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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A Princess Cake and Two Birthdays!

My mother was born on the 19th January many years ago. She was my best friend. She gave birth to me, nourished and nurtured me, educated me and slowly the time came when slowly she turned into my best friend, my favourite companion from being my fairy god mother! I lost her at a very young age when I needed her the most. I became very upset with her for leaving me and still remember complaining to God for taking her away from me and crying myself to sleep. Slowly the years went by and the memories of my mom, though still fresh in my mind, started to get untangled from all the bitterness off the loss. What remained was the sweet scent of my mother's perfume lingering around in my mind as if she's still if she would come and give me a hug anytime of the day.

I became pregnant with a baby girl in 2007. The day I came to know about my pregnancy was probably the happiest day of my life so far. Both me and DH were over joyed and elated, yet scared and nervous about the impending parenthood, which we knew nothing about! The midwife said the Estimated Due Date of the baby's arrival was 3rd of January 2008. Mommies to bes and all you other mommies will know how difficult it is to wait for 37 weeks to lay your eyes on your first child for the first time. And in this case I had to wait not for not only 37 or 40 weeks but 42 weeks and 1 day! 

Yes, my daughter was born on 19th January 2008. A decade after I lost one best friend, I found one. I don't know if I can call this a miracle....all I know is that she's the most precious thing I've ever had in my life. I will never forget the look on DH's face when her tiny little fingers held onto his finger, that tiny little head resting against my wild beating heart, that first toothless smile. All the old painful memories moved far away to make space for these new ones.

And last week this little bundle turned 4. I cannot believe that 4 years have already gone. It seems like yesterday when I first held her in my arms. She's already quite a person. She hates to be called ''Mamma's baby''. She loves pink. She loves Disney Princesses. And yes she demanded a''Pink Princess Cake'' for her birthday party!

               My little Tinkerbell ready for her Fairytale Theme Party.  :)

At first I decided on a store bought cake. But the 'Nice' mom in me screamed at me for being such a cheater. So I spent almost a week researching on recipes and you tube tutorials on how to make a princess cake. I've done this cake before her best friend's birthday party too. Hence the icing wasn't too difficult to do. It's pretty simple actually and I was super happy with the result! T loved her cake, all her friends were quite envious about it and Mommy was glowing after hearing all the praises. A must try for all you mommies who have ''Princess-crazed'' little girls at home!

I did a two layer cake. A traditional Vanilla sponge and another classic Chocolate Vanilla Marble cake with Vanilla buttercream icing. I cheated a little and used store bought icing. 

The recipe of the vanilla cake is adapted from here. (*Note This is not a sponge. The yogurt and eggs in it make it quite moist and dense cake, like a brownie). You can double the amount if you want but the amount mentioned in the recipe is good enough for a 21cm cake tin and makes quite a high cake.

The recipe for the Marble cake has been adapted from here. I increased the amounts to make a large enough cake to fill a 21 cm/8 inch Pyrex dome bowl.The size of the doll will determine the size of your cake. The cake should be high enough to reach the dolls waist.

Ingredients for the Marble cake : 

500 gm softened butter  
500gm caster sugar
6 large eggs or 7 medium eggs
500 gm self-raising flour
8 tbsp milk
2-3 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 tbsp cocoa powder

Method :
Heat oven to 180C/gas 160C/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Put all the ingredients (except the cocoa powder) into a food processor and whizz for 1-2 mins until smooth.  To mix by hand, beat the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold in the flour, milk and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth.

Divide the mixture between 2 bowls. Stir the cocoa powder into one of the mixtures. Take 2 spoons and use them to dollop the chocolate and vanilla cake mixes into the tin alternately. When all the mixture has been used up tap the bottom on your work surface to ensure that there aren't any air bubbles. Take a skewer and swirl it around the mixture in the tin a few times to create a marbled effect.

