How To Make A Fabulous Strictly Come Dancing Cake Darling
Dah da da dah da da dah! Ahhhh I love Strictly Come Dancing so blooming much! I kid you not, I hate going out on Saturday nights this time of year because it means I have to wait even longer to watch Strictly. It’s just so freaking glamorous and the way they move! Ah, I should have been a dancer! Damn you Papa Colligan for not foreseeing this obsession and sending me to ballroom lessons as a child. At the age of seven, ‘Strictly Ballroom’ was my favourite film, the signs were there! I should have been a dancer!
I had this ex who used to laugh at me because whatever I was doing during the show (texting, talking, eating), I would stop as soon as they started dancing. I’ve had forks halt in mid air just so I can give my full attention to a Charleston. I have a small confession; this story has a dark side. This particular person didn’t watch me, watching Strictly. I had 2 lost years, where I defected to Dancing With The Stars. Only because I lived in Canada and I couldn’t get the BBC. I had to fill my fix. I couldn’t go cold Turkey. Tess, please don’t hate me! I’m back now. For good, I promise!
It’s so bad, that I frequently beg my loved ones to come up with a plan to make me just famous enough that I’ll be invited on to Strictly. I mean, not so famous that I can’t drunkenly inhale a donner kebab on a Friday night without the paparazzi flashing but just famous enough that I get the call from the BBC. And then, I can live out my very specific fantasy where I get partnered with Pasha (because we’d become best friends, obviously), we make it to Blackpool and for some unknown reason, Vincent Simone comes back to choreograph my Argentine Tango. This is what Heaven looks like! If only I could positive think it into reality. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll have to settle for cake.
Oh my God, think of all the cake I could eat! Like, Mollie’s training 12 hours a day, think of the calorie burn! I had to start working out when I created this blog because of all the baked goodness but it’s ok because I found the best motivation. Every time I get tired/sore/wanna quit, I think of Strictly. Arms wanna drop? I can’t have a bad frame on the dancefloor, Craig hates that! Stomach on fire? Shirley’s always banging on about a strong core, so I have to get me one of them. You see Universe? I’m getting prepared so can you hurry up and get me on it already? I’m 31 now and I don’t have Debbie McGee’s legs as it is, my prime is ticking away. Get a move on!
In preparation for me lifting the Glitterball Trophy one day, I’ve decided to make an edible one. It’s got a ginger sponge to spice up your week, just like Strictly does. Orange frosting in homage to the wonderfully excessive use of fake tan on the show. Topped with fabulous fondant feathers, sequins and homemade, cake glitter. Lush! Imagine, if one day, through some crazy accident of fate, I managed to get on and it turns out I cannot dance? Ah well, at least I’ll have a cracking frame for week one.
Ah I could gush all day but it’s probably time I got on to cake eh?
*sidenote, - as I’m writing this (I kid you not), I just got a notification on my Twitter telling me Pasha Kovalev tweeted for the first time in a while. Destiny is that you? Calling my name? Oh, please make it so!!
8oz self-raising flour
8oz light brown sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2oz fresh, peeled ginger
1tbsp ground, black pepper
1 ½ cups butter
4 cups icing sugar
Splash of lemon juice
400g yellow/gold fondant
150g pink fondant
1 cup white sugar
Food colouring, pink and purple
Edible silver shimmer spray
Edible gold dust
2 barbeque skewers
Let’s start with the glitterball because it takes an age to dry. If you’re short on time you can use the oven to speed up the drying process, but that method leaves my nerves in pieces. You’re basically playing chicken with the oven, it needs to be hot enough to dry the fondant but not so hot it melts and you can’t leave it in there too long. Roll out the yellow fondant to 4mm thickness and cut 3 circles, same size (about 4 ½ inches diameter).
Snip 2 inches off the end of the barbeque skewers and attach to one of the fondant circles with a little brush of water/vodka. Press in gently. Attach another circle on top. Leave the remaining circle to dry for 30 minutes.
Let’s switch now to the feathers. These are really easy but really delicate so try to keep a light touch. Flatten out a small piece of pink fondant with your fingers to 2mm. Pinch the centre to create a raised vein, this is the centre of the feather. Carefully, use a sharp knife to score lines coming out from the centre. When you’re happy with these, run the knife along the outside to carve a feather shape. Carefully, pull some strands down to create a few gaps.
Mix a little pink food colouring with a splash of vodka and paint onto the feathers. A deep colour in the centre, fading out to the edges. Leave to dry.
Sequin time! A certain member of my family (who shall go unnamed) still calls these ‘sequences’. It’s a miracle I still allow myself to be in the same room as her, it drives me insane!!! I loved this task. As you know, I use baking as a cheap therapy and repeating this motion over and over is so freaking soothing. Roll out the pink fondant, cut small circles, poke a hole in the centre, repeat. Leave to dry.
Back to the glitterball. Carefully score the tile pattern into the last yellow circle with a knife and set aside again.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160 fan and line two 6-inch cake pans. In a large bowl, grate the ginger and add 8oz brown sugar and 8oz butter. Mix with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Slowly add in four eggs while still whisking. Lastly, gently sift and fold in 8oz flour and 1tbsp pepper. I don’t usually bother sifting but for this one it helps the pepper distribute more evenly. Split the mix and pour half each in the lined cake pans. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. When cool, cut each into 2 layers, wrap in cling film and place in the freezer.
Glitterball finish. With a sharp knife, carefully cut along the lines you scored earlier to make individual tiles. It’s best to go a row at a time so you don’t lose your place. Flip the circles you attached to skewers earlier, onto their underside and stick the tiles on one by one with a little brush of vodka. It’s time consuming but it’s so calming. You have to concentrate to stop yourself accidentally pressing too hard and ruining the shape.
When you have all the tiles on the glitterball, mix a little of the edible gold dust with vodka and brush on top. Leave to dry for at least 1 day.
The following day, remove the cakes from the freezer 1-2 hours before you start assembling. To assemble the cake, mix 1 ½ cups of butter, 4 cups icing sugar, a splash of lemon juice and the zest and juice of 1 orange. Every orange has a slightly different amount of juice, so you might need to add a little more or a little less icing sugar. The lemon juice, helps to add a little sharpness and stops it becoming overly sweet. Use the frosting to layer the 2 cakes on top of each other on a cake board/plate. Apply a thin layer to the outside of the cake to pick up the crumbs and move to the fridge.
Colour the remaining frosting purple. Add a drop of pink food colouring to 1 cup of sugar and mix until the sugar is a similar colour to the feathers and sequins. If you have gel colouring, it should be fine as is. If you have liquid colour, spread the sugar on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 mins at 150C to dry it out.
Remove the cake from the fridge and cover with a layer of purple frosting, smooth out the sides. Sprinkle the pink sugar across the top and splash around the sides at the bottom. Brush off and keep any excess for later.
Place the glitterball on top but don’t push the skewers all the way down, leave a little gap around ½ inch between the ball and the cake. Transfer all the remaining purple frosting to a piping bag and use it to attach the feathers and sequins to the top. Finally, sprinkle the rest of the pink sugar to hide the frosting sticking the feathers.
Leave this to set for 5 minutes and then, over the sink, blow off any excess. For a final splash of fab, spray everything with a generous spritz of silver shimmer. Ta Dah! Dah da da da dah! You’re done!
I’m gonna end today on a plea. If anyone from the Strictly casting team somehow lands on this post, I’ll trade you a lifetimes supply of cake for a spot. Any takers? No?? Ah well, a woman can dream.