The Making of the Pencil Cake: Part Four- It is finished.
Well, we’ve arrived at the night before my cousin’s wedding and I’m super relieved to say that the groom’s cake is done and it looks great! For a little background on why this particular shape was chosen… let me explain to you that my cousin is NEVER without a mechanical pencil tucked behind his ear. It’s always there and probably always will be. So the choice for this cake to look like a pencil was the only natural thing to do! Haha.
As with any 3D cake, its no small task. There’s baking, rolling, carving & sculpting, filling, and coating involved. And at times the detail work can get pretty nit-picky. (Just ask my sister, my lovely cousin Betsy, and my brother’s wonderful girlfriend Kelly… they had to sit through my last-minute painstakingly detailed final touches tonight.) They also helped me move the cake… as did my smart and resourceful father (who just happened to have a razor blade in hi truck. So all we had to do was lift the parchment paper onto the white tray and cut it away with the razor blade leaving a clean, virtually invisible edge. So YAY for teamwork!)
Alright… ya ready to see it???
The process really is quite interesting when I look back at it…
I pulled out all the baked cakes to get started.
~Then just began chopping and chopping and chopping. Multiple pounds of chocolate went into this cake 🙂
~I used an extra special ingredient in the ganache… a gift from my brother for Christmas! Real vanilla bean!
~I had the idea to hollow out the pencil tip so it wouldn’t be heavy and sag downward. It ended up being a bad idea because it caused the pencil tip the be really bendy and not supported… You’ll see how I solved that problem in a minute.
~This is all the vanilla you get from one bean. Crazy! But it goes a long way.
~Here’s the two mint cakes, cut and tooth-picked together to create the framework of the pencil.
~Here’s how I attached the pencil tip. First by putting lots of toothpicks into the big cake…
~Then by smoothing melted chocolate onto it as “glue.” (Keep in mind, this is not ganache. It’s straight melted chocolate… which dries much harder than ganache.)
~Here’s the ganache. I added blue food coloring to darken it.
~Then I carefully coated the whole thing! It ended up developing cracks overnight (which I had to fix with melted chocolate and a tiny piping tip.)
~And here’s how I added support back to the pencil tip (with less weight)… marshmallows! Sealed in with chocolate.
~I tooth-picked this as well…
~And took a deep breath… and stuck it on… supporting it temporarily with a whisk handle.
~So here it is… basic bare bones. If you’d been here you’d have gone crazy by the time I got to this point… I was moving VERY slowly.
~Here’s how it stood last night. Then my husband came home…
and noticed something…
Do you see it?
The clip’s on the wrong side.
I’m a bimbo sometimes. In my mind’s eye, I could’ve sworn the clip belonged on the tip side. But it doesn’t.
~Here are a few of the back-up cakes… These are the ones with the chocolate filling.
~And here was the rough plan for how we would solve the problem. (I had already written “Drew and Kellie” on it so I couldn’t just reverse it… and I didn’t want to move it to the other side because the ganache wasn’t as smooth over there. SO… I had to trim and touch-up later.)
~And tonight…. da da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I did finishing touches on all the edges with a piping bag. I filled in a few of the cracks that had formed in the ganache. I moved the cake (with many helpers) onto the white board, and I fixed the clip!
I’m very happy with it!!
But I’m also very tired of chopping chocolate (at least for a little while.)
Now it just has to survive the car ride.