This fabulous cake was for a friend and colleague of mine who has taught at my school for about as long as I can remember. He taught 3rd grade when I was in 3rd grade (although I wasn’t in his class), and was a dear friend of my mother’s. This year, he retired, and I was overjoyed that his wife asked me to make a cake for his retirement party.
His main interests (apart from teaching) being playing the drums (he’s a musician as well), art, and swimming, we decided to creatively represent all three of these.
I baked a combination of vanilla and chocolate cakes, and to add a bit of excitement, placed a chocolate layer in the vanilla cake. This was the bottom tier, and largest drum.
The second, smaller drum, was entirely chocolate, and the ‘skin’ cover of the drum was blue, to represent a swimming pool.
Making the metal fixings of the drums was tricky, but proved to be quite an important learning step for me. This was the first time I’d done anything like it, and getting to fondant around in one piece was difficult. I had to do it in two pieces for the largest drum, as using one one length kept tearing.
Once I got it stuck on and let it set for a few minutes, I painted over the grey fondant with metallic silver food paint.
I had one thin layer of chocolate cake leftover, and rather than throwing it away (I hate wasting, and I was out of space in my freezer to freeze it), I made a thin tambourine to sit on top. This was a total extra, but I thought it’d be nice to emphasize Robert’s passion for art by also including an artists’ palette; instead of just having drumstick paintbrushes.
This part was a bit last-minute, and not as secure as I would have liked it to be, however the overall effect was striking.
Everything (except dowel rods) is edible in the cake, including the drumstick paintbrushes which are made of fondant.