Bake the cake for 1 hr 30 mins (for my oven setting your's might be slightly different) until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool. Will keep for 3 days in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

 Ok. Now comes the fun part. Icing! Here's a pictorial step-by-step guide of how to do it. Chill the cakes in the freezer for about 30 mins after letting them to cool completely before you start icing. You can slice each cake horizontally and sandwich them with icing, jam or Nutella. 

Ingredients for the Icing : 

Store bought Vanilla Butter Cream Icing - I used Betty Crocker ones , about 3tubs
Red Food Colour (Use any colour you want)
Edible food decorations like stars, butterflies, sparkles etc ...let your imagination run wild :)

Method : 

Scoop out the butter cream in a big bowl, one tub at a time. Add a few drops of food colour and mix well with a spatula. Add more to get the desired colour if required. 

Bringing everything together :

Cut a hole in the middle of all the cake layers with a medium sized round pastry/cookie cutter/glass or a serrated knife. Scoop a spoonfull of icing onto the cake stand and place the bottom most layer on it. This will ensure that the cake is held at it's place. Now sandwich all the layers with your desired filling. I used the icing itself.

Put a big dollop of icing on the top of the cake and spread it out evenly by spinning the cake stand around using an Icing Spatula or a Palette Knife. You can also use a strip of paper and even out the icing with soft strokes from bottom towards the top. Make sure the whole cake is coated evenly. This is called crumb coating and is done to get rid of the crumbs. Keep the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes.

In the mean time undress the doll and wrap it with cling film. Wrap the hair too.

BTW the hairy hand holding the doll is not mine :p

Take out the cake. Add another dollop of icing on top and work evenly spreading it out. Move your spatula to give swirly patterns on the skirt. Insert the doll into the cake.

Put rest of the icing in a piping bag and using the smallest open star piping tip (Number 13) put small flowers on the bodice of the doll. Cover the front and the back and make sleeves if you want to.

With a bigger Open star tip put stars all around at the bottom of the cake/skirt. I added a few more drops of red colour to the rest of the icing to make a brighter pink icing. With the big Open star tip I added frills around the skirt in 4 layers starting from the waist. And then added a few butterflies and silver studs.

My little girl loved the cake. And she told everybody that her Mommy makes the best cake in the whole wide world.Well I know that's a novelty that's going to wear off pretty soon...but I think I'll hold onto it for now!


º··´`·.¸» Dragöness º··´`·.¸»™ said...

Miracle indeed...& God's own special gift.
Thanks for posting it... Would try to follow up and make it for my niece...

The Mortician said...

A heart tendering story and motherly love lost and found! You are AMAZING woman! Proud of you.

Soma said...

This post makes me cry. What a beautiful story. I lost my mom when I was pregnant with my daughter and she never saw my two girls.. I still have not got over the loss.

And I cannot imagine how you made such a gorgeous cake at home. Cannot take my eyes off it. I have no patience to do this, but I really should gather up some courage and give it a try before my little one grows too big for this doll play.


Cassia Bark said...

Thank u Dragoness....I do secretly call it a miracle...though I wasn't happy about carrying her around for an extra 2 weeks...but I think I shouldn't complain :)

Cassia Bark said...

Thanks Ashmita...people like you make me believe in humanity and friendship :)....

Cassia Bark said...

Thank you Soma...I understand the pain....not a single day goes by without me wondering how it would be if she was still around!

It's a super easy job to make this cake trust me on this...especially for people like you who do more complicated cakes and stuff everyday and a couple of other ladies are my inspiration....I can spend hours going through your photos and blogs :)


Unknown said...

I know how painful it is to Sohini, life gives strength, now you should consider yourself blessed that she is back in your life. Your daughter is a doll and your cake, SUPER BIG WOW! lady i admire your love and dedication ...perfectly in a princess way!

Cassia Bark said...

@Ananda Friends like you give me the inspiration to move on...thank you :)...havn't spoken to u for have u been girl?