October 31, 2003

Neil Asleep In A Chair

This cake is a prime example of the lateral thinking sometimes needed when deciding what to make for someone. My mate Neil is into mountain-biking, walking, dancing to Ricky Martin ;-) and has been quite the market-gardener this year, but none of that lent itself to expression in cake. Neil also has a talent for falling asleep at the end of parties, with his beer still in hand, yet never spills a drop - thankfully Lynne realised that this was a suitably cake-worthy subject, and so I could get on with the task of expressing the idea in sponge.

First off, you need to bake the cake. Had I been able to find my loaf-tin, I think it would've made a better basis for the chair, but I couldn't, and so settled on my 10" square cake tin. See here for the basic sponge recipe. Once baked you should have something similar to this.

Next you must cut the cake. There are four pieces to make up the chair: base, back, and two arms. In the picture, I haven't yet separated the arms, but they will come from the long thin piece. The larger of the other two pieces will form the back.

With the cake cut, it makes sense to do a dry-run assembly, to make sure it all fits together okay, while it's still easy enough to make adjustments.

Now you can mix a load of buttercream (I haven't got a recipe for that I'm afraid, I just throw butter, a little milk, and lots of icing sugar into a mixer until I get something of the right consistency. Usually I end up with far too much because I get the consistency wrong to begin with!) and use that to cement the pieces of cake together, and upholster the chair.

Finally, you need to create the marzipan "Neil" to sit on the chair. Break the marzipan into rough proportions ready for colouring: a small amount for the beer can, a bit more for his shoes, more again for his head and hands, and the remainder roughly into two halves, one for his legs and the other for his torso and arms. Once the marzipan is coloured, it's then a case of moulding it to the relevant shapes, and assembling into a person shape. Easier said than done, I know, maybe next time I make a figure I'll take pictures and describe it better. Fine details, like facial features, hair, lettering on the beer can, etc. are best applied in food colouring with a fine paintbrush.

All that remains is to present, and assist in the consumption of, the finished cake.

Posted by Adrian at October 31, 2003 03:56 PM | TrackBack

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