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:
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!