The biggest, scariest cake I have ever made.
I went to a hen night back in January and got fairly spectacularly drunk.
I’m going to gloss over the worse of my behaviour, but let’s just say that it included sambucca.
And a waiter
I offered to make a cake for a friend’s joint 40th wedding anniversary and her husband’s 60th birthday party. I was full of my own ability and puffed up with the dizzying confidence of someone who’s downed a bottle of Rose wine and 3 shots of sambucca. Expansive arm gestures waved away the “Cake for 60 people”, and I just kept showing people my leopard skin shoes while claiming that cake making of that level is “no problem *hic*, I love you, I’d de- Be- de-DELIGHTED to make your cake…LOOK! There’s the wai *hic* ter! Less have anover shot yeah?”
This isn’t the first time I’ve offered to do something drunk that I would usually shy away from, but it is the first time it included baking.
So. A cake to feed 60 people. Clearly, I couldn’t make something like my Baby Shower Cake, this one is going to have to be a
bleugh fruitcake and fairly traditional. Thanks so much Drunk me. I owe you one.
The cake murdered my sleep for a couple of months, I KNEW I was going to have to make this thing and I knew it was ambitious. I mucked about on the internet for a while looking for a recipe and struggling to know how big a cake I should be baking when a friendly baker told me that I needed a 12 by 12 inch square tin.
So I RENTED a tin. Yup that’s right, I live in a world where I can rent cake tins from my local cakeporn shop.
Suddenly the big day of cake bakery was almost upon me. The night before I prepared the dried fruit.
I weighed out a ridiculous amount of ingredients,
And soaked the ton of fruit in a mixture of brandy (Christ knows how old this shit is, I found it in the back of the liquor cabinet) and ameretto.
After allowing the fruit to soak overnight I got on with baking the cake.
I actually had to buy a washing up bowl to mix the batter.
Yes. That’s right I was actually making a cake that was too enormous to be mixed in a bowl. I would do a shocked face here, but I’m still too shocked to even type it out.
I started by mixing a daft amount of butter with an equally weird amount of sugar and black treacle in my mixer
and mixing it until it formed a light fluffy weirdly split looking goo. I then added 12 eggs. Yes. TWELVE EGGS! Madness had overtaken me by this point and I vacillated between terrible fear and hysterical laughter as I cracked each egg into the, frankly disgusting, mixture.
The time had come for me to mix the wet ingredients with the dry and thus, it was time to move to the washing up bowl.
Once the batter was mixed I poured it into a greased and lined, rented cake tin.
I then baked the cake for about 3 weeks (5 hours actually) until I was reasonably sure it was cooked through and then I had to turn it out of the tin. This was nerve wrackingly AWFUL! Honestly, I cannot describe the terror of tipping this huge tin upside down and hoping for the best – I also didn’t even have a wire tray large enough to cope and had to use a clean oven tray. I managed it though.
This cake is quite “blonde” because it hasn’t had time to mature.
I then went away and
got drunk thought about the cake for a couple of days before icing the beast.
Before I could start icing I needed to wrap this behemoth with marzipan.
I heated some apricot jam and brushed over the cake before rolling out the marzipan
I managed, in a moment of non-spannery – to roll out the marzipan AND place it onto the cake without anything
interesting terrible happening and then I had an enormo cake which needed to sit for 24 hour hours before icing.
The day of the party loomed at me.
To the icing.
Have you any idea how stressful it is to roll out a massive ball of icing into a thin layer which will fit a square cake? No? LUCKY YOU!
I managed it. The SKY engineer arrived around this time to change one of our Sky boxes over. I had to hold a conversation about the weather, the government and the price of i-phones while I iced the cake. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
The icing needed to set for a day before decorations were added.
I finished the icing on Friday night, the party was on Sunday but the cake was being collected on Saturday afternoon. This was going to be tight, and annoying and MUCH harder than I had imagined.
I’d bought some red shades of pre made icing from the cake porn shop and a gerbera daisy flower cutter in two sizes. I felt that it was flowery enough for a cake, manly enough and it would hide a multiple of sins.
So I rolled out some of the red icing and pressed out the daisy.
And I did that for about two hours. It was exciting stuff. I alternated between a cherry red and a deeper, darker shade of icing. I then started by building up the sides of the cake.
I somehow managed to
fruit up decorate the terrible brilliant icing and ended up with a cake that looked like this
I boxed the cake and got it ready for collection
And then I went to the party.
And looked at the cake it’s in glorious setting
And then we had a laugh and that, before we got attacked in the car park by a crazy BNP type fella and we all ended up terrified and it was awful.
I have no idea how the cake tasted as it wasn’t cut during the party and I’ve been too pissed off to ask considering the dreadful end to the evening.
That was kind of a downer – on the upside? I finally wrote a new blog post?