Last week, one of my good friends had a surprise 30th birthday for her husband, and I could not have been more honored to be such a huge part of it. I’ve only been able to bake/decorate one extravagant cake thus far in my baking career, and being able to try my hand at another one for such a special occasion was a wonderful experience. This time, I was tasked with creating a giant cigar to commemorate this milestone birthday. I’m not sure what was harder – creating the cake or transporting it without ruining it (I’m pretty sure it weighed at least 10 pounds)!
To create this masterpiece, I tried something I’ve never used before – chocolate fondant. Remarkably, it tasted quite a bit better than the regular, unflavored stuff I’ve used in the past… I will definitely use it again. Of course, it works best when you’re creating a brown cake to begin with!
I also had some fun with this cake, in order to create the shape and also the effect of a cigar. In order to shape the cake, I tried my hand at jelly-rolling. I don’t think I’d try jelly-rolling a chocolate cake ever again – but I made it work (with lots of delicious vanilla buttercream to hold it all together!). But you learn from trial and error, and for that I’m glad I had the experience of my cake nearly falling apart. On the plus side, I learned how to jelly-roll a cake for the future when I use the correct type of cake!
Additionally, I had fun creating the “singed” effect on the end of the cake. For this effect, I left the end uncovered by fondant, and instead crushed up oreos and stuck them to the buttercream to make it look like the cigar was burning at one end.
One of the parts of the cake I’m most proud of is the label. Of course, this part took me the longest to create as it is so intricately detailed, but I’m so pleased with how it came out. The end result required a combination of cookie cutters, an airbrush and gold airbrush paint, a black edible marker for the script, and lots of fondant and gum glue.
Overall, I have to say I was impressed with how this came out – and the reactions of the party-goers spoke volumes. The best part of this whole experience was that I had more people come tell me how good the cake TASTED than those who told me how good it looked. I care much more about that part, personally. While I really enjoy making cakes that look beautiful and realistic, if the taste doesn’t hold up I would not consider them successful cakes. So this, to me, was the ultimate compliment, and for that I am beyond proud.