Hummingbird Birthday Cake
Several weeks ago I received an email from a good friend of ours..."My sweetie's birthday is coming up soon - please, please can you bake a cake?" Absolutely! For good friends, cake is always possible.
I already knew about her love for cinnamon (Hummingbird Cake); choosing the flavor of cake was the easy part. "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" is her guilty pleasure. And somewhere along the way, she shared a story about her mum's Christmas cake and the marzipan and the fruit bits. That's plenty of good stuff to work with in creating a special birthday cake.
I've never constructed a cake like this purse cake. I've never covered a cake in anything except buttercream. I looked online for some ideas and then struck out on my own. It's not perfect. There are flaws. But, it was my first attempt...this is test kitchen techniques for sure.
I baked the cake in a jelly roll pan; it was close to midnight since the temperatures are well above 32Celsius (do not turn on the oven during the day!). It cooled and set in the cake fridge over night.
I cut three sections, stacked with vanilla buttercream, and then sculpted a trapezoid (I had to look that up). After crumb-coating the cake went back into the fridge.
I rolled out the Marzipan - I bought this in Paris, it was already tinted and ready-to-use, off the shelf. Due to the heat, it was a bit sticky so I couldn't work with it for long periods of time. The first piece to go on was the green center. I measured, rolled out the marzipan, and trimmed the excess. I decided I'd add a flower embellishment - out came some cutters and the pearls.
Both front and back were covered in pink (those were the only two colors I found). Trimming could have gone better, and I'm happy it went this well.
Deciding on a closure was a bit tricky. I like this little flap I used. I could have gone with some type of buckle or twist knob or zipper...but those were too complicated for this first effort.
The handle was more challenging. I wanted a handle for this bag and tried talking myself into going without one. It wasn't working; the whole thing was nagging me. These balls of marzipan strung on a zip tie is quite charming. The result was worth the effort in seeing the project done right.
|I added a small embellishment on the back and gave the flap a hint of "stitching."|
|What kind of cake purse would it be without some purse essentials? I bought these chocolates already made.|
post script: Expecting catastrophic failure, I prepared this little cake to ensure we had something.