Friday, 12 August 2011

My super amateur attempt at making a police hat cake for a graduation!

I am fascinated by arty things... and my latest fascination has been with fondant. After intensive googling and youtube videos, I picked my recipes and decided to make a police hat cake for someone I know. I first attempted a police shirt cake, for an earlier graduation lunch, based on other shirt templates I'd seen online. It went pretty well, was surprisingly easy and tasted great! The Sergeant's 2 year old son especially loved it, deciding the icing was by far the only part worth eating.

So this was the police shirt cake I made, I'm glad I tried this before I attempted the hat because I had no prior experience, no template for the hat so it was just a matter of winging it!

First I baked two cakes of a similar size to the hat, I made buttercake with raspberries and white chocolate.... yum yum yum

Then I levelled them off, was good because I got to have a taste test... a test they well and truly passed.

I buttercreamed the first one, filling in all the gaps and attempting to make it smooth..... I think a flat bladed knife would be good for this because my good old butter knife wasn't doing a very good job! Because I wanted the cake to be slightly raised at the front as the real hat rests on its brim rather than flat, I stuffed a few bit of sliced off cake under with some butter cream to build it up.

Then I wacked the second cake on top, bottom up, and cut it down to make the shape I wanted.

Then I buttercreamed, buttercreamed, buttercreamed, & buttercreamed some more till it was completely covered.

Then the fun part! Making the fondant, which is Marshmallow Fondant or MMF. There are plenty of ways of making it but all I did was pop 2 x 500g bags of white marshmallows, tablespoon of hot water in the microwave for about 1 min 20 secs. When I did it for the shirt cake I didn't need as much icing, so I used half the amount and it only took about 40 secs. So, however much you want to do, you pop in the microwave till it is almost completely melted like above. Then you stir in a bit of vanilla essence if you want, stir till melted then sift in some pure icing sugar. You mix it in, sift in some more, mix it, sift in some more etc till it's too hard to mix. Then you chuck a heap of icing sugar on the bench, sugar up your hands and knead icing sugar in until it becomes like playdough. Then you can colour it, mould it or whatever! Store it in an airtight container or gladwrap if you're not using it immediately. If it goes a bit hard, it can be popped in the microwave for 5-10 secs to get it soft again. Good stuff. and it tastes yum.

I made the checkered band by rolling out a thin long strip of white fondant, then cutting out the squares of blue and white fondant and attaching them alternately to the strip with water. Some bits are a bit wonky and a bit bigger than others but I think it makes it cuter. Some of the blue colouring smudged onto the white though because of the water which was disappointing :(

Then I rolled out a big piece of white for the top, & this was the hard bit! Because there was so much excess fondant as I smooth it down because it was sloping in, trying to make it smooth and neat was really hard and I'm not quite happy with it but it's reasonable.

Then I rolled out a piece of fondant to make a cord to pop around the top and attached with water.

I made a black brim and supported it with scraps of fondant, I don't like the shape of it, think it looks a bit like a shoe but its okay for a first attempt! I brushed it with a tiny bit of vodka which I read makes it shiny, well regardless hopefully people get drunk and don't notice the imperfections. I sourced the badge from somewhere because I was not keen to attempt that! Cut out some stars and letters with cookie cutters and bobs your uncle, one very amateur, but remotely accurate police hat cake!

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