I was asked to make a cake that could be raffled off for the Greenacres School gala. I wanted something whimsical and not too boyish or too girly and it had to appeal to school kids, or at least kids at heart. I chose Alice in Wonderland – oh the options!
In the end I decided I wanted a cake shaped like the Mad Hatter’s hat, with a tea party happening on top. This is the result:
This beast is made of three 8 inch chocolate cakes split into six layers to make the hat, then a smaller madeira cake to make the table and pedestal, also layered. I used lemon buttercream as the filling because it’s easy and delicious.
It’s hard to tell from the pictures but it’s quite a large cake, and damn heavy! Should feed around 60 I say, depending on how big you like your slices.
Our good camera is being fixed which annoys me because I couldn’t take proper photos showing the details. The flash on our backup seems to bring out some of the shine and smaller details, but ruins the colour.
The hat has stitching details around it, some fan patterns pressed into it, and painted with golden lustre for a shine. The ribbon’s also got some pink lustre on it but it’s quite subtle.
I created some pastillage mushrooms, teacups and miniature roses to decorate the table tier. I still hate working with pastillage in that it dries so quickly and cracks. The mushrooms were easy but the others were hard. My teacups ended up looking rustic, but hey, anything goes in Wonderland!
I tried quite a few things on this cake, including piping patterns with royal icing. That was fun, but I really need more practice with piping on vertical surfaces – the numbers on the hat ticket were a bit squiggly as I didn’t know how to keep my hands stable at that angle.
Anyway, it was great practice for Abby’s first birthday cake – something that I haven’t decided on yet and the party’s next week!!
By the way, the gala’s on tomorrow Saturday 20 November 2011, 11am to 2pm at the Greenacres School at 60 Raroa Terrace, Tawa. If you’re in Wellington, drop on by. You can buy raffle tickets to win this cake there :D