What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…
In past years, hubby’s cakes have been all about taste – chocolate and caramel and totally OTT. This year taste was important, but really it was all about theme. Hubby and another good friend decided to have a joint Star Wars BBQ and so the cake obviously needed to be a Death Star.
What do you think?! Pretty Death Star-like? Have any Star Wars fans in your circles? Want to make one too?
Happily making a death star isn’t too complicated. First you need an oven-safe bowl. Most metal mixing bowls will do, or a pyrex bowl if you have one. I used the salad sized metal bowl from Ikea. Next mix up your cakes. With a big old bowl, you’re going to need a lot of batter. Really there are two ways to go with this one – a small bowl done twice will give you a proper dome; or a big bowl overdone will give you a half and a bit of dome, which gives the cake a solid base to sit on and makes cutting easier. If it’s not clear by now, I went for option 2.
Be warned, not only does a big bowl mean a lot of batter, it means a LOT of time in the oven. I mixed up 3 different kind of cakes. The first would normally yield a single layer, the second 3 layers, and the third 2 – that’s 6 layers worth of cake batter all in the same bowl (white chocolate, chocolate, and caramel in case you’re interested). I put it in the oven at 160°C (350F) and tried to guess how long it would take. I started at 40 minutes – not even close. Then 20 more – nope. The top started looking hard, but massively jiggly. Then another 20, then another 15. In the end, the cake took almost 1 3/4 hours to bake. Just keep a steady eye and try not to open the oven too often because that’ll make it take even longer!
The next step is getting the cake out in one piece – not an easy feat. Since this wasn’t a standard shape, I found parchment paper too difficult, so it had to be the old butter and flour method. I made sure to get a good coating of butter throughout the pan and then an even dusting of flour before adding any of my batter. Once the cake was done, I made sure it was beyond cool before I even attempted to turn it out. Luckily all that prep work payed off…
And I was rewarded with a perfect looking dome. You could just frost it at this point, but that would yield a cake:frosting ratio that I just don’t find acceptable. So, pull out the bread knife – it’s time to reinstate those layers. I cut mine into 5 segments and then mixed up 2 frostings: 1 for the inside (caramel buttercream) and one for the outside (a chocolate buttercream dyed dark grey).
A couple of tips that I learned from doing this:
May the 4th be with you!
What was your best themed party/cake?
PS… for those of you that have read down the to end, a little bonus. You may have noticed that my belly’s gotten a bit round. Turns out, it’s not just cake. There’s a little one on the way… I’m 16 weeks along (another reason besides the renovations that there haven’t been too many posts lately. I’m hoping to change that and to keep you updated as Doctorate Housewife becomes Doctorate Housewife and mom)