Another colleague, Craig, celebrated his birthday yesterday. However, as he took the day off to potter around the garden, we had cake for him at work belatedly today. Craig is a supporter of the Collingwood Football Club, which for the uninitiated, plays Australian Rules Football, governed by the Australian Football League (AFL). Accordingly, I made Craig's birthday cake in the shape of a Collingwood football jersey.
The base cake was made using a recipe for Vanilla Daisy cupcakes from the Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook, by Jennifer Graham. (I recently participated in a demonstration cupcake decorating workshop by Jennifer, and she seems to be a truly lovely lady who deserves her success.) I put a heaped dessertspoonful of cocoa in one third of the batter to make a chocolate batter, then marbled the cake by putting alternating dollops of white and chocolate batter in my cakepan (which was a 23cm x 28 1/2cm rectangular roasting tray!) and running a knife through the batter a few times. I baked the cake for roughly 50 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius.
I created a stencil with rough measurements and used a ruler to help me cut the cake in the right places to make a jersey. Here is the cut cake pre-icing:
I ruled the details of the jersey through the cake crust lightly with a knife, and used these lines as a guide for the icing. I used bought Wilton buttercream frosting, as my previous attempts at black icing have failed. Originally, I planned to pipe the stripes using a star tip, but I worked out from my experience with the white stripes (which I did first) that I wouldn't have enough icing for this. Accordingly, I piped the outline of the stripes on with a star tip, and then smooshed the icing on each side of a stripe down towards the centre of that stripe with a pallet knife to fill it in. This ensured that I retained straight lines:
Finally, I topped the cake with a rolled fondant disc in a shape resembling the AFL logo, with Craig's name piped on it in white chocolate. The colours were created using coloured jellies which I flooded inside the chocolate outline with a piping bag.
Here is a cross-section of the finished cake:
The non-Collingwood supporters (that is, everyone except Craig) didn't seem to mind the design of the cake, and hoed in heartily. One drawback of the black icing is that it dyes your teeth an unbecoming shade of green!!!
I thought this was a really cute cake, and I surpassed my expectations with the decorating. I really wasn't sure if I could pull my idea off, but I think I did OK!