Guess what guys, MORE CAKE! Jon’s youngest daughter’s birthday is also this month and while ’18′ was all he gave me for ideas for Lauren’s Cake, with Chloe’s he asked for a Vampire Diaries theme, definitely Vampire Diaries. This one was quite exciting actually because I actually have a theme to work with and I do love dark, supernatural, gothic, macabre things. Ok that makes me sound weird but look, I grew up watching Buffy. This cake is bigger as well, Chloe is having a party thing with some of her friends so I get to do a bigger cake which is as good a reason as any to use my 9″ PME cake tin ah, simple things… With the vampire theme, I knew this has to be red velvet cake, is there any other colour cake more apt? So the cake was sorted before having to think about it. In honour of the current salted caramel trend, this cake seemed the perfect excuse to break out that salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream I have been dying to try.
Last weekend, up until Tuesday I was officially home alone. Mr was in Ireland visiting family and due to not being able to take those specific days off work and my MOT on my rather old car due (….dread….) along with lover boy’s birthday next month, I stayed at home. Seeing as I’d never seen Vampire Diaries and I had some solo TV time, I figured that it was the best time I had for a little reasearch so I found the first episode and stuck it on Friday night. Let’s cut this long story short shall we, I’ve just finished watching series 2, that’s a full 44 episodes in a week and it’s not bad actually. While Vampire Diaries is chick flick, overemotional vamps pining over teenagers that they should be arrested for looking at (160 whatever years old?!?! am I the only one who finds that weird?), I have to say I’ve been sucked in but that may have something to do with the music. Placebo, White lies AND 3Oh!3 in the first two episodes? I’m in. Anyway, I also had some time Monday to get a head start on the design and fondant decorations.
After googling some images of Vampire Diaries themed cakes/posters/DVD covers etc, I decided to have a few things on top a dark cake. On the top would be a diary (see what I did there), a crow which is a recurring thing in the first series, a key which kept coming up on my search though I think that it’s from the book, a dark red/black rose (I can do roses…) and some candles because everyone knows you can’t have dark and gothicy without candles right? Around the sides I wanted black tree silhouettes so against the grey of the cake, it looks like a forest at night. Wow, vampires and the woods at night, I wonder if anyone else has though about combining the two? I made some rice krispy/marshmallow treats and set half in a plastic takeaway tub lined with tin foil and half in a foil lined tall thin glass. After they had set and been trimmed to the shape and size I wanted (the tall cylinder cut in half for 2 candles) I coloured and covered the block with fondant to form the diary. I put a tealight candle on each of the cylinder blocks and made up the size difference by wrapping fondant around the candle until it was the width of the krispy block then wrapped the whole thing in fondant. I left the metal tealight case in but took the candle out so I could push the fondant down inside it so when I put the candle back in, there were no gaps between the wax and the fondant covering the block. I shaped a key and painted it silver with some lustre dust mixed with a drop of water and made a dark red rose which I painted with black lustre dust. The stem was a flower wire with green fondant wrapped around and fondant leaves attached. With some ready coloured black fondant, I attempted a bird shape for the crow and with the extra, cut out a black heart shape, cut it in half and drew faint lines in for the wings and attached (just with a little water) to the birds back. All of this was store bought fondant, the fondant covering the cake was MMF but I hadn’t made the fondant then and it was for the decorations that need time to harden plus I was already at Sainsbury’s.
Tuesday night I made a big batch of MMF coloured bluey grey but colouring the melted marshmallows before mixing in the icing sugar. Wednesday night was bake night. I made 3 9″ red velvet cakes, same recipe as Lauren’s cake just with the red dye this time which worked out at half the recipe from Divas can cook for each cake. I made Nigella’s salted caramel sauce and stupidly doubled the recipe, seriously who ever needs to double a Nigella recipe? 2 jars of sauce later i realised that the sea salt was too big despite me crushing it down and most settled at the bottom of the jars which honestly was ok because I don’t think many 15 year old’s like overly salty/sweet anything unless its Maccy D’s chips dipped in milkshake but that might just be me, though I doubt it. One batch of swiss meringue buttercream made with brown sugar and mixed with the then cooled caramel sauce mixed in to taste (I only used about one jar), I leveled, iced and crumb coated the cake and stuck it in the fridge overnight.
Last night I rolled out the MMF and after a fair few attempts, I covered the cake with it. I neeeeeeed to get one of those rolly outy mat things, I promise I will swear less in the process if I do. I mixed up some black paint from the lustre dust and painted trees around the side of the cake and finished with painstakingly painting on the vampire diaries logo. The decorations got placed on top and voila, done. Today however I noticed that there is a slight bulge at the back of the cake (pheeeeeeeeeeew… back of the cake) but I’m not happy. Thinking about it now, next time I do a large cake like that, not only am I going to leave the fondant a day before painting or anything, especially on very soft MMF, I’ll fill the cake and crumb coat it in chocolate ganache for a bit of added support. I have visions of the damned thing exploding in Jon’s car or over party guests… shudder. Anyway, I know better for next time and whether it get used at the party or not, Happy Birthday Chloe, I really hope it doesn’t explode on you!