I finally went to bed around 03:00 (am), very tired. Next day my partner took care of the kids while I continued with the cake, started around 11:00ish I think. We had asked people to come around 15:00, as that is usually the time my son wakes up from his afternoon nap. So about 4 hrs to go. What do you mean, bad planning?
I made the bananabuttercream, checking internet/the recipe every 5 minutes. I know, it doesn’t change in the meantime, but my pc is not in the kitchen and I wanted to make sure all went according to the recipe.
IAnyway, I happily started making the banana filling. While mixing the bananas, I discovered I had no gelatine sheets. I somehow though I had those still, that I had once bought them but never used them. As I couldn’t leave the mashed bananas like this if i didn’t want them brown, I added the juice of half a lemon now allreadiy instead of later, according to the recipe. Then hop on my bike and race to the store. I picked up a few more decorating items and rushed back home. Time for lunch, but I wanted this done so it could sit in the fridge and stiffen up.
Half an hour later, at lunch. I’m going over the cake in my head, and checking the computer for the next step. The window with the recipe of the banana was still open, and I looked at it briefly, and then again: woops! I had forgotten to add the cream to the banana/gelatine mix! So I went back to the kitchen to mix the cream, and add some of it through the bananamixture. It was allready stiffening, but hey, just mix firmly. I didn’t add all the cream like the recipy suggested, I added about a fourth of it, as I had plenty of filling anyway and I preferred more banana over cream. Filling went back in the fridge and I went back to lunch.
Then I covered the cake in bananabuttercream, and added the filling. I had cut off the top (now bottom) of the cake to make it flat, but it was quite a bit as it was domeshaped. I cut a circle out of it, the size of the smallest circle to make my cake a bit higher. So I added that, buttered it, and then it was time for the next step. Note: To get a smooth cake it is adviced to put the cake in the fridge after buttering it. Let the butter stiffen a bit, and then it’s easier to make it smooth. I didn’t have time for that, and I thought: No matter how hideous it looks, my son will love it :).
I walk to (and from) the kitchen (checking recipe and such) and see the mail down below. (We have an appartment with the frontdoor being down the stairs). I see a big envelop. My partner thinks it’s commercials, but I think I recognize the logo. It’s the print I ordered! Yay! Great timing!
Not so great is the state it is in. I had asked the sender to write on the envelop that it shouldn’t be folded as our mailman tends to do that. We still have an old small mailbox in the front door. We want to replace it, but it’s a lot of work and we have never found the time to do so. On the envelop is a huge stamp that says: Fragile! Do not fold! We were at home so the mailman could have rang the door. But no. Mr or Mrs mailman apparantly can’t read big red stamps and folded it anyway.I’m a bit anxious when I open it: will the print still be ok? Luckily it was! So yay, just in time and no damage!
So on to the dining table to roll out the fondant. This is quite fun, easy. It doesn’t stick that much! (Yeah I used too much casting sugar). Rolling… rolling…. rolling on a taaaableee…
And put it on the cake. Oooh a nice piece of fondant that is, it looks great like this! So thin, fragile… I don’t like thick layers of fondant, I don’t like it if it’s very sweet in one bite. Time to press it on the cake!
Push it down. Make it smooth. Hmm. How do you do that? Can you just make it melt together by wetting it a bit, like with dough for croissants or by swiping across it like playdough? Hmm. That doesn’t seem to work. Oh well, times ticking, I’ll cover it up. Note: I still haven’t searched for a way to make it “melt” back together without kneading it again, but I do know that you can prevent wrinkles by smoothing it down differently. Start at the top, go outwards from the center. Then, start at one place to smooth it down. Lift the fondant next to that place up a bit again and smooth it down again so you’ll have no wrinkles. And so forth. I don’t know what will happen if you reach the end of the circle, if you have lots of fondant left (that will form a huge wrinkle). I’ll need to read up on that a bit more.
Next, cutting out the print. I didn’t exactly cut very .. eh.. exact. I’m great in thinking: “I’ll cover that up later”. So I thought that again this time. I had first thought to cut the circle a bit bigger and then see if I could fold the print down, but the type of material I had is like edible paper and can’t be folded. Hmm geez, I feel a bit stupid now, writing this… a huge DUH moment now… only now the realization, that if the mailman isn’t allowed to fold it or else it will be damaged, I can’t fold it either without damaging it!
Anyway, seeying as that wouldn’t work I cut out a smaller circle, close to the yellow so it would blend into the cake a bit more. I got an idea for the leftover circle: Use it on the circle below it!
Time was pressing. I had some cream left from the bananafilling, albeit a bit over-whipped. But it was usefull for making the confetti stick. Somewhat. It didn’t stick that well actually. Or did I use buttercream for it? I can’t remember. After the confetti layer (the bottom one) I added the punched out animals. The cake didn’t look finished then. The layer of green stood out, and I still had to use the fruit.
So a ring of whipped cream on the bottom layer and middle layer to put the fruit on. And some whipped cream on the top to cover the edge of the print.
IT was about 14:45, and I started on the stars which I had punched earlier. It was fun punching those out. Around 14:50 I was almost done, the doorbell rang, the first visitors had arrived. Quickly adding the last stars. The doorbell rang again, about 3 minutes later. The second visitors had arrived. I started cleaning up a bit. 2 minutes later, the last visitors arrived. I was almost done cleaning up.
15:00, I could say I was done and had cleaned up. Now, if that isn’t a tight schedule! Exactly on time!
We sat the visitors down, offered tea and coffee, and as my son usually wakes up around this time I decided to wait with the other cakes (kersenvlaai and appelkruimelvlaai) untill he was awake. But he slept. And slept. Around 15:45 I opened the door of his room, hoping the sounds of visitors would wake him up. 5 minutes later I go in and stroke him on the back, noticing he is slightly waking up. I leave again, wanting him to wake up relaxed and not startled. 5 minutes later he’s awake, and I go get him. He needs to wake up a bit more, is a bit overwhelmed by the people in the living room. Finally he was completely awake and used to the people, and we could get the cake. He loved it, kept poking in it at first and making me lick off the cream. I quickly took off the candlecars though, as I suspected he would try to eat them. Can’t blame him, how can you tell the difference between edible and non edible on such a colourfull cake?
The cake was delicious, albeit a bit small. Only had a small bit left for the visitors for sunday. I didn’t really think about the amount of people that needed to eat from it, I just wanted to make a cake for my son. I wished I had two of these, as I would have loved to eat lots of it! Sweet but not too sweet, with fruit in and on it. I even liked the bananabuttercream!
And my son? He loved it. The elephands, giraffes, trains, Mater (Takel)(“Takel”), Lightning Mc Queen (Bliksem McQueen) (“auto!”) and Wilson from Chuggington “Trein”! He ate most of his cake, (his dad the rest), and the next day I ate most of his cake. So there it is, my cake, not perfect for professionals, but perfect for my son!