Here's the birthday cake I mentioned the other day when I was asking about baking times for a large cake. The 1UP mushroom from Super Mario! I swear to god I've been through the emotional rollercoaster with this cake, and it took me a day and a half but it's finally DONE.

If you really want to make reading this an epic experience, open this Youtube video in another tab:

Prepping the hemisphere pan with shortening and flour. I've never prepped a pan like this before but the instructions that came with the pan were quite strict.

It actually turned out surprisingly cleanly, although the edges were raggedy and rough. It took an hour and a half to bake thoughly ._. this was the first time I had one of those "oh god I'm the worst baker ever" moments.

I had some cake batter left over (I used Duncan Hines Devil Food cake and Vanilla cake mixes) so I poured it into two of my shallow pans and made a new base for the hemisphere, so it wouldn't be raggedy and depressing.

I moved the thin cake pieces off the wire rack as it's my one wire rack (something I need to rectify but this kitchen is tiny) and that base took forever to cool. It came out of the mould SO cleanly, unlike the last time I tried (last time i greased it with butter though). I cut the ridges off the base so it looked more like a mushroom stalk and less like a cupcake patty pan.

Making ganache to cover the cakes with. I was following the Planet Cake method of fondant cakes, which is where they use ganache rather than buttercream to undercoat the cake so that the edges wind up crisper. This is a GREAT idea if you're actually a professional at this.

I glued the thin piece to the hemisphere with ganache and then covered the whole thing with a ton of it. At this point I was more concerned with patching holes than I was with getting it especially pretty.

I put it into the fridge to let the ganache set and then went over it with a hot knife till it was smooth.

Here's the base after I ganached, chilled and did the hot knife trick.

Covering the base with white fondant. Here was the next point I was messaging the guy whose cake it is going "omg, your cousins are going to laugh at me, I suck, I fail" (his cousins do this for a living!) because the lighting in my kitchen is horribad at night and it was picking up every slight indentation in the fondant, making me think it was way worse than it actually was.

I didn't get any photos of me making the green fondant (I used cakecrumbs's marshmallow fondant recipe, which she kindly linked me, and as someone with inflamed wrist tendons I have to say mixing this stuff with a wooden spoon hurts like hell) but here is the finished cake. I glued the pieces together using whipped cream.

EDIT! Here is the cake's recipient while we were singing happy birthday :D (posted with permission)

Things I would do differently? Too many to name. Top of the list would probably be "don't agree to make complicated cakes when you've never made one or worked with fondant in your life". I would probably hot knife the hemisphere (or add buttercream icing over the top) right before putting the fondant on next time because it doesn't really want to stick to it and it wouldn't fold under neatly (hence the mess at the bottom edge there T_T). When I look at it I'm pleased but critical with soooo many things about it. I'll be doing my cert 3 in patisserie starting next month (I'm currently a qualified bread baker) and I'm really looking forward to the second semester where I get to learn how to do SIMPLE stuff with fondant. Maybe I'll learn how to cover a cake without the bottom edge falling off T_T

I want to thank cakecrumbs for patiently replying to my many, many messages full of questions about fondant and cake baking and for putting up with me when I got overwhelmed and depressed and started going on about being the WORST BAKER EVER.
matt1993 9th-Jun-2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
Awesome! :)
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