Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Les Poissons, Les Poissons, hee-hee-hee, ho-ho-ho!

Disney Classic # 28 - The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid was the first Disney movie I ever saw... it got me hooked! Unfortunately though, I struggled for ideas for a little while. My friend Becky asked me if I would be willing to make a wedding cake for her... so for a short while I decided that what I would do was make a plain sponge cake, ice it in fondant, and then decorate it with fondant sea-creatures, as a sort of practice wedding style cake. (Of course, when it came to the wedding cake, the sea-creatures would be replaced with fondant flowers, or butterflies, or something more weddingy.) Anyways, a couple of weeks before The Little Mermaid, Big Mike asked me what cake I was doing, and I told him. "Oh," he said, "I thought you'd do another jellyfish cake." AH!! How could I be so stupid!!

A little history on the jellyfish cake... my friend Helen LOVES jellyfish. Or rather, anything that lives under the sea. So for her birthday back in February last year I decided to make her a cake in the shape of a jellyfish. I made a stand with iridescent tentacles, covered the cake in iridescent glitter, and the inside... well the inside had to be rainbow cake.

A little more history for you - rainbow cake (cake with a multicoloured sponge) is like my speciality cake. Before starting the Disney nights, I made it all the time and my friends were always like "oh wow that's amazing!! I love it so much!" And I love it so much.. in fact, I'm thinking of having a rainbow wedding cake myself. How could you not love something that looks like this:

But anyways, I'm off topic. Jellyfish cake was such an obvious choice for The Little Mermaid, I was hitting myself for not thinking of it straight away. Big Mike came to the rescue, and jellyfish cake happened yet again.

I didn't think crab cakes would go down so well...

Not really any references for this one; it uses my usual vanilla sponge recipe, and the design came to me in a random stroke of inspiration when walking to Sarah's house one day.

Prep time: 30-40 mins           Cook time: 45mins        Serves: 10

300g margarine
300g caster sugar
300g self raising flour
3 eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
various food colourings
150g unsalted butter
350g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
splash of milk
300g ready to roll white fondant icing
edible glitter (I used white hologram)

You will also need:
A cake board
A tall stand (I used a oil burner stand, but a pint glass would probably work just as well. Anything you can stand the cake on stably)
iridescent gift wrap (I bought mine from Clinton's)

  1. Before starting, make sure that your cake board is the same size that the cake will be. If it's too big, trim it down to size.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, and line a Pyrex (or ovenproof) bowl with foil.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the margarine and sugar until creamy. Sift in roughly 1/3rd of the flour and mix. Add one egg and beat into the mixture. Repeat this process until all of the egg and flour have been incorporated. Add 2tsps vanilla essence.
  4. Divide the cake mixture evenly between 7 bowls. Use the food dye to colour the bowls of cake mixture into different colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink.
  5. Carefully pour the red mixture into the Pyrex bowl, and level the top with the back of a spoon. Next carefully add the orange mixture on top of the red, again smoothing gently with the back of the spoon. Repeat until all the cake mixture has been used.
  6. Bake in the oven for around 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once cooked, remove from oven and leave to cool in the bowl for one hour before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Whilst the cake is cooking, it's time to get crafty and create the tentacles! Cut the iridescent cellophane wrap into strip, and stick these around the edge of the underside of the cake board. When you lay the cake board on the stand, these should be long enough to completely conceal the stand.
  8. Once the cake has cooled, prepare the butter icing. In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add the icing sugar, the vanilla extract and a splash of milk and mix until smooth. Add a little purple food colouring and mix well.
  9. Place the cooled cake onto the prepared cake board, and cover with the purple butter cream.
  10. Dust the work surface with a little icing sugar, and roll out the fondant icing to around 3mm thickness. Place this carefully over the cake and smooth down. Trim the edges a little longer than they need to be, then pinch, crumple and push up the edges to make the bottom of the cake look wobbly/jelllyfishlike. (That is a terrible description - but if you look at the pictures you'll see what I mean.)
  11. Make a little syrupy-icing mix, using 1 tsp icing sugar and 3tsps water. Use a pastry brush to brush the syrup all over the cake. Dip the pastry brush in the edible glitter and the dab this onto the cake, all over.
  12. Place the cake on the stand, and there you have your very own jellyfish! Cut into slices, ogle for a bit and then enjoy!

Next time we're watching The Rescuers Down Under, and I'll be honouring the classy heroine Bianca by attempting a traditional Hungarian Dobos Torte (or Dobosh Torta).

Happy Thoughts

No comments:

Post a Comment