My cousin Jessica is one of my most supportive family members when it comes to my baking adventures, as well as my most regular commissioner. A few of them have been for her son. You may remember the Baby Shower Cupcakes I made as a gift for her, or the Pirate Dreams cake for his first birthday. So when his Christening rolled around, she again asked me to make a cake for the occasion. I was more than happy to oblige.
But before we launch into the final product, there is a story of drama and tears. This cake almost didn't happen.
It was the product of me having very little time to myself due to my research commitments: The short version of a long story is that I made a lot of amateur mistakes I should be beyond by now. It began when, after arriving home from Uni, I noticed the batch of marshmallow fondant I'd pre-made in my attempt to be organised was sweating. After an hour of fiddling with it I decided it was a lost cause and turned to my emergency batch of regular fondant. When I covered the cake, I realised the layer of ganache was too thick and the fondant stuck to it. I tried removing the fondant and found it was really stuck, so had to use a knife to scrape it off. In doing so, I accidentally tore a giant hole in the centre of the cake. At 10pm the night before it was due and I was back to square one. I almost cried.
So, when 4 hours later, I was looking at this:
Relief does not even begin to describe my emotions!
It was followed by lots of face palming when, after I crawled from the kitchen at 2am, my boyfriend alerted me to the fact that the Christening was a day later than I thought. I put the date on the cake and still neglected to notice that it was two days away. I'm a fool sometimes.
Now for some cakey details. The cake is an 11 inch chocolate cake, covered in dark chocolate ganache. It's then covered in fondant.
It took me a long long time to come up with the aesthetic for this cake. I'm so used to doing round cakes that my brain kinda stalls when it's time for a square one. The pressure and stress and lack of time resulted in simpler sides than I had originally intended, but perhaps that was a blessing: I have a bad habit of making cakes look too busy. My cousin had said she'd wanted it to have his name and the date of the Christening on the cake, and for it to be religiously-themed.
I'd seen a few Christening cakes with the crucifix made from blossoms: I'd decided I wanted to invert it. So I created a silhouette from blossoms.
I bought some new letter stencils for the occasion, as the ones I have are less formal-looking fonts. Any excuse for more cake decorating equipment.
His name was made out of children's building block styled pieces.
When it came time to cut the cake, the kids dove for these bits. I saw quite a few stuffing whole blocks of fondant into their mouths. Thank goodness there was a trampoline at the function, cause those crazy kids were on one massive sugar high.