A while ago, Goldenstar mentioned how awesome it would be to have a Pie-Cake one day: a real hobbit dream. I really liked the idea, and when PAX was announced a few days only after her birthday, I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to make an attempt at my first Pie-Cake.
With my accomplice’s help, I learned that Goldenstar two favourite deserts were Apple pie and German chocolate cake. Really, any cake or pie can work for this so simply choose which ever desert you prefer. Surprisingly, apple pie filling with chocolate cake was quite delicious!
The first step of any Pie-Cake is the cake. A German chocolate cake is made out of 4 chocolate flavoured cakes between which you have a creamy filling of coconut and walnut, covered with chocolate ganache. I usually hate serving a recipe I’m doing for the first time to guests, so I suggest practicing at least once before. Happily, I think my fist German chocolate cake turned out quite alright.
Refrigerate your cake for a couple of hours or overnight. You need to be sure the icing of the cake will be firm enough to support the decorative pie!
Prepare pie filling in advance. Since you cannot cook your fruits in the oven like a regular pie, you’ll simply have to make it in a pot on the oven. Place approximately 4 cups of fruits in a cauldron, add desired spices and cook for about 20 mins on medium heat. For apple filling, I used 4 apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spices. Do not add sugar! The sugar from the fruit should be enough.
Put your pie filling into some kind of strainer for an hour at least and make sure you get rid of all the extra juice. I skipped this step when I did my Pie-Cake and deeply regretted it after! The apple juice created when I cooked my apple seems ok at first, but after a few hours of standing still in my ‘’crust’’, I realized it was mischievously at work on the foundation of my cake: it was slowly melting the fondant crust! Pie filling started to drop on every sides of the cake, carving holes where ever it flowed, detaching the table cloth from the top of the cake and disintegrating the slices of crust I used to create a squared design on the pie. It manage to make it in one piece to the Saturday night recording of the podcast after 2 days of scaring the hell out of me, but I recommend to everyone to simply use the fruits and not its juice. It might save you a couple of good scares.
Note that I believe even if you only have the fruits, your fondant might melt a little. Plan to eat the cake not too long after putting it together!
Start by covering your cake with a large piece of fondant. Your cake will act as the table on which the pie is being presented. To give it the illusion of tablecloth, simple laid the fondant over the cake but do not stretch it to fit the cake. Use scissors to cut the edge or your tablecloth and remember the more large draping effect there is, the better!
Dye the rest of the fondant a rich yellow-brown to imitate the color of a delicious golden crust. Make a large cylinder of golden fondant and place it around the top of your cake. Fix it to the tablecloth by ’gluing’ the two pieces together with some water. Use a brush or your finger dipped in water to put water on the cake top and place the cylinder over the wet area.
With your fingers, carve bumps and hollows in the cylinder to shape it like a pie crust. Remember you have to work quickly with fondant or it will dry out!
Pour your pie filling on your cake and decorate your cake with thin slices of golden fondant placed to look like real pie squared top crust.
Final touches consists of painting red squares on the tablecloth to really make it look like a picnic blanket. I also added very pale brown on the hollows of the crust to give it a more realistic look. To paint fondant, dilute some food colouring gel into vodka. The more gel there is, the deeper the color will be. The more vodka, the paler. You can use water if you do not have vodka on hand. It will work as well but will take longer to dry.
Be sure to share your Pie-Cake with friends! Happy birthday to Goldenstar and Pax week-end to everyone!