Whenever September rolls in, I start to get a little panicky. Why? Because there are five birthdays to be celebrated in my family over the next two months and what’s a birthday celebration without a birthday cake?
Five may seem like a paltry number, given that there are 60-odd days. But believe me, when 2 of the said birthdays are less than 10 days apart and the following 2 just 3 days apart, it’s a real challenge, given that I like to have plenty of space between each baking session. Since I haven’t got as much time this year, I’m planning 3 cakes to be shared.
The 1st cake on my birthday cake baking schedule is the topic of this post. The design idea for this basket-of-roses cake comes from the cover of this Wilton Decorating Cakes book.
The cake consists of vanilla Victoria sponges, sandwiched with raspberry preserve, vanilla buttercream and fresh raspberries, covered with vanilla buttercream. A buttercream basket-weave is piped around the cake and royal-icing roses, accompanied by pale green buttercream leaves, grace the top.
This cake marks 2 firsts for me: royal icing roses and basket weave piping. Needless to say, my right hand is aching really badly from all that piping. Who knew that stiff royal icing could be such a pain (literally) to pipe?
The 1st batch of royal icing made with fresh eggwhites wasn’t stiff enough and the petals turned out a little droopier than I would have liked. The 2nd batch made with meringue powder was perfect in consistency and I was delighted at how the roses turned out, although I was a little less thrilled when the red ones turned out more fragile than the pink ones. I’ll be sure to pipe a few extra roses in the future!
As for the basket weave, I think I need a little more practice. The overall look would have been better if I’d spaced the vertical lines a little closer. Still, I’m quite pleased with how pretty the cake turned out and I hope my aunts, whom the cake is for, like it too!