Of course, a birthday party is not a birthday party if there’s not a cake in the portrait. One could also argue that the same goes for booze. Since we tend to agree with both views, I’m happy to present you the Keg Cake.
After the epic construction of a Hobbit Hole, the Keg Cake was my second attempt at cake decoration. I generally followed the same steps, and learned a few new things along the way.
- Get images of what you want to create. It will help you get the proportions and colors right, you’d be surprise how you can remember things wrong!
- I use measurements in this cake to be sure I had the right proportions. It gave me a clear idea of the carving job I had to do. You certainly don’t want to cut too much!
- I baked 4 cakes for this keg, but this time in a 8’’ x 4’’ pan. Because they where in a small pan, the cakes ended up with a round top that I had to trim for the most part. If I had to do it again, I’d bake them in a 8’’x 8’’ since I ended up putting them side by side anyway!
- As for the recipe, any cake recipe that you like can be converted to chocolate by adding 1/2 cup of cocoa to the flour mix.
- And if you really want your Keg Cake to be outstanding, you’ll add a bit of rum too. Mmmmmm rum chocolate….
3: Carving and Buttercream
- I suggest you put your cake together with buttercream icing before carving the final shape of the cake. The cake will be much easier to carve when cold!
- What you must do is wait for you cakes to cool off completely, then pile them up, ‘’gluing’’ them with buttercream icing.
- Put in the fridge for a couple of hours and you’ll have a solid and stable block of cake to carve in.
- Completely cover your cake with buttercream icing and put in the fridge to let it solidify.
- So this time I bought fondant from the store. I’m not especially satisfied with my purchase, since it’s significantly (i.e. at least 4 times) more expensive then doing it yourself. My only advice would be to place the pre-made fondant in the microwave for 10 seconds if it’s to stiff.
- Now the real lesson on the day reside in the timing: Do NOT put the fondant on the cake that just came out of the fridge, especially if it’s a hot day. Condensation made my fondant get all humid and it started cracking and falling off when I tried to adjust it to the cake. I think I avoided a total disaster by not trying to fix it and stop touching it, but the keg still bares the mark of its fierce battle against humidity as you can see in the final pictures. I blame the Ale Association…
- Oh, and this time, I bought brown dye instead of using cocoa to create my color. Much easier to work with ‘’normal’’ fondant.
- Depending on the desing of your cake, you might want to start the painting before putting all the part and little details on. That’s what I did with the wood!
- I first used a ruler and the point of a knife to carve straight lines along the keg. Those would be the mark between each wood plank.
- I then painted a thin line of pure gel food color in the line with a tiny brush. Right after, I used a large paint brush dipped in water to make the marking fade away and give the impression that the wood is old.
- I used a black dye to create the steel fondant for the details of the keg. Always complete a fondant item by painting with water over it, it will give it its finish look.
- When it comes to piping, do not hesitate to practice a bit! I used royal icing to pipe the CSTM logo on a piece of grey fondant.
- Finally, when adding details made out of fondant (in this case, the pouring spout) be sure you give them enough support so they do not fall off during the evening. I prefer to use bamboo skewers instead of toothpicks because you can cut them the size you want and deeply plunge them into the cake, insuring the heavy fondant won’t fall.
And there we go! Happy birthday CSTM!