So I did mention before that I like to bake. And as soon as my January exams were over, I found a very good excuse to keep baking. My friend David was turning 23 at the end of January, so I figured, rather than buy an useless tacky gift, why not bake a cake?
I started to think about exactly what David likes (to prove the ultimate friendship test). And if there’s one thing David loves in this world more than his girlfriend or alcohol, it’s pirates. Not like he’s totally obsessed or anything – maybe it’s knowing there are other people out there who get blind drunk on rum at midday. Regardless, I set to work building a pirate ship cake.
Let’s put it this way – this was waaaaaaaay too ambitious for my first cake I baked on my own. It was held together with Italian buttercream (I’ll post a recipe soon!), plastic dowel rods cut to size, and made up of various loaf cakes cut to different sizes and shapes (there are 3 layers in total for this cake). I didn’t get any photos of it in it’s pre-fondant state, but when all of the icing was on, it looked like this!
I used a brick stencil for the icing on the sides for the planks of wood, and used a wooden texture stencil for the deck of the ship. I was pretty proud of myself for even getting this far! As first attempts go, this was fairly good! But I ran into problems!
The main problem with the cake is it was big and heavy. The ‘stern’ part of the cake (the bit sticking out at the back) really shouldn’t have stuck out. And it began to peel apart. The icing for the deck began to crack and peel away from the sheer weight of the cake. So I added more plastic dowel rods and covered them up with squid tentacles, to make it look like more of a shipwreck. Still, the back kept falling off, so the next morning, drastic action was taken…
Yes, I ended up cutting off most of the stern. Where the icing had cracked on the top of the ship, I filled it in with leftover Italian buttercream (I polyfilla’d it). I realigned the dowel rods (you can see the tentacles in the photo above) and patched up the icing. Thankfully, it stayed intact before it was demolished by my friends! I got some photos before the whole thing was eaten!
The back came out rather well considering the extent of the damage. For the railing and fancy decorations, I used a ‘lace’ icing stencil kit from amazon (about £7). It did come out a little too thick for this, but it was okay in the end. The squid tentacles are just rolled out red icing, with yellow circles applied using a little whiskey. The portholes- again, just circles. I added little things like cannonballs and barrels to make it look like a ship, but it was all just rolling icing into cylinders. The waves were just what was left of the Italian buttercream icing dyed blue with a little glitter.
Overall this was a fun project and I will definitely try it again!