December 28, 2007

Ben's A King of the Castle

I don't expect Ben to point his little finger on this castle featured on The Australian Women's Weekly Kids' Party Cakes (if you have this blue book-as there are two editions on the same title-, turn to page 38, you'll see the original idea of this castle). I thought he will choose something like a cake which resembles his-becoming-age-shape, or a train, but it is more complicated than that. He surely has his own preference, I suppose.

I wanted to start baking soon after Christmas, but I wasn't feeling well as my gums were swollen and I had had a fever. I could even hardly eat, so the plan was then put on hold until Thursday morning. I baked the whole morning and only stopped for lunch and for picking some plums we've harvested earlier in Summer. For the towers, I need 5 different sizes of Swiss rolls, one 26cm square chocolate buttercake, and one 30cm rectangle basic buttercake for the base of the castle. And I used 1kg buttercream for the whole lot.

I was planning to make little fairies with sugarpaste but I didn't really have much time to play around. Ben doesn't mind me omitting the fairies. He wanted to put his helicopter on the cake, though, which the space is not big enough to land on. So, we sprinkled some sweets instead. The pink roofs in the centre tower and one on the left far side is white chocolate tinted with port wine colour (I use gel food colouring) and cut squares when it was set. Each tower has a candle and there are 5 candles altogether for Ben's going to be 5 this weekend.

the gate is broken and the leaning towers need to be straightened with the help of skewers

I had troubles with putting the Swiss rolls and rollettes on the cake straight and upright. They tend to lean on the right side. I had put some skewers to give them a steady construction, but when I had painted them with buttercream, they tended to lean more to the right. I thought of the Pisa tower, but that will be ridiculous, because the Swiss rolls can be broken into halves. I had to move the table close to a wall, then use a skewer to push the tower to the opposite direction. The skewers were hold against the walls which give the steady strength for the towers. I left them dry.

It is certainly not easy when I think of it again that I haven't made such a castle before, and yet I have to give my words to make whatever birthday cake my boy wants. So there he goes. He gets his castle and I have to do some cleaning up now.

This is my last cake of the year, quite frankly. I am sending this to you, my all readers, and thank you for being with me since I wrote my first post and thank you for being my friends throughout the year; I do appreciate your kind attention and supportive comments. I hope I can do much better next year to visit more of your blogs out there and be acquantainced with your wonderful and informative blogs as well as get to know beautiful personals worldwide.

To my special fellow Kiwi bloggers:

(Barbara, I will miss you and surely will see you next time we visit down under, good luck in Queensland; Bron, hope you'll be back more on blogging next year, would love to enjoy your photos again; Emma, hope I can be much better on visiting your blog next year—feeling guilty already; Nigel, you're still the one I am looking forward to writing on Maori cultures and I am hoping I can experience hangi next year!; Gilli, hopefully we can find good time to get together next year and finger crossed, the weather will much be improved, would love to have you visit our farm).

Happy New Year!


Kalyn said...

Wow, that is an amazing cake, and your kids are just too cute!

ThreeTastes said...

Fabulous cake! Lucky Ben — happy birthday to him on his big day.

Bron said...

Awesome job Arfi, well done!!
I have the book so I know exactly which cake and yours looks super!!
Hope Ben had a wonderful day, he's a very lucky boy to have such a talented mum!!
take care
xxx Bron

Arfi Binsted said...

Kalyn: thank you!

Three Tastes: Oh surely he was having a great time. A cake and all of those presents and food. He slept contentedly afterwards, right through the night. Thank you for dropping by.

Bron: Hi there! I was not really satisfied but I've made it that far, so I think well, I should not be hard on myself. Yeah, Ben enjoyed it and everyone was enjoying the dinner. It was just a big day for him and for all of us. Thanks, Bron!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

That is an amazing cake! What a lucky boy to have such a loving, talented, and wonderful mother. Happy birthday to him!

eliza said...

happy new year Fi!

Barbara said...

Happy New Year Arfi and belated birthday greetings to Ben. Perhaps you will visit Australia and we can get together. Hugs from me.