Saturday, July 5, 2008
here's the cake i made for eva's third birthday. she loves her earth ball (an inflatable globe ball) and likes to talk about where different places are on the map -- where we live, places she's traveled, where family members live or have traveled. so, why not make an "earth ball cake"? sure it's round and complicated, and sure i just had a baby, but why not? :) luckily my sisters are visiting, so i had both hands free for long enough stretches to enable me to make this. hurray for sisters!
it's hummingbird cake (pineapple/banana/pecan) with cream cheese icing, and each half of the earth is composed of two 8" cakes (torted into four layers) plus half a torted 6" cake on top. then, the whole thing is carved into shape (i could have bought a special pan, but this worked fine). i covered each half in fondant, inverted one, and stuck them together. (structural notes: there are dowels supporting the bottom tier (hemisphere?) of the cake, and i put hot glue between the two pieces of cardboard to help hold the two tiers together.) the fondant on the bottom half threatened to fall off -- and in the heat at the park, it did start to slip -- but i added a band of fondant around the center to bind the two halves together.
the continents are piped on in royal icing, which i did by looking at a map and using latitude and longitude lines as a guide. i got a bit impatient around 1 a.m., so the filling in of the land masses got a bit sloppy at the end. good enough! (i'm learning the beauty of that phrase.) the topper -- a girl holding a toy airplane -- is made of fondant, with a piece of wire in there to support the arms. it's eva-like, but as she'll tell you, her hair is a little bit lighter... the flags are to denote places of interest, places we've found on the map time and time again. ("mama, show me seattle again. remember when we saw the face needle?" she's still working on pronouncing that "sp" consonant blend :)
the location of the party moved at the last minute from our back yard to a park 20 minutes away... so the cake suddenly had to survive an unplanned transport and *then* had to endure the texas summer heat. i'm surprised that it did all of that without a hitch. (we rigged up a clever support system in a cooler.) it didn't come out exactly the way i envisioned it, but i'm quite happy with it. and it was really tasty, too.