. Stick a little of the cuttings on top of the body to give some additional, curved, height. Then cover the whole of the body with buttercream icing, and stick on the lens. Place it in the fridge to set.
Roll out the black icing to the desired size. Carefully cover the cake with the icing. If some of it breaks or tears off, don’t worry too much, you can always add it back on using water. Make any additional accessories to give some detail to the camera, and stick them on. To stick the details on, criss-cross both the back of the item and the area where you want the item to stick; then rub some water on the criss-crossed areas, and stick the item on.
1. When sandwiching the cakes together, make sure you have the bottoms of the cake both facing outwards. The bottom of the cake is flatter than the top you have cut off, therefore you want to have the bottom of the cake as your outer edges.
2. Use cornflour when rolling out your icing. Cornflour is silkier (and less lumpy) than icing sugar.
3. When spreading the buttercream icing, keep the knife you are using in a hot cup of water. This will make the spreading easier, and give a cleaner finish.
4. To spread the buttercream: place a large dollop onto your desired area, and then carefully, with the knife in your hand, gently rock your wrist back and forth, to ease the buttercream out. If you try to spread it like you would butter on toast, the buttercream will pick up all the crumbs from the cake and you will end up having buttercream that looks more like Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice-cream. (I was not very good at this at the beginning, hence my lens looks like a tub of cookie dough ice cream! – but I did get better). Preferably you want to use a palette knife to do this, but I did not have one, and a large flat knife worked just as good.
5. Use a tape measurer to measure across the cake in each of the different directions, in order to find out how big you need to roll out your icing. I rolled my icing to 18″ round.
Chocolate Cake Recipe
This recipe makes 2 x 10″ rounds. I made two, and then I halved the recipe to make the third cake.
- 800 g granulated sugar
- 510 g plain flour
- 113 g cocoa
- 11 g baking powder
- 13 g baking soda
- 11 g salt
- 4 eggs
- 500 mL milk
- 250 mL vegetable oil
- 20 g vanilla
- 500 ml hot water with 2 tbsp of Chicory Essence
- Pre-heat the oven to 190 Celsius.
- Prepare two 10” round cake tins by greasing them with butter and lining them with greaseproof paper.
- Sift sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
- Beat eggs, milk, oil and vanilla together in another bowl.
- Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients. The batter will be very runny – this helps to make a very moist chocolate cake.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cakes springs back lightly to the touch and pulls from the sides of the pan.
(I used two times this recipe)
- 250g butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 600g icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, a quarter at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.
750g of Black Icing