I may or may not have given myself one evening, last night to make, fill and decorate a cake. I keep telling myself my back just won’t let me get away with it anymore but… well, oops. Its my friend Brett’s birthday today. He is one of my best friends which normally means I have hundreds of ideas for a cake knowing what he likes so well, unfortunately, that was the problem. He likes everything, well golf, snooker, fishing, fashion, cars, bikes, gym… He has more hobbies than I’ve had hot dinners this year and this summer has been COLD. When I asked him if he had any requests or what flavour/filling/design etc he came back with ‘I like buttercream’. I was determined to make an all buttercream cake instead of fondant but never having done this before especially in a decorative sense, I tried to think of something relatively simple so I wouldn’t cock it up. Anyway, 2 weeks of ‘I’ve decided’, then didn’t like, then ‘maybe I could do’, right up until yesterday and had to decided on something. I decided on Zippy. You see he sounds like Zippy, it’s not a cruel joke, he really does, everyone comments on it so what you do you if all your friends and family say you look like a nasal sounding puppet, why you change your Facebook profile pic to Zippy himself. That people is why he is one of my best friends, in fact, my best gay, straight friend which is also a badge he wears with pride (he is straight but my God that boy can shop! Only the greatest of gay men and fashion designers does what he does).
I made the vanilla sponge cake I made for the dog’s cake and decided I had to go all out and try out Swiss Meringue Butter Cream! Brett, your worth 7 eggs and 2 slabs of butter my dear! Looking online I came across a WordPress site that I recognised the name of from CakeCentral and got all starstruck! I have to admit, she had me swooning with her ‘dump it all in’ method so I spent all lunch reading all the comments, almost trying to troubleshoot this miracle of sweetness before I even bought the butter. I can’t say why I was so nervous, things normally tend to go balls up first time I do anything technical but this one was something else. All credit to this lady and this recipe! I salute you. I followed instructions, warmed the eggs and sugar then whisked till cool and stiff peaks which was about fifteen mins for me and my little hand mixer. I chickened out and added the tiniest amount of cream of tartare at the end. I braced myself for another half hour of whisking and dumped all the butter in and started the mixer again. I don’t know so don’t ask but the kitchen elves did something and within (and this is no exaggeration) 15 SECONDS I had wonderful smooth moussey lulliness! I did whisk more thinking it was a false start but no, it was really done! I didn’t have beaters for my whisk so maybe that had something to do with it but UHHHH, that stuff is tasty!
Once I had the cake cooled, trimmed, torted, filled, covered, smoothed and in the fridge, I started on Zippy himself. I had planned to make a buttercream transfer for the cake but figured I’d pushed my luck enough for one night and cut shapes out of rolled out fondant and made a sort of relief picture. That on the top and piped ‘Happy Birthday Zippy’ around the cake and done! Happy Birthday my dear, see you at the pub =]