Bookish Bites : World Book Day 2012
Happy World Book Day! What’s everyone up to today? This is my first World Book Day without Milo at home… he’s at nursery so I can work (it’s a pretty big day for all my clients!) which I feel a little sad about but he’ll be having fun.
His nursery are celebrating by reading loads of books, distributing Book Aid International book marks and goodies and asking children and parents alike what their favourite reads where when they were children. There’s a special post box and everything!
Well, no celebration should go by without cake. I thought it would be appropriate to send Milo off to nursery this morning with a cake that looks like a book, to share with all his friends.
I also thought this might make a handy tutorial for anyone wanting to enter a book shaped cake to the Playing by the Book’s Edible Book Comp! Have you spotted that yet? Pop on over after you’ve read this and get some inspiration!
So, I started off with a basic vanilla madeira cake. You can use a normal sponge and add whatever flavouring you’d like but when you have to carve a cake, madeira is a little more solid as there is a mix of plain and self-raising flour. I made a ten inch square cake as this was going to be for a fair few little people but a seven inch square cake would work just as well.
Once you’ve made your sponge, let it rest overnight to harden a little, then you can carve an open book shape in it by cutting it with a serrated knife. First trim the edges, then create two slopes towards the middle of your cake to look like pages.
Next, mix up some buttercream. I made vanilla using these quantities:
65 grams unsalted butter (softened)
190 grams icing sugar (sifted)
1 tablespoon milk
a few drops of vanilla essence
If you have an electric mixer, leave it mixing the buttercream for approximately five minutes to really whip it into a good texture.
Spread your cake with the buttercream as neatly as you can as this will help the sugarpaste to stick nicely to it.
I used approximately 750 grams of sugarpaste for the whole cake, but I tend to role quite thinly (I worry about rotting small children’s teeth and the inevitable sugar high they’ll have). For a neater finish role your sugarpaste a little thicker, say approximately 0.5cm. Sugarpaste can cover a multitude of bumpy issues that way! I cut a strip to go around the edge of the book first, measuring the tallest edge of the cake as a marker. You can trim the tops of the edges if they rest too tall. I then measured the top of the cake and rolled out some sugarpaste to cover it.
Then score the lines to represent the pages using the back of a knife or a fork. You don’t want anything too sharp to do this. Voila! A blank book to do with what you like!
My mum once made me a cake like this for my birthday and she wrote a whole story about me on it, with pictures and everything! I loved this idea and wanted Milo to get a chance of creating his own pictures in cake form to show his friends so I let him loose with a purple edible pen (just so you know, the actual pen itself is not edible… just the markings!). This is what he came up with.
Wheels, cars and wiggly worms apparently! I then made a World Book Day logo, with an orange background as a nod towards Book Aid International (their logo looked a little too complicated for my sugarpasting skills) and with googly “Axel Scheffler” eyes as Milo likes to say.
There were also some stars at Milo’s request! With no edible glue in the house, I just brushed a little water on the bottom of the logo and stars to get them to stick.
I wonder if they’ll save us a slice?
So how about you? Are you baking anything special this World Book Day?