Pierre's face says it all - he was very proud of our combined baking and decorating efforts this weekend !
In the last Bake Box, which had a Teddy Bears' Picnic theme, there was a cute teddy bear mould and a recipe for a teddy bear cake. It looked quite an ambitious bake, in terms of decoration, but Pierre was adamant that we had to give it a try. I must admit, it came out a lot better than I expected and even I was pretty impressed with the end result !
Teddy Bear Cake
FOR THE CAKE
225g (8oz) unsalted butter, diced and softened
225g (8oz) caster sugar
275g (10oz) self-raising flour
3tbsp cocoa powder dissolved in 2tbsp hot water and cooled
Melted butter, for greasing
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM (I left out this part)
200g (7oz) unsalted butter, diced and softened
400g (14oz) icing sugar, sieved
1tbsp cocoa powder
800g (1lb 12oz) brown sugarpaste (or yellow if it's all you can get)
Icing sugar, for rolling out
200g (7oz) beige or light brown sugarpaste (I used bronze lustre instread)
1tbsp cocoa powder
50g (2oz) black sugarpaste
50g (2oz) red sugarpaste
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream the butter and sugar together.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour with each egg to prevent the mixture curdling.
Sieve in the rest of the flour and stir in with the dissolved cocoa. I didn't dissolve the cocoa, I just stirred in the powder because it seemed pretty runny anyway and this worked just fine.
Brush the teddy bear mould with melted butter (or vegetable oil) and spoon the mixture into it, hollowing out the centre a little. Bake for about 1 hour or until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
When I glanced in the oven, I thought I had a disaster on my hands.
Madhouse Daddy wandered through the kitchen at this precise moment and chortled, "did you decapitate him ?!"
Looking closer though, I thought it would be salvageable because it was just excess cake and the head part itself was still completely filled.
After leaving it to cool in the mould for half an hour, I crossed my fingers and flipped it over with a large plate on top.
After carefully peeling off the mould, I was relieved to see that he'd survived intact. A sharp knife around the top edges to smarten him up a bit and he was perfect. Phew !
Having seen some of the other Bake Box projects, I'd stocked up on the whole range of sugar dough that my local supermarket had on offer : yellow and green fondant icing, black, white and red sugar dough and marzipan. They had no brown or beige though so I knew I'd have to improvise.
I rolled out the yellow fondant icing between two sheets of baking parchment then traced around the teddy bear cake mould. It was barely big enough and needed a lot of coaxing with the rolling pin.
I used a sharp knife to cut round the pattern through both the paper and the icing.
I transferred the icing to the top of the cake by draping it over a rolling pin and holding my breath - it didn't fall apart as I'd feared and could be pressed onto the surface of the cake to reveal the detail beneath. The official Bake Box recipe called for buttercream to give him a rounded belly, but I didn't bother, partly because I thought it was unnecessary and partly because I barely had enough icing to cover him, even with a slimline model !
Pierre helped me make his nose, eyes, mouth and ribbon out of sugar dough and pressed some circles on with an icing nozzle as paws and a belly button.
I had some edible bronze lustre which Pierre wanted to use to colour in his paws.
I couldn't help but smile because he took it so seriously, concentrating really hard to make it perfect !
And there you have it - he was so cute, it was almost a shame to chop him up and eat him, but he tasted great so we had no regrets !
Disclosure : I received a free Bake Box subscription in order to share my attempts at recreating the recipes. Bake Box delivers a new package of goodies every two months and each box costs £14.99 + £2.99 postage. For more information and to see the recipes :http://the-bake-box.com/