Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Big, Fat Cake Project

The inspiration for this year's big cake project was Red House, designed by Phillip Webb for my personal hero, William Morris. J and L and I worked for three days to make our Ginger Red House (heh heh). The original is pictured below (I borrowed this picture from the Victorian Web). The house is now in the care of the National Trust and is an icon of the Arts and Crafts movement.

J and L made an amazing prototype of Red House out of card, so that we would have the individual pieces to make out of gingerbread.

They even sourced the floor plans. We built the house on a piece of acetate, that sat on the plans. The acetate was the only piece of the whole cake that was not edible.

The walls took one whole day.

And here is the finished cake. It sits on a three-layer chocolate-cherry cake. In front of the house sits its well and the Morris family (just one baby at this stage) sitting on a Willow pattern inspired carpet. The grass is made of food-coloured shredded coconut.

This overhead shot shows all the pieces of the roof... which itself took one whole day. Very fussy!

A few more photos.

Making the little fondant figures were fun, as it was - for a change - a small, not-too-messy job. That's the end of my pinky finger to show some scale.

A view of the front entrance.

The side...

The cake was 5" tall and 17" x 17". I was worried about making it too soft to hold up the gingerbread house, and I made it a little dry by mistake.

The cake at the event.

The gingerbread was both tasty and strong. I used my favourite recipe, found here. We used 38 eggs for the entire thing.

Thank you J and L for being such great collaborators! We worked for three days and it was smooth sailing all the way through.

And thank you William Morris, for the constant inspiration!


Betsy said...

I look forward to this post every year! And again you out did yourselves! How very wonderful! The Red House was a great idea...doing it in gingerbread atop the cake...just lovely.
My favorite part is the ivy growing on the house!

Just wonderful! ;)

Dawn Marie said...

This looks amazing!! Congratulations!

The Clever Pup said...

Wow, you are so patient. Is this what they call Kelmscott House?

Zuzana said...

I think the recipient of this cake must have been left speechless, as I am left that way right now.
Wow! is all I can say. Look at those intricate details and the whole idea is so ambitious.
This must have been a shame to cut into, it is like ruining a masterpiece.;)

Blog Princess G said...

Thanks all! Clever Pup, Kelmscott House and Kelmscott Manor were two other homes Morris lived in. Red House was the only one he had specially built for him.

R.A.D. Stainforth said...

Wow! That is one hell of a big fucking cake ... MAKE ME A CAKE MAKE ME A CAKE MAKE ME A CAKE MAKE ME A CAKE MAKE ME A CAKE MAKE ME A CAKE ...

Blog Princess G said...

I hope someone does very soon! :)

Judie said...

I too look forward to this post each year and you blew me away. What an inspired idea to create William and Jane Morris home! Your cake figure of William is spot on too. I only wish I could have sampled your cake, although I would have been loath to cut into it. Amazing!!

Blog Princess G said...

Thank you so much, Judie! I love your profile pic, I happen to have it hanging on my living room wall!