March 20, 2011

Winnie the Pooh

Chelsea

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
5 eggs
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

First assembly, I sandwiched the body and cut out the legs from a 20 cmx 20 cm square tin.


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.

Winnie the Pooh 002
After contemplation that the styrofoam head would be too small I decided to bake some extra cake for the head. If you are wondering how I managed to structurally keep the head up ... I didn't. If you notice from the earlier photos Pooh actually slumps forward. This is because his head got a little too heavy and having the cake at room temp softened the base causing the top part to become as my cousin adptly calls Rhonda's leaning Tower of Pisa effect (I made his wedding cake about a year ago, it was a whoopping 5 tiers .. that started to lean forward too :S lol) But I did try... I put skewers in the base and stuck the head on top. If I were to attempt to do this cake again I would definately invest in using 2-3 mm dowels and a board underneath the head. That would solve the problem of the head falling forward.

This is how the cake looked after I carved out the features.


First crumb coat.

Managed to cover the body with fondant. I did this in 2 stages. I covered the belly first by wrapping the fondant around the cake and patching it together at the back. Then I drapped a second lot of fondant over the top of the head (as if it were a normal cake) and smoothed it down.


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!!!


BRAINS!!!


Poor Pooh!

Winnie the Pooh 056

Phew, what a feat!! There was enough cake to feed a 200 guest wedding! But I'm glad I attempted it, lets just hope next time I wont take short cuts on the structural stability of my cakes LOL!



♥ HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY CHELSEA! ♥
xox

38 comments:

  1. Definitely the most talented baker out there! Pooh looks adorable~ Can't wait to see more (:

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  2. woahhh that is crazy awesome!! also love the progression photos of how you made him!

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  3. Wow! You are SO talented. I would be too scared to ever attempt something like this but your cake looks absolutely brilliant. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  4. That looks so cool R!!! MA2 @BMPX

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  5. My gosh Rhonda your such a clever gal. Your Pooh Bear looks amazing! Never mind that his head sank a little, you did well considering the circumstances and he still turned out great. Heres where your Engineering skills will come in handy hehe, you'll know for next time :)

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  6. Absolutely amazing! You're the best God mother anyone could ever ask for! Imagine how blessed she'll feel when she looks at these photos in the future when she grows up :)

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  7. Aww happy birthday little Chelsea!! What an awsome birthday cake for a 1st birthday. Very very talented! Fondant freaks me out, and I'm never too keen on the taste of it so like to cover my cakes with more edible icing, but I miss out on the wonder figures that come with working with fondant.

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  8. Ohh and instead of a little cake, perhaps a pot of honey there would have made it look as if he was ready to jump head in first into it ;)

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  9. I'm gobsmacked at how lifelike and life-size Pooh bear is. You're like a real fairy godmother.

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  10. HOLY SHIZZBALLS RHONDA!! I knew it you would be able to pull it off as soon as you told me about it. I can imagine how stressed you would have been when you found him slumping, but what a great way to adapt it, I wouldn't have guessed that it was meant to be any other way. SO CUTE. Please hurry up and go on your trip then get back to Sydney and start your amazing cake-making business kthnxbai.

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  11. Oh wow, this is brilliant! Not only does it really look like Pooh but the fondant isn't scarily thick either.

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  12. omg this cake is awesome! I'm so impressed, and no styrofoam or rice krispies to be seen. You did well to factor in the slumping. Props!

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  13. Holy shizz you did it you did it!! See, there was no need to stress that night, we so knew you could do it :P Total kudos for going with a giant cake head rather than styrofoam and jeebus, it looks amazing! 15kgs of cake! I don't even think I could lift it properly!

    I'm with Steph, hurry up and get back from US so you can start your cake business xxxx

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  14. rhonda your cake is amazing!! and chelsea is so adorable, I bet she loved the cake! awesome work!

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  15. Will you be my godmum too and bake me a pooh cake? The cake looks amazing - I cannot even begin to fathom how someone makes something like this. Ah-mazing!

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  16. OMG! This is beyond amazing!! You could totally pass it off as a moving 'Pooh' cake! lol. So awesome! Congrats on pulling this off!

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  17. Wow! Thanks for documenting everything for us, it's so fascinating to see your process to make such a masterpiece!

    Also is a bit sick that I think the picture of Winnie's head sliced in half is hilariosu? :s

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  18. HOLY CRAP! i cant believe u could pull that off! definitely hats off to you. im also amazed at your ability to sculpt a head out so well when a cake is so fragile.

    the pooh is bigger than the baby! haha

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  19. HOLEY MOLEYYYYY@!!

    GOOD WORK...!!~~~~~

    my birthday is coming up *hinthint*

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  20. Awww thanks for all your lovely and kind comments! It means so much to me! :) xxox

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  21. Seriously, seriously fantastic work! Wonder how you'll top it for Chelsea's 2nd birthday? :)

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  22. That's so cool! And thanks for the progress shots, very handy. Great job

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  23. it looks amazing....now i can never again attempt to make my kids another birthday cake....thanks a lot!
    tasted great by the way, dense & moist

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  24. WOW! What a cake! Couldn't help but chuckle reading about Pooh slanting to eat his cake. Bravo for your efforts!

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  25. Rhonda, you did it again. The cake not only looked amazing in the photos, but it tasted divine. Thank You for giving me my sugar fix =)

    BTW, my sister says "oh my gosh, sugar high, mmmm yummy"

    Mel

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  26. My youngest (soon to be 18), was SO attached to his Pooh as a toddler. I'd love to make this for his high school graduation...I'm not sure I could pull it off so wonderfully, though! You did an amazing job!

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  27. AH-MA-ZING!!!!
    Pooh looks so cute & cool @ the same time!!!! i'm sure no one mind the lean if they have that in front of them. I know I won't mind :)

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  28. Gorgeous cake, well done! :-D

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  29. Very impressive Pooh cake! I see lots of love and efforts in making this!

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  30. Love this cake, you did a great job!

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  31. That is too funny! It really looks like you made it that way, not that it started to fall forward! Your step-by-step photos are amazing and I am so impressed that you did all of that! What a great God Mother you are!

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  32. Oh my god I am so impressed! This cake looks so professional and perfect you should be so proud! :)

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  33. wow. this is amazing! LOL. "it got lazy" this is more than amazing.

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  34. Bahahaha... poor Pooh (and poor you for having to wait in the car after the cops pulled you over!) You're making my wedding cake! Cussmonster, I choose yooohhh!

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  35. oh my gosh - this is a truly amazing cake! I love it (although, personally I'm a tigger fan :)) you must ahve been so proud, and yes, a little sad to ahve to cut into it - but it was enjoyed by many and will live on forever as the best first birthday cake around!

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  36. clever! Thanks for showing us steps on how you carve the cake.

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  37. I cannot thank you enough for showing how you made and carved this cake. I can now make a Pooh cake for my soon-to-be three year old daughter!

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