Sunday, 22 January 2012

And We All Lived Happily...

Disney Classic # 50 - Tangled

This post has been a long time coming, I know. The final Disney Night was actually held at the end of July 2011, but unfortunately shortly after that a very close family member became seriously ill and subsequently passed away at the end of August, so I never got round to finishing this post, or publishing it. However, I'm not one to leave things unfinished, so here's the post - better late than never!

With Tangled being the 50th and final Disney Classic (to date) I wanted to make something a bit special. Not only would it be our last Disney Movie Night, but it would mark the end of 16 months of hard work. 50(ish) cakes for 50 films is a huge achievement, so I wanted to make this one the best. This would be what Cinderella's Castle Cake should have been - a yumtastic WOW didyoureallymakethat?? type cake. So I decided on Rapunzel's Tower. ^_^ (and we had a fancy-dress BBQ and let off sky lanterns and everything!! Pics below!)

Now, this cake took me the best part of two days and was a lot of work, which makes for an awfully long and possibly confusing post so you'll have to accept my apologies!

The cake took 2 days in total (but I was doing other things too so it's probably could be cut down to 1 day) and created 48 slices.


For the cake:

250g cocoa powder
400g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 heaped tsp baking powder
200ml milk
200ml water
300g butter
500g granulated sugar
4 eggs

For the frosting:

1kg vegetable shortening (Trex)
2kg icing sugar
2-3tbsp milk (as required)
vanilla essence (to taste)
brown, yellow, purple and green food colouring

You will also need a large round cookie cutter, an extra large round cookie cutter (around an inch bigger than the other), a large cake board, 3 smaller cake boards, a 16 inch dowel, plus a number of smaller dowels (the size of these does not matter too much as they will be trimmed to size.)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease 3 square baking tins.
  2. Sift the cocoa powder, flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a bowl and put this to one side. In a separate bowl or jug, mix together the milk and water. In a third (very large) bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, the add the eggs one at a time until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Fold a third of the dry mixture into the batter, followed by half of the wet mixture. Repeat until all of the ingredients are combined (always ending with dry ingredients so as not to over-beat!) 
  4. Share the batter evenly between the three baking tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each layer comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. While the cakes are cooling, trim your cake boards down to size. The large one will be used for the base, so leave that how it is. However, this cake will be made of 4 parts, and three of these will need custom-cut boards under the, so get trimming those boards! You'll need one board to be the size of your smaller cookie cutter, one to be the size of your larger cookie cutter, and the third to be about an inch wider than the larger cookie cutter. Create a hole in the centre of all three boards for the dowel to go through.
  6. Prepare the icing. In a very large bowl (I had to do this in two batches!) mix the shortening, icing sugar, a splash of milk and vanilla extract together until smooth and creamy. Add more milk to soften the mixture if needed, but try not to make it too runny. Colour around 1/4 or the mixture green, 1/8 lilac, 1/8 dark brown and the rest a pale cream/beige colour.
  7. Once the cakes have cooled, cut out your shapes. You'll need 5 of the smaller sized circles and 3 large circles. Do not discard the leftover cake yet, as you'll be using this for the roof!
  8. Note: here's where it might get a bit confusing! start to assemble the cake by creating four "sections" as follows:
    1. Section one - the base of the tower. Place one of the larger circles onto a plate and spread a thin layer of icing on the top. Place 2 of the small circles on top of this (sandwiched with icing), then carve into the larger circle at an angle to give a "trapeze" type shape. (See pics for reference!)
    2. Section two - the tower. Place one of the smaller circles of cake onto the smallest cake board you trimmed down. Spread a thin layer of icing on top of this, then place another small circle on top of this one. Again place a thin layer of icing on top, followed by the final small circle.
    3. Section three - the house. Sandwich the two remaining large circles of cake together with a little frosting, then place onto the middle-sized board you cut earlier.
    4. Section 4 - the roof. After cutting your circles out of the square cake, you should find you have a number of almost triangular shaped pieces remaining. Use these to create the roof on the largest of the boards you cut. (You may have to stick some pieces together with icing to achieve the correct shape.)
  9. Once you have your four sections assemble, give each one a "crumb coat". That is, spread a thin layer of icing over each one to help stick the crumbs to the cake, and to give a smooth surface for your icing. Once you've crumb coated each section, pop it in the fridge for at least an hour to set. Note: sections 1, 2 and 3 will be iced in the cream/beige colour, and section 4 (the roof) will be iced lilac, so it's probably best to use these colours for your crumb coat!
  10. Whilst your crumb coat is setting, you can prepare your serving board by covering it in a layer of green frosting. Press the flat side of a spatula onto the frosting and lift up to create texture.
  11. Once the crumb coats have set, removed the sections from the fridge as you need them for icing and assembly. Start with the base of the tower (section 1) Spread a smooth layer of cream/beige icing on this, then place it onto the prepared cake board. Place your large 16 inch dowel into the middle of this, then add four smaller dowels (around 5mm taller than the cake) around this, as if you were pin pointing N, S, E and W.
  12. Remove the tower (section 2) from the fridge, and again spread a smooth layer of the cream/beige coloured icing around this. Using the hole you create in the middle of the cake board as a guide, ease this onto the large dowel in the centre of the cake. The cake board at the bottom of this section should rest comfortably on the shorter dowels placed in the base. You'll probably have to touch up the icing at this stage (I know mine had a big hand-print in it!) so just run a little more icing over the two section to hide the seam. (I failed at this - you can clearly see on my cake where the joint was!) Again add four dowels that are slightly taller than the cake, although this time try to pin-point NE, NW, SE and SW.
  13. Next work on section 3, the house. Ice this all over with the cream/beige icing, then pipe on some of the wood detail. Like with the last section, use the hole you made in the centre of the cake board to place this cake on top of the other, and over the centre dowel. The board at the bottom will rest against the smaller dowels to prevent the cake collapsing under it's own weight, and the large dowel in the centre will prevent the four sections from slipping off one another. Again you'll need to put 4 small dowels into this section of the cake, this time going back to pin-pointing N, S, E and W.
  14. Finally take out the roof and give this a layer of lilac icing. Like the previous sections, place this cake on top of the other, using the hole in the centre of the board to slot onto the large dowel. You'll probably find that your dowel stick out of the top of the cake a little - this is intentional, just cover it with icing and use this as the point at the top of the tower. (I had to do this as there was no way I could have got my cake that thin without it breaking!) 
  15. Now your cake is fully assembled, go back and pipe the remaining details. I fund that I needed to g over all of my "woodwork" details to make them stand out, and I also piped on the "beams" under the "house" part of the tower. Pipe on green frosting to give the impression of climbing ivy. Et voila - Rapunzel's tower!

So, if I was going to do this again I would probably decorate it with fondant icing, as I'm not very neat with butter cream/frosting. This was actually a sort of trial run for the wedding cake which I was asked to make for a friend, as they wanted one of their towers to be chocolate, and for butter cream frosting. I'd also spend more time on finishing touches, like adding flowers and maybe a little fondant Pascal, but after two days of baking at the same time as making my own version of Belle's ball gown and preparing a BBQ, I was quite happy to leave it as it was. Would I make it again? Definitely. And I'll post the pics here if I do!

Well... If I'm right that makes all 50 films in the Disney Classic collection to date baked! It has been one hell of a journey, and with so many hiccoughs along the way it took almost twice as long as we originally expected it to. But I had a blast, and I think the others did too!

    L-R: Maleficent, Minnie Mouse, Roger Radcliffe, Tom Selleck, Hades and Belle

    Happy Thoughts

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