Today we gathered as a family to celebrate my Dad’s birthday. Family celebrations are always fun and we do have them as often as possible. I like to make an event out of every opportunity, Christmas, New Year, birthday and anniversaries.
I decided to make my Dad a very special cake and I started planning it at the beginning of December 2017. It took a bit of effort.
Firstly, I had to make sugar crystals. This sounded like such an easy thing to do when I looked it up on the internet [my memory from Grade 8 school day science lessons not being very accurate]. It wasn’t that easy. I had to try three times and nearly gave up but third time lucky.
Firstly, I took six wooden kebab stick’s and dipped them into water to half of their length. I then rolled the kebab sticks in sugar and put them aside. I then made the sugar water as follows: Mix 2 1/2 cups of white sugar and 1 cup of cold water. Bring this mixture to the boil and make sure that all the sugar is completely dissolved. Let the mixture cool slightly and pour into three tall glasses. Add 5ml of the liquid food colouring of your choice and mix in completely. Wait until the mixture is completely cool [this is where I went wrong the first two times; if the mixture isn’t cold, the sugar on the sticks melts and the crystals don’t form]. Insert the prepared kebab sticks into the water and put them in a safe and hot place for 1 week. Do not move or disturb them during this time. At the end of the week, remove the sticks from the mixture and you should have sugar crystals like this:
The next item I had to make was the ivy and creepers for the cake. I made these but cutting out a whole lot of small ivy and tree leaves from green fondant. The leaves need to be thick enough to insert a piece of florists wire into them. I cut each length of wire into four, dabbed a bit of sugar glue on the end of each piece and inserted one piece into each leaf. I left the leaves overnight to dry. The following morning I attached the wires together using florists tape as per the pictures below:
Lastly, I baked the two round cakes I needed, a large chocolate cake and a smaller vanilla cake. I spent Saturday morning up to my ears in green and brown butter icing making my ….. cave cake!
This is a picture of the final cake – a sugar crystal cake!
I was pretty happy with the cake.
I also had the cover for my new book: Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Cave Story and Cookbook.
Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town