Saturday, January 2, 2010

Train Cake

With my passion for baking, my fetish for children birthday cakes, and my birthday coming around the corner, I made a last ditch effect to create the ultimate birthday cake. Well, I lie. It’s actually supposed to be used a centre piece on the table, but that didn’t bother me.

The train cake was on the cover of the Children’s cake book, and through the years it has stared me in the face as I idly choose the monster cake that my mother had made me for years. Last year however, I put it upon myself to create the trophy of all the cakes in the cake book. The train.

This train was supposed to be comprised of one engine and 3 carriages. However, there were four family members attending my birthday dinner, so I had to make 4 carriages. Of course, I was going to eat the engine, being the birthday girl an all, I had to get the biggest slice. On paper, the train looked reasonably easy to make. Cut here, ice there, place lollies of your choice on the side.

I started by buying the cakes in boxes and a Swiss roll (this would be used to create the engine and chimney). Cheating a little, I know, but this baby was going to take me a while, but finding and mixing up a lot of ingredients was just way to time consuming. (Oh, I should mention that my mother let me have the day off school so I could make the cake. Bless) So, after making 3 cakes, and letting them cool, it was almost lunch time. But this stage I was stressing just a little as my relations were coming at 4.30pm.

With the use of an electric beater, I mixed up some butter icing (which now I regret as it was WAY to butter for me, so I ended up not eating my entire engine). Here was the ‘fun part’. I had to cut the cake in a certain way, to end up with about 10 rectangles and all of approximately the same length. But after slicing and dicing away for about 15 minutes, I was satisfied with what I had done.

Now, I had to cover up the glorious *cough* looking rectangles which formed each carriage (two placed on top of each other) with different coloured butter icing. In some ways, fondant would have been a better choice to use, and would have created a nicer finish. However, I personally am not a fan of fondant and really didn’t want to start using something I have never worked with before nor liked. After the tremendous effect to ice each carriage, I was then able to decorate with straps of icing, and chocolate biscuits for the wheels. I then placed candy coated popcorn on each carriage to make it look like ‘coal’. To connect each carriage, I used sour apple rings and stuck them at the back of each carriage and onto the front of the next.

For the engine (the most important part to any train) I used a longer piece of rectangle sponge, and 3/4 of the Swiss roll. I used the other 1/4 to cut a small cylinder for the train’s chimney. I then add to use more butter icing to glue the sucker together. I don’t think I’ve sworn so much in such a short time space in the kitchen, in my life! However, I did manage to stick all the components together, and decorated it with licorice, M&M’s, chocolate biscuits and more popcorn.

At the end of the day, I was rather happy with the slightly lop-sided train, and my relatives thought I did a pretty good job. Unfortunately the icing was too sweet for my taste buds, though my Father and sister did enjoy the taste. They ended up finishing my engine (after I stole their chocolate biscuits of course!) I would completely and utterly recommend this cake for a birthday party. Even though I made it, it still made me feel like a child again (which is one of the reasons I made the cake in the first place XD)


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