How To Make A Super Mary Poppins Cake
A Mary Poppins cake tutorial to help ease the post-Christmas blues. This movie is watched every year in my house alongside White Christmas and Oliver. What is about the festive spirit that gets us high on musicals. Like, even my dad who will pretend all year not to like them, chimes in on chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim, cheree. Ah Dick Van Dyke, bless him, I will never get tired of that absolutely abysmal cock-e-nee accent. Blimey Guv’nor, it’s blooming awful!
How was your festive period? I really hope you ate too much so I’m not alone in this leggings filled January. I must admit, this year for me was up there with the best of them. My whole family were in the same place for a change and for the first time, in a long time, I didn’t lift a finger! My amazing Dad took over breakfast duty with some seriously cool French toast, croissant, s’mores mash up that was truly inspired! We had a light lunch of Christmas Eve's left over cinnamon buns that went down a treat (my favourite recipe is here). And my seriously wonderful little sister cooked the entire Christmas dinner by herself! She made everything, sprouts with chorizo, roast potato, mashed potato, roast carrots and parsnips, onions and gravy topping off a truly spectacular slow cooked lamb. It was a freaking triumph! I didn’t even have to bake a pudding, she rounded up all the Christmas chocolate haul into magical ice cream sundaes. Think crushed up Ferrero Rochers, chocolate orange slices and mint matchsticks. It was to die for!
On top of the glorious food, I got absolutely spoiled this year! My dad treated me to a brand-new stand mixer that I’m seriously in love with. I mean really, it’s lucky I’m single because I don’t think any man could match up to the love I feel when it starts whipping and I don’t have to be anywhere near it. It can whisk things while I do something else! That’s the dream! I mean, I don’t actually do other things yet because I’m so mesmerised watching it go but I can and that’s the main thing. He also got me a blow torch! Which is just like, shit wow!!!! I’m gonna be brûlée-ing all day, every day. I’m a firestarter, twisted firestarter!
Alongside my dad, my sister Kirsten (that's her, ain't she adorable) got me The Maker’s Yearbook. It’s this awesome planner/workbook/online community to help people start/run a creative business. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but keep procrastinating on the actual how to make money part. It’s extra embarrassing when I admit that I have a degree in Business Enterprise and have been out of work this past year. I have no excuses, 2018 is gonna be my year to kick my own ass into gear and start making money for myself rather than waiting for someone else to give me a job in this sucky economy.
Oh, I almost forgot! Remember my massive gush session about my love of Strictly? If not, take a look here. Well, my wonderful friend got me a ticket to see Pasha Kovalev on his tour! A whole night of being enchanted by dance. And in real life too! Not just on TV! I’m afraid I’m never gonna leave the theatre, the poor ushers are gonna have to drag me crying and screaming away at the end. Pasha I love you!!!!!
I finished off the Crimbo period at an absolutely delicious burlesque party for New Year. The performers were incredible, the outfits to die for and the cute men were actually my age for a change! It was lush! I’m in that weird early 30’s age bracket where no one knows how to meet anyone, like you aren’t exactly clubbing anymore, and you’ve tapped out your pool of friends friends. By 30 you know all your friends friends and if you haven’t started dating them by now you aren’t gonna. Suggestions welcome in the comments guys! As long as you don’t hit me with Tinder. Been there, done that, still got the scars.
Enough about my tragic love life, let’s get on with the cake, shall we?
P.s. All photos from this post are by Lynann Colligan, you can see more of her work here. Go check her out, she's crazy talented.
1 batch of cake and frosting (you can find my favourite here)
250g white fondant
100g black fondant
Bake the cakes and when cool, cut each into two layers, cover with cling film and place in the freezer. On a piece of parchment paper, draw 4 clouds and cut them out. Snip a barbeque skewer in half. Roll out white fondant to ¼ inch thickness. Place the parchment clouds on top in the same layout as below.
Cut around the parchment so you have one piece. Carefully place this on a lined baking tray. Brush the centre of the fondant with a little water and push in the barbeque skewers like this. Roll out a fresh piece of white fondant to the same thickness, cut around the parchment clouds again but this time, in individual pieces so you have 4 clouds. Attach these on top of the large piece with a little water. Repeat this process for two, individual clouds but this time place a lollipop inside each layer instead of a barbeque skewer. Leave these all to dry overnight. Carefully turning them over a few times so that the dry evenly and all through
To create the Mary template, I found it easiest to do a Google image search on my tablet. When I had the right image, I zoomed in until it was the size I wanted, placed a piece of parchment over the top and traced around the image with an edible ink pen. To stop my fingers moving the screen, when everything was in place I put a pair of gloves on while drawing. Cut out the Mary template, snipping off the umbrella into a separate piece. Roll out the black fondant to the same thickness as a 10p piece. Place the Mary template on top and carefully cut around. It can help to leave the fondant to dry a little after rolling but before cutting it, the firmer texture makes it a little easier. When you’re happy, leave Mary and her umbrella to dry overnight.
The following day, remove the cakes from the freezer roughly 1 hour before you need to assemble them.
While you’re waiting, check that Mary and the clouds are completely dry. If they are, attach Mary on top with a little frosting and leave to dry again. I found the easiest order is to attach Mary, then roll out a thin length of black fondant for the umbrella handle, attaching with a little water. Then finally, add the top of the umbrella with frosting.
When the cakes are ready, stack on top of each other with a layer of frosting between each. I coloured this frosting lilac because I love purple but it’s totally up to you. Apply a thin layer of frosting all over the outside of the cake. Smooth down the sides and place in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, colour the remaining frosting pale blue and coat the cake in a generous layer, smoothing down the sides.
To decorate the front of the cake, roll out black fondant and cut out 2 kites, one slightly smaller than the other. Cut each kite into four and attach to the front of the cake. You shouldn’t need anything to help them stick as the frosting should still be soft enough. Roll out thin strands of black fondant for the kite strings and place on to the cake, adding a few smaller pieces as ribbons.
To the left of the kites, we’re going to add an old-fashioned street lamp. Take this in small sections. First, cut out the base then add another layer of black fondant along the bottom and two at the top to provide depth. Next, make the post by rolling out a piece of fondant into a long sausage, carefully placing this onto the cake above the base. Use the end of a teaspoon to gently nudge it into a straight line. For the lamp section, cut the main shape first then carefully remove the window panes with a sharp knife. Leave this to dry slightly for a few minutes before adding it to the cake as it can easily lose its shape when moved. Lastly, roll up a little ball and pop it on top.
All that’s left now is to carefully push Mary and the clouds into place. Make sure you’re aware of the position of the kites and lamp before you press Mary in as you want her to be right in the centre of everything.
Et voila! You’re done, another project complete. This week, I learned that cutting intricate shapes into fondant is a total pain in the butt but we can make it a little better by allowing it to dry slightly first. Also, I wish I could 3D print pastry cutters into any shape I needed cos that would save a whole lot of time.
Next week, I’m taking a bit of a different direction than usual, I’ll be focusing more on challenging my baking skills than my decorating with a freaking marvellous Jaffa Cake, cake. Make sure you stop by, I’m making jelly and mousse from scratch and attempting my first ever genoise sponge in my fancy new mixer.
See you then