Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Harry Potter Birthday Cake {Part 2}

Emily's Harry Potter Birthday Cake: a gingerbread Hogwarts with royal icing decor and candy glass windows, on a chocolate sheet cake (see recipe below), with marzipan characters. It stands solid and lights up!

When I last left off in the previous post (Harry Potter Birthday Cake {Part 1}), Jenny and I had completed making the gingerbread parts with candy windows and the marzipan characters. The time to assemble had arrived. Jenny mapped out on cardboard cake boards where the building would sit and cut holes in the center with an exacto knife where the lights would sit.

We stuck lights through the holes and taped the rest to the back.

We taped another board over the bottom so that the lights weren't lying in cake and flipped it. Voila!

Then came laying the foundations. A common problem with gingerbread houses is collapse. If you use enough royal icing and make sure the sides are standing, set, and dry before you add the rooftops, all should be well, in theory... luckily in this case, also in practice.

So we waited about 45 minutes for the sides to set, and did a light check while waiting - CHECK!

Then we piped icing along the sides and added the roofs and ice cream cone towers.

Finally, it was time for the castle to come to life! The cakeboard was moved on top of the chocolate sheet cake (recipe below). We watered down some of the royal icing and brushed it on the cake board. While wet, we dusted cocoa and sugar on for the ground. Using an Ateco pastry tip #133, I piped green royal icing into grass and shrubs. The landscape was complete with marzipan trees.

Our heros arrived...

Professor Dumbledore and the Sorting Hat were there to greet Ron, Harry and Hermione...

Hedwig was standing by to deliver birthday cards...

We even made a hut for Hagrid!

Another birthday cake was made with scraps from the Hogwarts cake (just in case the dog got to it)...

Emily, who had been in the dark until this point, was in for a surprise... I think she liked the end result :)

Thanks for sharing in this journey. It took Jenny and I the better part of two days to complete, so this cake was definitely a labor of love, but I was glad I could share it with Jenny and her family. It was a bold project to take on and I don't think we expected it to work. We were surprised that nothing catastrophic happened along the way. We were expecting to burn gingerbread, burn ourselves with sugar, collapse roofs, knock down buildings, or drop the cake, but somehow, every step went smoothly. So, bring on the next challenge. I smell a Lord of the Rings cake in my future... Hey, anything is possible. Just ask Ginny Weasley.

"You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve."
- Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Texas Brownies or Texas Sheetcake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa
1/2 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup buttermilk
2  eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter a 17 x 11 inch jelly roll pan (or baking tray with sides).  Combine four, sugar, and soda in large bowl.  In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, shortening, coffee, cocoa, and chocolate.  Stir and heat to boiling.  Pour boiling mixture over dry ingredients in bowl.  Add  buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix well, using a spoon or electric mixer.  Pour into jelly roll pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until brownies test done in center (toothpick inserted in center comes out dry). Cool completely before serving.

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  1. Oh my goodness!!! I have never seen anything so amazing! I had to call my 11 year old daughter to come and see. We are reading the 5th book (order of the Phoenix) together and she is just as in awe as I am. Simply amazing! Ron, Harry and Hermione were captured perfectly, love Hedwig, and Hagrid is nicely done as well. Hogwarts looks just like the movie. Nicely done!!!

    1. howdy, your websites are really good. I appreciate your work. cupcakes in los angeles

  2. As a Harry Potter fan I have to say that this is truly incredible

  3. Wow! So cool! and a lot of detail work. As a Harry Potter fan myself, I'm impressed!

  4. Superbly done and very impressive!

  5. You did an amazing job! Wow! She is one lucky girl.

  6. Fantastic. Thanks for sharing. And Happy Sweet 16 to Emily!

  7. This is fantastic!!!! I love love love it. I posted a link on Hope that's OK! :)

  8. This is just *the* coolest!!! Amazing work!

  9. I just saw this on tastespotting. It's amazing! I would totally want one of these for my birthday!

  10. Thanks, everyone! It was a lot of fun :D

  11. I am a total Harry Potter fan. That is absolutely FANTASTIC!!! I mean WOW!!! GREAT JOB!

  12. this is incredible! what an amazing gift.

  13. I came across your cake via the Craft Gossip email.
    Oh my goodness, what a stunning cake. I would say your labour of love was definitely worth it. Congratulations!!
    I just had to send a link to my Dad, who is a Harry Potter fan.
    Hope he doesn't expect one for his birthday!!

  14. That is amazing! What a fantastic gift.

  15. i'm out of words.... it's really wonderful.. i can bake cake.. bit i've never tried such lavish decorations.. wish i cud make one simple thing for my cousin's bday in june

  16. This is seriously AMAZING. Words cannot describe how amazing I think this is. I'm loving Ron's freckled details.

    I love love love this. Seriously, this is amazing :)

  17. You can't be a Muggle making a cake like that! Bravo!

  18. Hoooooly cow! That's amazing! I love Harry Potter and I love your attention to detail-- Hagrid's hut and the sorting hat as well as everything else. Well done!

  19. I'm speachless. Thankfully I can still type. This beats my 16th birthday cake hands down! (Betty Crocker angelfood cake with boiled icing). You're amazing.

  20. I'm in awe! I absolutely love it! absolutely brilliant.

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  22. Fantabulous! I just can’t take my eyes off this cake. You have done a superb job! And thanks a lot for sharing the recipe as well. I have also booked one of the Venues in NYC for my daughter’s birthday celebration and I would love to surprise her with this.

  23. AMAZING!
    How can I get the templates for this Cake? Love it.
    Thanks for sharing.


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