Scenario: Wife is going to my sisters Hen weekend in Portsmouth (it was Portsmouth wasn’t it?). She wants to take a surprise Hen Cake and she wants me to make it.
Now for a time-poor, busy, go-getting individual like myself (mmm…) I needed a solution to this culinary problem that was a) foolproof (I was only going to get one shot at not cocking this one up) and b) quick (I naturally left it to the last minute, the night before).
So what to do? I hit Google, and typed in ‘Hen Party cakes’. It wasn’t very useful. Pictures of cakes shaped like boobs and cakes shaped like willies filled the screen. Well I wasn’t going to create an X rated cake for my sister.
But a ‘Learner’ shaped cake appeared. You know like the ‘L’ plates you have to put on your car while you learn to drive. Nice and easy.
But back to that time thing. I wasn’t in a position to make my own sponges, buttercream or fondant icing. I mean I’m time-poor, remember? So I cheated. Cheated my arse off. I was one step away from buying the thing ready-made from the local Waitrose.
So really this is a post about how to construct a cake, rather than how to make it. And no one will ever know. Unless of course you post about it on WordPress, in which case everyone will know.
For your ‘L’ Plate Hen Party Cake you will need:
- 3 Madeira sponge cakes
- 1 tub of vanilla buttercream icing
- 2 large packs white fondant icing
- 3 small packs red fondant icing
- edible decorations
- Pouch of white icing to write words with
Other essential items:
- a square silver board to put the cake on
- an icing smoother – VERY essential
- a silicon baking sheet, to roll the icing out on
It took me about an hour to do this. With wine.
First get the white icing, knead it a bit to soften it up and roll it out on the silicon sheet (which you have taped to the work top). Use a bit of icing sugar to stop the pin sticking to the icing. Roll it out as square as you can:
Once it’s big enough to cover the board, roll the icing around the pin and lay it over the board. Trim the edges and smooth with the amazing icing smoother:
Now for the cake. Get a baking tray (with no edges). Slice the ends off the cakes and lay them out in an ‘L’ shape, close to one edge of the tray:
I should have trimmed the tops off too, but we live and learn. Now spread the cake with icing. The problem with shop bought cake is it’s a bit dry and crumbles, but you work with what you’ve got:
Fill in the cracks with icing and smooth the surfaces.
Roll out the red icing:
Again, roll it onto the pin and then layer over the cake. Don’t screw it up!
Using your fingers, the icing smoother and any other implements you fancy, form the icing over and around the cake to create your ‘L’:
Trim the edges. Now the hard bit. Slide the cake onto the white icing base. You only get one chance to do this. Wine helps. Helps the cook, not the cake:
Put some thin strips of red icing around the base to tidy things up a bit. Now decorate. I got a bit slap-dash with the icing writing. I put that down to wine-related ‘tiredness’:
So there you go. A nice sensible Hen Party Learner Cake. Or so I thought. The cake duly made its way down to the Hen Party and my sister did the honours and cut it up for her friends:
I’ll leave you to decide whether the initial incisions made were an innocent coincidence or a deliberate attempt to turn my harmless ‘L’ cake into a big red dick!