This week's WoW Crafting Challenge, like my last one, is more focused on current events within our own world. Last week I made the Hallow's End sweets, and despite having started about a week before the post went live, it ended up going up a day late as I finished one piece very last minute after a few failures.
This week, given that Hallow's End and Halloween have now passed, I focused on Blizzcon. I am not going, due to money and my duties as a carer, but I did buy myself the virtual ticket as soon as it was available. This is the first time I've had any exposure to the convention so I'm quite excited, but I'm also relatively certain that I won't watch the majority of it. I really just want to watch the expansion reveal, the talent show, and the costumes, but I have to watch a few panels to get my money's worth.
So, for my Blizzcon focus, I decided to make a cake to celebrate the convention. Also, cakes are easy, and I wanted something easier after the hell I went through with the last project.
I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Don't get me wrong, it could have gone better; the fondant broke up here and there, but that did turn out to be a blessing in disguise, because trying to move the entire piece of hand cut fondant would have been a real nuisance, and when it broke into pieces it became more of a jigsaw and allowed me to place it easier.
I admittedly cheated with the cake. I always do these days. I do know how to make a cake from scratch, it's hardly difficult, but what I struggle with is actually cooking it. I've played about with the oven temperature but no matter what I do I just can't get it to cook properly. I burn the edges and the middle doesn't cook, even if the temp is high, low, or in the middle. And if, by chance, it does cook, it won't leave the bloody tin! However, I tried a box mix once, Betty Crocker's Devil Food cake, and it worked a charm. I've used it about 5 more times since and it's been a success every time. For this cake I used another Betty Crocker mix, just a standard vanilla sponge cake so I could color it, and like the others, it worked just fine.
The cake is vanilla, but coloured with ocean blue lustre dust. It took the entire little pot of colour to colour both box mixes (two were used because of the shape and size of the pan I was using), and it took an entire pot of ice blue lustre dust to colour the vanilla buttercream. I made that much myself, at least.
It's got a layer of white buttercream inside, (which looks fake while I look at that picture! I suppose my camera is still on the blink) and is covered in blue buttercream frosting, and the 'Blizzcon' logo was cut from fondant. It was actually a lot of trouble. I made myself a birthday cake last year with a dinosaur fossil on it. I made the dinosaur from royal icing, which I piped onto parchment over the top of a printout, which I basically traced with the icing. I didn't think this through completely because I thought this cake would be the same, but I forgot that, with the dinosaur, I was putting icing on rather than taking it off, so that wasn't going to work. So I had to cut out the template and cut around it. Then I realised there was no way I could roll the icing flat with a perfectly level surface, so I decided I'd have to cut it backwards. So then I had to cover the template in clingfilm to keep the ink (it was dry but you can never be too sure) from getting onto the fondant, which I had to cut perfectly to shape. Once I'd done all that, which took a damn long time (if I'd have thought it through more I could have printed it backwards instead) I was finally able to start cutting. I used a sharp knife and started around the outside. Doing it backwards was complicated, but I managed well enough. I put it in the oven to dry it off (it can take a day or so to harden otherwise, so I preheated the oven, let it heat up, turned it off and let the dry heat remove the moisture from the fondant) and then peeled the backing off, and I was left with a smooth, level surface. I made the cake then, let it cool, iced it and then arranged the logo on top.
It's a really simple looking cake, I know, but it tastes good, and has everything you need except perhaps a Blizzcon murloc. I really wish I'd thought of that sooner. Though, making a murloc out of fondant wouldn't be easy. Fondant's stickier than clay. I'm quite happy with the outcome to be honest. It could be better, it could be worse, but it ticks cake decorating off of the list!