This week I have been quite busy preparing and decorating a cake for Dad's work. A supervisor was retiring, and Dad commissioned me to make the cake for the big party they were having yesterday. Eighty-five people were expected to be there, so that meant it had to be a pretty large cake!
Since it was for a man, I didn't want to do typical flowers, and I wanted something more interesting than balloons. Dad said that he liked to travel a lot and was going on a Caribbean cruise in a few months, so I decided to go with the cruise theme.
On Monday, I printed off some ship pictures from the computer and used color flow to outline and fill them in. Color flow takes a few days to dry hard, and since this was a larger design, I was hoping they would be dry enough by Thursday.
On Wednesday morning, it was time to get started on the cake. Dad requested two-layer cakes - one layer chocolate, the other yellow with raspberry filling between.
While the two 10" and two 14" round layers were baking and cooling, the cake boards and wood base had to be covered with foil, the icing mixed up and colored (blue and black), and dowel rods for support cut.
There was a little problem with the 14" yellow layer - half of it stuck to the pan. By the time I scraped it all off and tried to patch it together, it looked pretty bad. Fortunately, by the end of everything, you couldn't tell at all - icing can cover a multitude of mishaps! :)
The yellow layers went on the bottom, then I piped an icing dam around the edges to hold in the raspberry filling. Chocolate layers then went on top...which was a very interesting operation in the case of the 14" round. Let's just say that I almost had to bake a new layer. Heh.
Both cakes were then iced, with the top cake icing supposed to look like water/waves. I left a trench down the middle, which is where the cruise ship would go later.
Dowel rods get put in any bottom layer of a stacked cake to hold up the cakes above it, or else the bottom cake might collapse from the weight, so that came next. After carefully transferring the 10" cake onto the dowel rods, I piped a bottom border on it. I tried to make it look like waves, as well.
The last few steps that afternoon were spreading graham cracker crumbs on the base to look like sand, writing the message, and positioning some plastic palm trees around the bottom cake. Everything then got covered with plastic wrap, waiting for transport the next morning.
On Thursday we brought the cake over to Dad's work in the morning to get it all set up before the party at 2. Hannah helped me carry the cake out to the car, with Mom opening all the doors for us. Dad met us when we arrived at his work, and we carried it back to the activity room.
Once there, the main thing I had to do was place the cruise ship on top. It was a very tedious job - color flow is quite delicate. Not only does it break easily, but if left in contact with icing it will break down. I had piped 2 tabs on the ships to push down into the cake, but first I had to cut holes in the cake for them to go into since I could hardly put any pressure on the ship.
Each tab had to be wrapped in plastic wrap, and it was while I was handling them that almost all of the smokestacks broke off! Ahh! It was a good thing I made 4 ships for just such an occurrence - there was only one that didn't break at all. Once the ship was safely on the cake, one last piping of icing to cover the base of it was the last step.