Friday, 24 April 2015

Triathlon 30th Birthday Cake

I haven't been baking that much recently as I have been up to my eyeballs in radiators! It was the hubby's bithday while we were doing all the radiator replacements, but I did manage to knock him up a good old victoria sponge, with fresh cream, strawberries, and jam - yum!

A few weeks ago though, I was commissioned by one of his triathlon friends to make a surprise 30th birthday cake with a theme of triathlon.  So here was my plan of action:

The plan

I started with the figures as these would take the longest.  I used a fairly thick gauge wire, although in hindsight it was probably a bit too thick as it was soooo hard to bend.  Here is how I got on:

I used flower paste for the body of the runner but it was horrible to work with.  The rest of the models I just used regular sugarpaste and it worked just fine.

The cyclist taking shape

This was taken before his arms fell off!  I also needed to support the legs and feet with a wire ledge as they kept dropping off - but when the final cake was put together the glue had dried firm enough that I didn't need the extra support after all. Phew!

The runner needed extra support in the form of kebab sticks in his legs as the wire just wasn't cutting it.  I had also hoped he would look like he was actually still running, but I just couldn't get it to work.  Instead he is in his victory stance, standing with his arms up, having crossed the line!

The workspace

 I didn't have much time in the run up to when the cake needed to be done, so I bought in ready made cakes from Sweet Success in Nottingham.  Their cakes are lovely and so moist.  It's not the same as saying they are homemade, but when in a time crunch they are a great solution - and if I'm honest, they taste nicer than my bakes too!
This was the swimming cake and was a victoria sponge with jam and buttercream in the middle.  I wanted to emulate sand on the cake so I left an area without sugarpaste, but some soft buttercream on it, and then applied some crushed shortbread biscuits.  I actually had a piece of this cake at the party and the texture of the biscuit in the cake was just fab.

The swimmers in action.  I got fully briefed by my husband on where the arms should be, and was forced to watch lots of youtube videos about swimming technique.  And I still got it wrong apparently....

This was the runner, running along a trail path and over the finish line.  The candles were supposed to represent the banners along the finishing straight.
The runner from the back.  Note the number on his vest :) 

This was the cyclist on a smooth asphalt road - tri spoke on the front, disc on the rear.  My husband criticized me for the "relaxed geometry"of this one. But given how bloomin hard it is to model sugarpaste, I was jolly chuffed with this one!

Front view

The finished cake

With the birthday boy!

The swimmers were definitely most fun to do, and were actually pretty quick and easy to do.  The shortbread was fab too.

The runner and cyclist got a bit frustrating at times as they kept falling apart, but I was really really happy with the finished product.

To give an idea of costs, for 3 x 6" cakes, this cake cost approximately £55 in materials.  It's a lot more expensive to make cakes than most people think!

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