Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Sewing distractions: Year of the Frozen birthday cake!

I have been sewing, just not getting around to taking photos of anything to put on the blog!  I've made another Moss skirt for myself, and a couple of dresses for Emily, but chances are I won't manage to blog about them until after the Easter holidays now.  Also, there have been distractions! Our darling daughter's birthday fell at the end of March and, of course, a Frozen party was requested!  This caused a bit of head scratching as other friends within the group had already had birthdays through the year and had already had Frozen parties.  What could we do that was any different?!  Thankfully we managed to talk her into a cinema trip with friends to see Cinderella (including the Frozen Fever short!), followed by birthday tea (with a surprise visit from Elsa herself!).  

However, we couldn't very well get away without making the requisite 'Frozen birthday cake', and I was quite keen to give it a bash, although whilst I enjoy baking I don't have any great skill in it, and probably a lot less in cake decoration!  It was a stressful process, with many a late night icing session, and a least one point where all appeared lost.  But despite everything, and much to my own surprise, the cake was a success!   

I think it looks good, but since it's basically just a glorified platform on which to stand some (plastic) Frozen figures it really wasn't that complicated. I baked three sponge cakes, one in a round springform tin and the other in silicon 'giant cupcake' moulds. I covered the round sponge with a layer of buttercream and the two colours of fondant icing.  I hacked at the 'cupcake' sponges until I was happy that I had a 'mountain' shape, although this was immediately and henceforth referred to as 'the molehill' by my husband.  The 'mountain' was also covered with buttercream first, but then spread thickly with royal icing which I tried to swirl around in a snow-like fashion!  It really did just look like a molehill as it was with Elsa standing on the top.  Either that or, as my husband pointed out, it looked like she was perching on an eyeless, noseless Olof head.  Great!  I had intended to make some blue 'ice shards' out of sugar glass to top it, but after one attempt that went badly wrong (think murky green solidified goo) I changed tack and made this curved backdrop out of scraps of blue fondant.  

I used blue shimmer dust on the snowflakes, lettering and backdrop with varying success, but didn't really get to grips with it very well.  Even so, this is definitely the best looking cake I think I've ever made, and I'm so relieved to have crossed 'Frozen birthday cake' off my to do list!   Emily loved it and the bonus is she gets to keep the figures.   Phew!

Other sewing distractions have been through end of term school activities, not least preparation of the obligatory Easter bonnets.  I managed to shoe horn a bit of sewing into making them this year.   One involved 'sewing' chocolate eggs onto wool to string around the rim of a Tilley hat Aussie fashion (in place of corks!).  The other involved an afternoon making felt flowers with my daughter, followed by an evening of continually pricking my fingers whilst trying to sew them all onto last year's straw hat.

We pretty much made this up as we went along and it was a lot of fun.   It was nice to make something a bit more long-lasting that can now be added to the dressing up box.  Needless to say the other hat was not so long-lasting and lost all of its eggs before the day was out.  I guess that's bound to happen when you sew with chocolate!

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