Hello my Cakers, Bakers and Beauties!
Last weekend was really busy and hectic for me, I’ve decided to split that crazy day into 3 parts so that each post is not too long.
If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, THANK YOU! You will also know that my nephew Widget’s birthday has rolled around again, last year I made him a cake spelling his name out.
This year my Sister told me that Widget is really into Pirates so he would be having a Pirate themed birthday party.
With a theme like Pirates there are so many ways I could go with the cake, but I knew that whatever I chose to make, planning would be the key to my success.
I considered making various cakes:
a Large Gold Coin – boring
Treasure Map – too flat
Jolly Roger Flag – not enough colours
Treasure Island- I didn’t think I had enough time
I work a full time day job which is 35-45 hours per week, by the time I get home from work on Friday Evenings I’m knackered! On Friday 7th Feb -the night before Widget’s Party, I also had a Princess cake to make which takes 7-9 hours from start to finish. I’d already committed to the Princess cake so I HAD to it but time was of the essence because Wesley’s Birthday Party was starting at 11:00 the next day and I didn’t want to be rushing around in the morning.
I finished the princess cake at around 00:06 in the early hours of Saturday morning, finally I could start on Widget’s cake!
I had decided on a Pirate Ship cake about 2 weeks before his birthday and knew that I wanted it to somehow be in a “Sea” of blue jelly, what I didn’t know is that we don’t make blue jelly in UK, Ugh! So I ordered some from the good old E-number filled USA.
I also ordered a light blue cake board so that the bottom of the cake wouldn’t get soggy and the jelly wouldn’t get crumbs in it.
I found a huge round serving tray at my parents’ house which was perfect to pour the jelly into, after I’d placed the cake board into the middle of the tray.
I’d prepared my Sea the night before so it could set firm before I constructed the cake, once the jelly had set I put cling film over the jelly on the tray so that crumbs would not fall into the jelly (yes I’m obsessed with crumb free jelly.)
While I had the oven on for the Princess cake I’d baked 2 large chocolate cakes which would be the base of my Pirate ship, I’d also made my chocolate ganache so I could crumb coat the cake once the shape was constructed which would ensure my cake would not dry out over night.
I’m sorry I don’t have photos of the process it was really late and I didn’t have much time to spare.
I stacked my 4 cake halves on top of each other and stuck them together with chocolate ganache.
After that I turned my stack over so that they were resting on their curved side with the flat side facing straight up.
It did look somewhat like a boat and was the right size but I trimmed a couple of centimetres from the curved bottom of my cake so that the boat could sit flat on the cake board.
I used all the spare bits of cake to add more detail to the deck and make the cake look a bit more “shippy” please bear in mind that I’m not a professional and I have 0% nautical experience.
I just didn’t want to waste any cake so I stuck it all on with ganache, creating a bow and stern on the ship.
Once I was happy with the shape I covered the whole ship in ganache and smoothed it out as much as possible it was a bit tricky going around the corners and the “steps” on the stern but I managed it.
I used wooden skewers to draw lines on the sides of the ship to represent wooden planks then I put the whole thing in the fridge overnight.
In the morning I was so glad that I only had the decorating left to do!
I used various edible items to add more detail onto the ship, like spraying Cheerios with edible gold spray and stacking them on top of each other to represent the cannons on the ship. I also cut notches and a hole out of a large chocolate coin for the ships wheel.
I added metallic details to the cake with edible gold piping spelling out Happy Birthday and dots and swirls to look like metal work on the ship.
For finishing touches I poked indoor sparklers in the centre of the cannons, a set of Lego pirates for the deck and a mast sails and Jolly Roger Flag.
The mast was made from bamboo skewers taped together with tea stained paper for the sails, I printed a tiny Jolly Roger from my computer and stuck that to the top of the mast.
I’m aware that I could have made a completely edible ship, but I wanted to make this cake without any icing at all and not too many extra sweets, I was going to carve some figures and details from raw fruit and veggies but my Mum wasn’t keen on the idea
I finished all the decorations to the cake in about an hour and made my way to the venue to set up the cake table.
I had another event to attend that day so I had intended to drop the cake off early and go to my other event in Brixton for a couple of hours before going back to the party to sing Happy Birthday to Widget and do all cake cutting stuff.
However the Universe had other plans for me…
Please read Feb 8th Part 2 to find out what happened next.
(Sorry for the picture quality, we forgot to bring the proper camera with us)