Sunday, June 19, 2011

Shoe Cake

Shoe Cake - taken on an iPhone
Ta-dah!  Last week I made a fancy shoe-shaped cake!  It was for a work function where we were all meant to bring a dish, and I wanted to bring something a little special and fun.  It was the first shaped cake I'd ever made, (i.e. a cake that doesn't look like a cake).  It turned out a little messy, but overall I was very happy with the results, and more than a little proud of myself.  Apart from a plain round Christmas cake last year, I'd never covered a cake with ready-to-roll icing.  And it was actually super-fun, if a little messy!

I used recipes, tips and techniques from the Planet Cake cookbook to make the shoe-cake.  I didn't have a plan to follow to make the shoe, but I'd taken a bunch of pics of the original shoe on my phone.  From the pictures I figured out what the shape of cake itself would need to be, and drew myself some diagrams of the different pieces of icing that I would need.

So here goes:

Two days in advance, I made a single quantity of Planet Cake's chocolate mud cake in a big slab.

I absolutely love this cake!  Not only does it taste and smell fabulous (thanks to loads of melted dark chocolate and espresso powder), but it rises evenly while baking - no domed tops here!  It's perfect for building shaped cakes.  As an aside, I just realised I've only ever made the chocolate mud cake from the Planet Cake book.  I must try the others - the white chocolate mud cake, the carrot cake, and the flourless orange cake all look great too!


The next day (i.e. the day before we were meant to eat the cake), I shaped it and iced it.  One of the Planet Cake tips is to use ganache to sandwich the cakes pieces together, and to smooth out any bumps - way tastier than the almond icing that many bakeries use!

So this is the way it went: I cut out a base shape for the cake, then built it up into a 3D shoe shape with extra pieces of cake, using ganache to stick it together.  Once the ganache had set, I scraped a hot pallet knife across the entire surface to make the outside (reasonably) smooth.  I then rolled and cut out the pieces of ready-to-roll icing that I needed.  I used cherry jam to stick them to the cake. The Planet Cake recommends apricot jam, but the apricot jam I had in the fridge had, unfortunately, gone mouldy, so I used cherry jam, being careful not to let it stain the outside of the finished cake.  As a bonus, the combo of cherries and dark chocolate is heavenly!  Finally, I let it dry overnight and took it to work the next day.

And here we can see the building of the cake... thanks to the amazingly talented Sandra for making the animated gif for me!


As I mentioned before, it certainly wasn't perfect (and definitely not, say, in the league of a Delectable-style cake), but it was cute and it looked like a shoe, and I was proud of my little achievement.  We auctioned it off at work and raised $100 for charity!  Oh yay!

4 comments:

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

ah, the infamous shoe cake. So worth the late night building this monument. Glad you were honking down some icing along the way- the baker must also be rewarded.

hungryandfrozen said...

SO cool. I've never made a cake like that, always sorta wanted to but never had the opportunity. Maybe I should just make my own opportunity! Loved the animated gif :)

penny aka jeroxie said...

wow!! that is pretty damn cool. At least you can say you made a shoe cake.

thanh7580 said...

How cool. Love the cake and the gif file.