Saturday, 8 October 2011
Becci's birthday and a pony cake
My friend Becci had a birthday this week and requested a pony cake. She is nuts about horses, is a keen rider and has her own beautiful pony (although the unfortunate fellow does have a girl's name). A standing-up pony was initially requested - a feat I declared out of my scope! Becci persisted, and sent me this link for a pony cake. So, a pony cake it was!
I baked my favourite chocolate cake from Annabel Langbein (see previous post for the recipe) in two round tins. Halfway through making the cakes, I discovered I had run out of flour (and I call myself a baker, tsk tsk!). So, I needed a substitute (it was about 9.00pm, I could not be bothered going out in the dark and cold to get more flour if I could help it). What's the lesson here - always read the recipe through and check you have everything you need before you start! I had wholemeal flour, so decided to give that a go. I think it worked pretty well, the cake had a lot more texture than usual due to the course nature of wholemeal flour, but I think it was slightly more dense than usual, which I liked.
Anyway, the following evening I turned the cakes into a pony using the template above. This is when I discovered my next problem, and decided that I really do need to learn to plan ahead better. I went to put the cut-out shape onto my cake carrier to decorate it, only to discover that it didn't fit! The only thing I could find that it would fit on was my massive roasting tray, and there was no way I was carrying that on the train to work the next morning! The only thing to do was to put the pony on a rapid weight-loss diet.
I trimmed everything up, and made him fit on the carrier. The only downside of this exercise was that I ended up turning the pony into more of a dog. His neck was the main problem - horses have long necks. So, his neck got a reasonably brutal trim, and he lost a bit of his horsey-ness. Not to worry. I iced him with chocolate buttercream and used some black food colouring to create a tail and mane. I think the tail and the mane looked pretty cool, I was really pleased. Pony was supposed to have a blanket. But, I spent such a long time fluffing about with the weight-loss regime, and it got too late to sort out a blanket - it was well past my bed time! I did give him some feet though by mixing some of the darker icing with the lighter to give his feet a bit of a shadow effect.
According to Becci, the cake was yum, so as long as the birthday girl enjoys it, that's the main thing!