I always love making cakes for friends and this weekend had the pleasure of making the birthday cakes and cookies for a very special family friend. I asked him a while ago what he'd like and he told me that the theme had to be Star Wars. So I asked him who was his favourite character. He said all of them! We decided that cupcakes of different characters would be the way to go - cupcakes are so easy for a kid's birthday party as they're ready-made helpings and there's no waiting for the cake to be served -but it would also be good to have a cutting cake and that should be Darth Vadar. The challenge was set!
The cupcake toppers took a day to make and I made them two days out. I looked for photos of the Star Wars cast and then I created rough sketches of the characters I wanted to include and then turned those that needed it, into templates to cut around the fondant. The fondant was stiffened with some tylose powder which helps them keep their shape. The chosen cupcake flavour was vanilla with vanilla buttercream and this was made one day out and then topped immediately with the fondant topper.
Also made one day out, the Darth Vader cake was chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream covered in sugarpaste. The cake was made of one 8 inch cake and two 6 inch cakes which were carved up to create the cake shape. I used cake to create the pattern on the face and then accentuated it with some extra sugarpaste around the brow, eyes and nose; then covered the whole lot with a large layer of white sugarpaste. I made a party cake a couple of years ago for my son which I covered with pre-coloured blue fondant - and then one of the class mums told me that it turned her child's poo green! That thought has stayed with me ever since :) So I decided that I would cover Darth Vader with white fondant and give my birthday present its maiden outing to use my Dinky Doodle Airbrush to spray the cake black. So it still has black food colouring but only on the very surface of the cake and not through the fondant. And I had a great time with my new airbrush! It was 11.30pm and it was difficult not to get trigger happy with the spraying. I left the cake to dry overnight and in the morning it had dried a much deeper and matte colour.
Finally, also one day out, I made some cookies for the party bags which were vanilla cookies (recipe here) with a layer of fondant over the top. The cutters are from Lakeland and are really effective. I always give C-3P0 a spray of gold lustre just to bring out the shine. Then they were presented in a party bag sealed with some pretty washi tape.
So after a brilliant climbing party tiring the boys out, we went to the pub for lunch and finished off with lots of birthday cake. And there was a LOT of it. So when the boys finished their cupcakes and wanted chocolate cake, there was plenty to go around. And plenty to take home afterwards. But I think that's one of the perks of being the birthday boy - taking the leftovers home and enjoying it for the next few days :)