About a half a year ago I was asked to be the God Mother of a beautiful baby girl - Chelsea. I remember I felt very honored and touched that out of all people, my dearest cousin asked me. Thrilled and excited I accepted :) She is a bright shining light in my life and I absolutely love her to bits! :D
So cometh her 1st birthday, I wanted only the biggest and best cake there ever was… thus begins my ultimate journey to make a 3D Winnie the Pooh cake hehehe
Initially I was a little overwhelmed, true to my nature (Queen of Procrastination) I left everything to the last minute…. But to my defence I had another cake order for the same Sat and life always calls at the most inconvenient time.. so what free time I did have was spent on this behemoth project.
The WHOLE of Pooh bear was edible, the head, legs, belly, ears - the lot! I was originally going to carve the head out of Styrofoam (like many other sane cake makers would do), however I couldn’t find a styrofoam ball big enough to fit properly so about 2 days before the cake was due I decided to make the head out of cake too!
My choice for the type of cake recipe used was limited because it had to be dense and firm enough to stand upright and be able to withstand my hacking and sculpting away at it. I opted for a pound cake recipe because when you cut it, it still holds its shape, is firm enough not to collapse yet it is still fluffy and tastes awesome! Buttercream was also used for its dense, shape holding properties.
I made 3 x 10 inch round cakes and 2 x 8 inch round cakes for the base/body. In hindsight I should’ve probably used all 10 inch round cakes.
Pound Cake (1 portion is enough for 2 x 10 inch round tins)
2 cups sugar
2 cups plain flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp lemon extract
Preheat oven to 1650C, line 2 x 10 inch round cake tins (or you can use a Bundt cake pan).
Whip butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add all dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda). Then incorporate eggs one at a time. Mix in the extracts.
Bake for 60 minutes or until it springs back to the touch.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting (I made like 3kgs of this stuff – Ohhh sooo damn good!)
3 cups icing sugar
225g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp strawberry essence
1 drop red food colouring (optional – I didn’t use this because mostly kids would be eating it and I didn’t want them eating artificial colourings, lol that was my bit of ‘health’ awareness)
Beat the butter until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the sugar and whip until smooth. Add essences and colouring (if using).
NOM NOM NOM
This was originally how I was going to do the head and arms - i.e. cover the styrofoam with fondant and shape it into features.
This is how the cake looked after I carved out the features.
First crumb coat.
Used extra fondant to create features like the arms, ears and I built on the face by adding extra fondant where the cheeks and nose were. It was pretty thin where the eyes were so I also added extra fondant there and pushed it back to create hollows like Pooh bear has.
I covered the legs in fondant separately then I stuck it to the body.
So this was what a naked Pooh bear on the day before the party looked like. He was standing up so proud and tall and was just 'perfect'!
The next day when I came back to dress him and add the proper features he had already begun to get 'lazy' and his head was slumping. I was pretty crushed that my cake had done this but I altered my design to suit what was happening. Lucky for me, Pooh is quite lazy and he usually nods off so I thought at least it looks like I 'meant' to do that and if I put a cake infront of him it'll just look like he is leaning forward to eat his cake! lol
The delivery of the cake almost gave me a heart attack. It was a miserably humid yet rainy day. I had the cake on my lap and the destination was about 1 hour away... but wait for it ... we got pulled over by the cops and it turned out that the Log's (brand new) car rego had expired. As a result... I had to wait in the car with the cake whilst he went back to get the other car. I had the aircon on full blast to stop the cake from melting anymore than it had to but as the minutes ticked by, temptation of the strawberry cake was too much for Pooh and he just kept inching closer and closer :S
Alas, we made it in one piece, Pooh got a taste of his cake before the birthday song was sung though lol!
The cake was a hefty 12-15 kgs and approx 35 cm tall.... it was bigger and heavier than Chelsea!!
hahaha look at her face... "mummy I dont want to cut Pooh bear!"
Yes my heart sorta broken when I had to cut up the cake... oh but ah wells... tasted yummy!!
Look at that perfect layer!!!