In my last post I described making cupcakes with white rabbits going down the rabbit hole to wonderland. They were for a Mad Hatters tea party, a charity event in aid of a very poorly little girl called Anya Bentham.
Alice met many amazing creatures there and one of the most iconic is the caterpillar, sat on a mushroom, smoking a hookah and asking “Who are you??”. The mushroom the caterpillar sat on could make Alice bigger or smaller depending on which side she ate, but I’m pretty sure my mushroom shaped chocolate cake would only make you bigger I used a Rich Chocolate Cake recipe but used different tin sizes (see below) and covered it in Vanilla Frosting before adding the fondant. The recipes are in the links above and the method to decorate the cake is below:
For the cake board (technically a cake drum) I kneaded a small amount of green gel colour through some white fondant and rolled it out on a non-stick mat until it was large enough to cover the board. I rolled up the non-stick mat and unrolled it upside down on top of the board which I dampened first with a little water. I used a sharp knife to cut off excess fondant from the edges and secured a ribbon around the edge with pins.
I made 1 8inch cake and two 6 inch cakes. I used a cake leveller to level the tops of the two 6 inch cakes, and placed the removed tops to one side. The two 6 inch cakes were covered in vanilla frosting (on the sides and between the layers) before rolling out white pre-made fondant on a non-stick mat. Once the fondant was large enough to cover the cake I rolled up the non-stick mat and unrolled it upside down on top of the cake. I peeled off the non-stick mat and smoothed the icing against the cake with a cake smoother. To remove the excess fondant from the base of the cake I used a pizza wheel. I placed the cake in the centre of the cake board and used a ribbon secured with double sided photo stickers to make a neat edge at the bottom of the cake.
To make the top of the cake I placed the 8 inch cake on a 7 inch circular board to support it. I then covered it in vanilla frosting and used the tops of the 6 inch cakes levelled in the first stage to make a dome shaped cake. I placed this cake on top of the 6 inch cake tin to raise it off the work surface and then covered it in red fondant made with red gel colour and rolled out in the same manner as the white. The red fondant went right underneath the cake to give a nice edge.
Once I had covered the top of the mushroom I carefully placed it on top of the 6 inch cake covered earlier.
I rolled out some white fondant and cut out circles in 2 sizes. I used edible glue to attach these to the top of the mushroom. I then started working on the caterpillar. The cakes were last minute and I had run out of white floral paste but I did have some black left over from my Lego Superheroes Cake. I mixed the black floral paste with some white fondant and blue gel colour to give a very dark blue. I bent a floral wire into a zigzag shape and made balls of the dark blue paste which I threaded onto the wire and joined with edible glue. I shaped an elongated ball to make the head. After the caterpillar had set I pushed the wire into the cake and used more edible glue to help hold him in place. I used a blue pearlescent food paint to add the lighter colour and a cocktail stick to mark out the detail on his face.
I mixed some water icing, added ivory gel colour and piped it through a small nozzle to add hands and feet. I then painted the feet with gold food paint. The hookah was a straight wire with flattened balls of yellow coloured fondant. I piped a line of yellow water icing to make the nozzle and then painted the whole thing with gold food paint.
Finally I added some extra detail to the board. I used letter cutters to make an eat me label and plunger cutters to make various coloured flowers to which I added sugar pearls or a yellow circle to make the centres. I attached them with edible glue.
This cake was made along with cupcakes for the Anya Bentham Appeal. It’s unusual in that it is a charity with a very specific deadline. While other children were having fun last weekend Anya was undergoing a bone marrow transplant which starts a 3 month countdown until it will be too late for her to receive the cancer treatment she so desperately needs. If you are inspired to make this cake I wonder if you could donate something (anything) towards the appeal? As of today they have raised £193,071 of the £250,000 they need. They have raised an amazing amount but still need that final bit of help to give Anya life saving treatment. Their just giving page is http://www.justgiving.com/appeal4anya or you can text ANYA99 and your amount £1 – £10 to 70070. Thank you.