There was another farewell at work on Friday, for a manager who had been with our organisation for a long time and had been a direct supervisor of mine, so I did some baking. This farewell was special though, so it required a special cake. I was tasked with making and decorating a cake to look like his beloved Mini Cooper, aka Burnie. It was the most challenging cake I’ve done in terms of decorating and, while I was happy with the result, I don’t think I’ll be in a hurry to do it again!
I realised that I was going to have to decorate the cake with fondant icing to get the best effect. I decided to make the Chocolate Stout Cake as the base because not only does everyone love it, it’s a good solid cake that would shape well and wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the fondant. Slight problem: I’ve never worked with fondant before, so I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing!
Additional challenge: I only had access to white ready-made fondant, so I had to try colouring it myself as well! Luckily the only extra colours that I needed were red and black, and these are pretty easy to do. It gets messy and I do recommend using latex gloves to knead the colour in, unless you want seriously stained hands! Also, it’s easier to manage in small batches rather than colouring the whole amount at once, especially if you need a lot of one colour. I did the colouring 2 days before as this allows the colours to deepen a little, and I made sure I wrapped the fondant well so that it didn’t dry out.
I made the cake itself the day before, and if I ever do this again I’ll probably make it 2 days before instead, because I forgot that this cake is better kept in the fridge overnight before removing from the tin. For this one I only had time to leave it in the fridge about 3-4 hours. Then I cut it and covered in buttercream. Because it had been cut I ended up with crumbs everywhere in the buttercream, and I probably put it on too thickly as well, so it didn’t really look good. The basic shape was right though.
Red fondant went over the entire cake, then white for the top, the stripes, the headlights and the numberplates. Black fondant for the wheels and the front grill, and then liquorice strips for the detail. Finally, silver pearl dust mixed with vanilla essence painted on for the windows and black gel colour painted on for the numberplate detail.
The cake was covered entirely in red fondant first.
White fondant layered on top to make the roof, windows, racing stripes and headlights.
Black fondant used for the wheels and the front grill.
Thin strips of liquorice used for the detail around the windows and the bottom edge of the cake.
I was pretty happy with the finished product, and while it was lacking some details such as windscreen wipers, side mirrors, tail lights etc, it was still definitely identifiable as Burnie the Mini Cooper!
I took him to work where he was admired and then devoured! Overall the cake was a success, but slightly stressful and time-consuming to make – probably because I hadn’t done it before. I do have some fondant left over, so I might use it to decorate cupcakes soon…
Burnie gets the knife!