‘Tis the season of celebrations. And synonymous with celebrations are sweets / desserts / cakes. It started with Buttercup’s birthday, followed by dussera break, Diwali, family and friends visiting and finally ending with Peanut’s birthday.
On Buttercup’s birthday I had made a promise to Peanut to make a 3D cake for him and well a mother has to keep a promise.
Except, there was one problem. It was an Angry Birds theme and for the life of me I couldn’t understand how I would make such a cake. I even tried to persuade Peanut to change the theme but he was stubborn about his choice (considering that he doesn’t even play it that much – wonder where the fascination came from?). So I started my research on Google (Really, was there life before Google? 🙂 ).
All my cake concerns were allayed when I chanced upon the angry birds playable cake. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/21/angry-birds-birthday-cake_n_826018.html?ir=India&adsSiteOverride=in
Loved this cake for so many reasons –
- Hands down one of the easiest birthday cakes to make. I couldn’t have been more stress free a day before the birthday.
- Required only regular icing and no fondant. That’s a good thing because unless the fondant is of great quality – it just doesn’t taste nice. Plus I had run out of all the fondant stock in my kitchen.
- It’s a ‘FUN’ cake. No cutting this cake, it’s SMASH time. Tell me a child who wouldn’t want to decimate a cake and get their hands dirty. The birthday boy and his friends could actually have a ‘go’ at the cake and be part of the angry bird experience. Sling the red / black, yellow and aim for those green pigs and literally knock down the cake.
- You can make it as chocolatey as you love! I used the traditional angry birds set up which is really all brown and shades of it. So load up the cocoa if that’s what your heart desires.
Obviously because it’s a birthday cake for my 5 year old Peanut – it did require some PREWORK.
First and foremost I had to source a few things
- Wooden cake board. Luckily for me, there was a carpenter hammering away on the same floor as our flat. So what if it was over a month in advance, the wooden board was sourced, cleaned and kept away.
- The sling / catapult. This was tricky. I would have really preferred the sling as in the link but it wasn’t available. So I got the next best thing – bought the angry bird game that included the sling and some angry birds.
- Thick rectangular thermocol piece. Watch out for this in various packaging materials and store it.
Icing was made on this day. If you read my previous post on the doll cake, you know the family favourite by now :). Simply finger licking good.
Technically this entire cake can be made on one day but I had friends over and didn’t want to crowd the kitchen so just made it a day in advance and stored it in the fridge. Also the same whipping equipment is required for the cake and icing – who wants to start washing in between making cakes. 😉
Baked a square cake in the morning, went out for a yum thali lunch and then baked a rectangular one in the afternoon! Easy peasy 😉 I’m a Nigella fan as are many many others and when it comes to chocolate cake there is no beating her Old Fashioned Chocolate cake that perfectly complements the icing. http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/old-fashioned-chocolate-cake-119
I baked in different pans, as I don’t have 2 of the same size. This actually turned out for the better. It allowed me to play around with different shapes to place on the wooden board.
Then came time for some delegation –
- The sling had to be fixed onto the wooden board. Hubby dearest fixed the thermocol piece onto the wooden board and then snugly fixed the sling into the thermocol piece.
- Alongside my friend’s husband was making the fondant pigs. One can just use the plastic pigs but if there is a creative hand, then its better to have an edible pig. It goes on the cake and children wont get confused with what they can munch on and what they cannot.
- The green grass icing was whipped up by my friend. Simple buttercream icing. 1 part butter and 2 parts icing sugar and colour of choice. Trust local edible colours – we must have added atleast a quarter of the green colour and even then barely managed to get the green we wanted.
Parallely I covered the wooden board with aluminium foil and fixed up the chocolate bars to make the scaffolds. We picked up plenty of Bar Ones for this in various lengths. To ensure that the pieces would stick together and also stand up, I first chipped off a little of the edges (basically to take off the rounded shape around the corners) and then added a little melted chocolate and stuck the pieces. I left this to set on a plate with the fondant pigs and got working on the cake blocks.
I stuck to the script here (followed the original maker’s design) and set up the cake blocks and then iced the same. Then ambitiously I placed the chocolate scaffolds naively assuming I was done with the cake. But to my surprise, they started to crack a little. So promptly the plate of scaffolds was shipped to the fridge and they only came out 15 minutes before the birthday cake was ready to be ‘played’ with.
The green grass icing turned out tricky for my friend and I. We layered a fine layer to cover the foil and then she started to pipe the grass but the icing kept getting stuck in the nozzle. Tried all sorts of tools to create that grass effect but in vain. Hubbies were getting impatient with the dinner in front of them. Pressue was on to finish this last mile. Finally she just laid a thick layer of icing and did a little trick – take a narrow spatula and make a quick circle on the icing and then quickly lift. Created mini peaks that looked like grass! Perfect.
A couple of minutes before the cake needs to be smashed, take out the cold, hardened scaffolds and place it on the cake. Position the pigs and you are ready to PLAY.
Theme related Birthday cake – check
3D theme related birthday cake – fulfilled a promise
Interactive 3D theme related birthday cake – Priceless fun