Slightly different post this week as I thought I’d give you a peek into my other life of all things cakey!! Back in 2012, after I had left my full-time job I decided that I wanted to DO something other than just be a SAHM, because as you know looking after a baby and a 3 year old leaves you plenty of time on your hands right??!!! I’ve always enjoyed baking and dreamed of my own little cake shop, a pretty little café in Cornwall, all ‘cake domes on the counter, flowers on the table’ and a little sign swinging above the door – I’m thinking blue facade, to match the Cornishware mugs….
Anyway, what with now having two small humans, no income and Cornwall being quite a commute from Bedfordshire, I decided to work with what I’d got and set up my own little home baking business. I attended a brilliant ‘Start-Up’ workshop (to get my head around all the dull legals and numbers) and Googled ‘How to set up a website’. Cue two weeks watching YouTube videos on HTML, trying to figure out how the hell to add tabs, insert images, create dropdown lists etc etc. Finally, on Jan 24th 2013, ‘Martha’s Kitchen’ was officially born. Sorry, I’ve digressed massively, banging on about cake domes when you’ve come here to see how to make a Superhero cake! (If you enjoy looking at cakes you can have a peek at my creations over here ).
SO, on to the cake. TAH-DAH! Perfect for any little (or big) superhero and I’m gonna show you how it’s done!
Anyone can make this I promise you, it doesn’t involve any particularly tricky decorating techniques or require much skill but there is one thing you will need masses of and that’s time. There are a lot of stages but if you plan ahead and break it down as I show below it’s completely do-able . You’ll be Parent of the Year AND get to feel smug about it – WIN!!
I started with the Hulk fist, modelling it from a mixture of Rice Crispies, marshmallows and butter. Melt a standard bag of mallows (minus one or two for QC) on a very low heat, with a knob of butter. Add crispies until there are enough to make a firm but well coated ball when you squash them together. Allow to cool.
Now for the messy bit. The mixture is really sticky , so for this part I wear disposable gloves coated in butter but you could just coat your hands in butter. Squash the crispie mix together and form a fist shape using your own fist as a guide. Allow to set (pop it in the fridge to help it along). Cover in a layer of white fondant, pressing into all the nooks and crannies, to smooth over the bumps a bit. Don’t worry about getting it completely smooth as I’m guessing Hulk’s hand is a bit gnarly anyway. Cover with green fondant and add some details like knuckles and wrinkles using the end of a teaspoon or anything pointy but not sharp enough to cut the fondant. Rub in cocoa powder to highlight the details and make the fist look grubby. That’s it, Hulk hand done.
For the next part I’m going to assume you know how to bake a sponge cake, if not, er, go learn how to bake a sponge and comeback. A Madeira type works well for stacking as it’s firmer so can hold the weight of fondant, decorations etc. (I’ve still used plastic doweling rods in the bottom layer though – it not that firm! You’ll get them online or in any cake decorators shop).
You’ll need 3 sponges: small, medium, large on cake boards and covered in red, blue and grey fondant respectively. I’ve used 6″, 8″, 10″ here but depending on how many you’re planning to feed you can go bigger or smaller. A note on covering cakes in fondant – there is no easy way, sorry, I still hate this part but if you just keep lifting it up round the sides and gently easing it down evenly all the way round, you’ll eventually get a feel for what your doing. Failing that you could always do what my friend does; chop the excess off with scissors and hide the wonky bits at the back. Your cake, your call.
Score the top of the red sponge with a sharp knife (see above) and gently peel back the layer of fondant making enough room to place the Hulk fist, to give the effect of it bursting through the cake. To transform the top tier into a Spidey cake, roll out and cut black fondant strips (pizza cutters are perfect for this) and attach to form a web pattern using a small amount of water. I started with 8 vertical strips spaced equally around the cake then joined them up with a row of slightly curved horizontal strips. Make a simple spider shape and position at the front adding creepy crawly legs.
For the remaining tiers I made a stencil of the Superman and Batman logos and cut around these to create badges from coloured fondant (again, attach with a little water).
Stack your cakes (Tip: coordinating ribbon around each tier makes everything look neater!) Once stacked, roll out some red and black fondant and cut into 2 rectangles, you can judge this by eye as these will be the ‘capes’ at the side so don’t need to be precise. If in doubt, better to cut them too big and trim to size. Attach these to each tier with water leaving a small part of the fondant unattached to give the effect of fabric billowing. I’ve covered a large base in leftover fondant and added the birthday boy’s name (no, it’s not for me!). That’s it, stand back and admire your handy work!! Cool huh?
P.S. I really deliberated whether or not to write this post as I understand that not everyone finds this kind of thing easy. The main thing here is to take your time, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just give it a go -your kid will think you’re awesome!
Just don’t blame me next year when they request a Hogwarts cake. X