It is a truth universally acknowledged…

…that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” -Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.

This cake was commissioned for a Jane Austen lover, and what better than an open book cake, with one of Jane Austen’s most famous quote along its’ open pages? That is what I dreamed up for this cake.

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Shaping the cake was quite difficult actually. I have yet to find a good chocolate cake recipe that doesn’t fall apart on me the moment I shape it. With a lot of icing and struggles later, I finally was able to cover it with homemade marshmallow fondant.

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I let it rest like this overnight, and then encountered a new problem. Cutting marshmallow fondant in a straight line is EXTREMELY difficult. Because the nature of marshmallow is to be quite elastic, such was the fondant, and cutting it was a nightmare. I finally rolled it out and stuck it in the freezer for 15 minutes, then used a sharp knife dipped in boiling water to help with the cutting process. It (sort of) worked, and I was able to shape the book cover (purple) and bookmark.

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I then cut faint lines into the fondant on the sides of the book, to simulate pages. In order to show these up, I mixed a very light brown food coloring and vodka mixture and painted it on.

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Mixing colors into marshmallow fondant is also very tricky, and I eventually had to resort to painting certain sections over in order to get better vibrancy.

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Finally, I was ready to do my writing. A few years back, I came across a set of edible ink felt-tipped markers. They were an absolute life-saver, as I used these to write the words, rather than paint them on with a brush.

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I confess, I did have to look up the quote to make sure I had it right. I was terrified as I was writing that I would mess up, skip a letter, skip a word or something! But, luckily, I didn’t. I still need to work on writing straight though ^_^

Thanks for reading!

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Happy Friday Rainbows!

Hi everyone!

At the school I work at, we like to celebrate birthdays. So much that we have a volunteer teacher in charge of organizing something called Birthday Break once a month, to celebrate that months’ staff birthdays. It takes place during the morning break time, and about seven to ten staff members are asked to bring in a savoury or sweet treat to share (obviously, these are not the same staff members whose birthdays we are celebrating – that would just be mean).

A few weeks back, I came across a photo of a great rainbow cake, and I’ve been dying to try it out. I opted to not put the candy filling in, because it would have been too messy to cut otherwise. So when I saw I was on September’s list of preparers for Birthday Break, I decided that the cheeriest cake to make would be this one.

I started by making a batch of my favourite vanilla cake (The Hurry Up Cake) and a half-batch of classic vanilla buttercream frosting.

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I then cut each one in half, and stacked them. When I tried to stand them on the flat end of the semi-circle, I ran into a problem – the two outer layers were falling off! The icing was too soft to keep them together, so I stuck the whole cake in the freezer for about five minutes, to solidify the icing.

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I was then able to set it on it’s side and cover it in the remaining icing. Satisfied with the crumb-coat and shape, I decided I had time for one attempt at making my own marshmallow fondant again. I had found a different recipe online that seemed promising and not too complicated. My dad was bringing me store-bought fondant the next day anyway, just in case this ended up not working.

So I made the fondant, and coloured it pale blue for the sky:

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This fondant was really easy to work with, elastic but didn’t tear, and comfortable. I think I will be using this recipe in the future (I just need to get lots of mini-marshmallows!) I prefer marshmallow fondant to store-bought mostly for the taste. Store-bought has a kind of “fake” sugary taste, whereas marshmallow fondant has more flavour.

After covering the cake, I sat and made six smaller balls of coloured fondant: pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The pink was meant to be red, but after adding alarming levels of red gel colouring and the fondant only getting a brighter pink, I decided to leave it at that. Besides, real rainbows in the sky don’t have a vibrant red, they’re more pinkish.

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I rolled the fondant into long snakes, and applied them using my recently-bought edible glue. It works really well, much better than water would. After getting all parts of the rainbow on, I made some clouds out of white fondant both to hide the messy edges of the cake and the rainbow, as well as to tie it all together.

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Then my wildly overactive mind suggested I make rainbow cupcakes as well, because there are a lot of people on the staff, and maybe the cake won’t be enough for everyone. I used the same recipe for the cupcakes, but my original idea has been to use that ‘rainbow’ stripy candy instead of making the rainbow out of fondant. This would have been great had I actually been able to find that candy. So the cupcakes ended up being miniature versions of the cake.

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It was a lot of fun making these, and I was really pleased with how the cake and the cupcakes turned out.

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The only slight problem with the cake was that it was dryer and more crumbly than usual. I think this was because of it’s five minute stint in the freezer, so I will need to look into preserving moistness if I know a cake will need to be flash-frozen to solidify the icing. Other than that, it was very good, and there was no cake left at the end of the Birthday Break. I had also decided to keep the cupcakes in reserve for anyone who didn’t get a slice of the cake. When I brought the cake into the staff room, there was just no room for both, and it would have looked like I’d tried too hard. But hey, more cupcakes for us!

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Thank you for reading 🙂