Way back in May, a friend asked me if I would make a Hogwarts Express Cake for her daughter's birthday. After discussion about the fact that I am a rank amateur, I agreed to take it on. I thought it would be good practice.
As I chronicled in an earlier post, I got a pan that looked like a train engine and I gave it a couple of trial runs. The party was postponed a couple of times and finally is occurring today. So I spent from 8am to 4pm yesterday working on the 3 cakes that made up the whole thing.
I had grand plans. But lack of knowledge, practice and practicality dictated the final product. I had thought I would cover the whole board in fondant, for a background. I have very little experience in fondant and it's VERY expensive. I also didn't think I could get it rolled out that big of piece and get it on whole by myself. So that got nixed.
I did use fondant for the surface of the platform cake. I had a brick impression that I used to make the surface. It was also the first time I "built"something out of cake. It is a little wavy. I molded a piece of white chocolate to make the platform sign. I initially used an edible food marker to write on the sign.
This was the second car of the train. I built this out of cake too. I had to make a run to ABC Cake decorating for some supplies. While there, I came across these Harry Potter rings. They had pictures of the three main characters. That was a lucky find. Now I could put them "on the train". The cookies weren't the best wheels, but again I am a rank amateur.
I am glad I had practiced with the engine. It made it easier to do. I molded chocolate for some of the details. The platform cake is a marble cake with chocolate pudding filling. The second car is also marble cake, but with cherry preserves as a filling. The engine is strawberry cake with strawberry filling. It I had time, it would have been nice to use a simple syrup on them to make sure they were moist, but I ran out of time. Hopefully they will be OK. I kept them in the fridge till this morning.
I thought I was going to have room on the board to put more decorative elements around the whole scene. But once I got the three cakes on the board, it was pretty full. So I ended up just piping some grass at the end of the platform.
I also had some plastic rings with the crests and names of the 4 houses at Hogwarts. I put them along the front of the platform. This was the first time I piped writing other than a brief practice in my class. I got brave enough to go over the writing on the Platform Sign too.
So there it is. More grand in my imagination. The Platform cake is about 21 inches long, 7 inches wide and 3 inches tall. So There is a substantial amount of cake here.
It was definitely a learning experience!