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Bookish Bites : Fairyland toadstool cakes

Well, what with all the chitter chatter in my post yesterday about fairies, elves and the like, it would have been wrong to let this week’s Bookish Bites go past without a Fairyland extravaganza. A small word of warning, there is sugarpaste and food colouring a plenty in this post. We try and keep the sugar stuff to a bare minimum in this household but sometimes, just sometimes, a cake begs to be as bright, bold and well, kitsch as it can possibly be.

So here’s a little glimpse of part of the finished cake.

No recipes for you this time. Not necessary as it’s all very basic stuff… just a simple guide to constructing it and a few cute photos. I’ve always , always wanted to make a toadstool cake similar to the toadstool houses and other “little people” houses found in my childhood books. Making one house though felt a bit of a big task to then eat just between the three of us and family and a bit too much like a birthday cake, so I opted for making some smaller toadstools. A little village of them!

You will need a basic sponge or madeira mix with whatever flavouring you prefer. We went with a vanilla madeira sponge as it’s a bit more pliable than a normal sponge. To bake the cakes you will need either some small pyrex bowls or some small bun tins like I’ve used or a muffin tin filled close to the top. Milo helped make the madeira sponge by sieving the flour, adding the sugar and slicing the butter ready for the mixer. We then baked our tins for approximately 40-45 minutes.

Milo helped get the cakes out the tin.

Next, I simply cut the tops off of the cakes and turned the bottom half upside down to form a more toadstool shape.

Whip up some buttercream and slather it on the whole of the top half of the toadstool, and around the edges and top of the base. Smooth the buttercream off with a knife that’s been resting in warm water.

Then onto your sugarpaste covering. Cover all the bases with white sugarpaste. I tend to roll this quite thinly but it’s best to do it fairly thick if you want a really smooth covering. I tuck the sugarpaste under the bottom but a neater finish would probably be to cut around the bottom edge.

Then, cover the top of the toadstools in red sugarpaste and be sure to tuck the paste under the bottom of the toadstool top. You can build up the middle of the toadstool top to make it higher with a little extra sugarpaste as I’ve done below.

With a little reserved white icing, cut out some round shapes and stick with edible glue or apricot glaze to the top of your toadstool.

At somepoint, cover a large cake board with green sugarpaste. It’s best done a day before you put anything on it so the paste has time to harden but I totally forgot so it was a bit rushed!

With Milo’s dad out on Saturday night I spent an evening in front of the TV watching some cheesy movie cutting out all sorts to decorate the houses. No templates I’m afraid for the doors and windows as I just cut these out of chocolate icing free hand and I wanted them all to be a bit different to each other. I cut out little flowers, hearts and leaves, made some little toadstools, a picnic area and small bench for one of the houses. I then decorated the main toadstools sticking everything on with edible glue.

I needed Milo to help finish off the cake so in the morning on Sunday he set about making the grass. This is a simple and fun task to set a toddler. Simply pour a big heap of dessicated coconut into a bowl, add copious amounts of green food colouring and mix very well.

Sprinkle all over the green base, add a few more flowers into the grass for decoration.

Then stand back and admire your finished fairyland cake.

What was rather lovely was that Milo, despite having taken part and watched the process of the cakes being baked in the oven, covered in sugarpaste and finally decorated, asked what was behind the doors in the little houses! If only there had been some little fairies or elves sat at a small table eating some cake themselves. Alas, it was just sponge and icing. Tasted good though!

Milo’s verdict: “Is this a real toadstool mummy? Is it a real fairy house? It tastes nice, can I have some more? I want a door.”

These little toadstools would also make a really lovely present for someone, wrapped up in a doily. We gave this one to Milo’s Nana and Granddad.

Next week’s Bookish Bites will also be a fairy and elf inspired creation so be sure to pop back then!

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Zoe #

    Oh my goodness! What a delight! Definitely fairy magic in your kitchen 🙂

    May 23, 2012
    • natashaworswick #

      We had a lot of fun making it, though making the grass was the best bit! It ended up such a terrifying bright green!

      May 23, 2012
  2. It is beautiful, always :0)
    I would be seriosuly overweight if I lived in your hosue!!!!

    May 23, 2012
    • natashaworswick #

      Yes… it’s something I struggle with! These were quite small though and about less than half the amount of actual cake I’d have needed to use to make a big toadstool cake so not so bad!!? We try to have some cake-free weekends, but normally just end up buying some from the delicious cake shop down the road. I’m a lost cause!

      May 23, 2012
      • Cake-free week-ends?!? That’s when we do most of our cake-eating!

        May 23, 2012
  3. natashaworswick #

    Ditto! But if it’s a nice, big cake, then it just rolls into a cake eating week and then we should really have a little break by the next weekend. Really. Rarely do! I love cake 🙂

    May 23, 2012
  4. What a great idea. I’m going to try these with my daughter!

    July 10, 2012
    • natashaworswick #

      Let us know how you get on. They were good fun to make, especially the dessicated coconut grass! 🙂

      July 10, 2012

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