When somebody asks me to make a cake, the first question I ask is always "how many people does it need to feed?". This critical number obviously decides the size of the potential cake and since my refrigerator and freezer space is limited, size definitely matters. Perhaps there will be a day when my cakes do not need to share space with my leftover chow mein or get cozy beside the frozen peas.
Meanwhile, this fire engine cake was for a very lucky little boy named Owen who just turned three. Originally, I had planned for it to feed 10 to 12 people but when I designed it on paper, the dimensions became approximately 12 x 5 x 5 inches. Apparently, I lack the gene that gives the ability to estimate volume because in the end, the fire engine cake could probably have fed 24 people easily.
Owen had requested a chocolate cake so I created the fire engine from layers of chocolate cake and chocolate German buttercream. Covering the cake with the red rolled fondant caused a small panic attack because after prolonged kneading in almost half the vial of Wilton Red Red colour paste, the fondant was so soft that it started to shred at the corners. Luckily, I rescued it in time and smoothed it out fairly well. Seven hours later, the cake was finished.
My favourite details on the fire engine cake are actually all found in the above photo. The pastillage fire hydrant (I really wanted to keep it) and the pastillage tires, complete with hubcap and tire treads, were adorable. Because I did not want to put lettering on the actual fire engine, I decided to connect a hose to my fire hydrant which would be squirting out watery blue royal icing to spell out Happy Birthday Owen. With the addition of some silvery details, the fire engine cake was certainly an accomplishment of which I am proud. Thankfully, I was not at the party to witness its eventual destruction!