Birthday Cake

The cooked layers cooling.
Glazing in progress.
Pro-tip: Put a ring of buttercream icing around the filling to keep it from squashing out. Thank you Sarita, no leaks at all!
It’s amazing how good a glaze makes things look. It’s just strained and heated apricot jam. In retrospect, I wish I had stopped at this point!
Now I know how I should have trimmed the cake.
This is the assembled cake with the top trimmed. I should have glazed it after trimming but I didn’t realize how much of a dip I had.
Hot syrup (238°F). I was checking the temperature every five minutes. When this stuff gets to 105°F you have to stir the hell out of it.

This fondant recipe says to rest the new fondant wrapped in a damp towel for on hour. I was surprised that the lumps I had tried so hard to mash dissolved in that time. Notice the mess in the tray. It’s amazing how it changes while being stirred.

Fondant flowers before being put on the cake.
I’m rather proud of this. It’s a blob of fondant.
So hard to get it smooth!
Hum… This would have been easier if: 1. it was a smaller cake, 2. the amount of hot fondant was twice what I had on hand, 3. the fondant was a little hotter, 4. the cake had a more even shape on the sides. I tried putting the entire cake back in the oven at 150° F but it didn’t seem to melt. I decided not to push my luck. I was worried that it might burn or lose its gloss.
Three dancing flowers, made in fondant. I started by rolling it between parchment paper then cutting off shapes.
I do all this planning but forget the candles! Josh thought of using regular candles instead – You know I like this better, it doesn’t poke holes in your hard work!
I was very happy that the fondant was not so hard. I made a cake for Inky once with fondant splashed across it Jackson Pollack style. It turned so hard there was no hope of cutting it with a knife.
The slice shows the problems – too much lemon curd and not enough cake.

The outcome
The flavor was good but far too intense – both too sweet and too sour. If I were going to do it again I would probably use more lemon rine in the cake, leave out the lemon curd all together and have no icing other than the glaze. But that might be too plain. A dessert, especially a celebratory one, should look flamboyant. You should be inspired to say, look what I’ve got. Maybe I could decorate the top with glazed fruit. I tried that once before with horrifying results:

I should have brushed the berries with hot strawberry preserves – or dunked them before putting them on the cake.


Man… the problem is, once you know where you went wrong you want to try it again!