Friday, July 3, 2009

Portfolio: Pirate Ship Birthday Cake

My husband's birthday was about two weeks ago and unfortunately, I was sicker than a dog (really, where does that phrase come from and what it supposed to mean anyway!?) so I was unable to make him a cake on his birthday. But everything worked out since we had his party a week later anyway. Michael had said last year he wanted a pirate themed party and given how much I love pirates, I acquiesced to his request. Yargh!

I made a three dimensional pirate ship complete with sails and rigging. The cake was chocolate orange flavored (just like those chocolate oranges at Christmas!) and covered in ganache that had been whipped to icing consistency. The water was aqua colored royal icing and the platter happens to be a wedding gift that we hadn't really used yet. The rigging on the front is some beading pins with twine looped through them.

Basically, this cake was made from an 11"x15" cake pan and one loaf pan. I cut the cake from the 11"x15" into three pieces stacked on each other. Then I lopped off a small portion of the loaf cake and stood the longer piece on end behind the three layers and then the small piece lay right in front of the tall piece of top of the three layers. The rest is carving history. I ended up having to use two different batches of ganache overall which created the tonal effect you see above due to crumb coating and refrigerating. For the lines on the ship, I stuck my icing spatulas in hot water and then used the thin edges to literally melt into the ganache to get the look.

Everyone was really amazed by the detail and actually thought it was a model...HA! One of the best parts of this cake was when we lit the candles. I had my MIL pick up black candles which we stuck in the portholes on the side to look like cannons. It was really neat when it was lit! While this was actually easier than I thought it would be, it was still a bit of a nightmare getting the ganache to look smooth. If I do this cake in the future again, I'm totally doing it in fondant instead. Overall, good learning experience and a lot of fun to make.

Shiver me timbers,

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