A “really useful engine” yet challenging and takes forever as a cake!
November 16, 2012
Sue and I were talking through ideas for her dad’s 70th cake and about him loving trains and that his name is Thomas – what else could the cake be than Thomas the tank engine!
I have been thinking quite a bit recently that I need to tackle shaped cakes as I chose against doing a Hagrid shaped cake for Kev’s birthday this year and a 3D kermit for him last year. The main fact being I just didn’t have the time but I was also a little scared! This meant that Thomas had to be a 3D cake and I had to embrace the challenge. First job was to head round to my brother in laws to borrow a Thomas the tank engine toy from my nephew Oliver!
The cake did take a long time, this proved I made the right decision for Kevs cake! I started building and carving the cake as step 1, using a diagram drawn up using the Thomas toy stating the length, width and height of each section. I chose to add the buttercream and jam filling after I had carved it, it meant I had to take it apart but it went back together ok. I felt it would slip about if I tried to carve it with the filling already in place and I didn’t have enough cake to layer it up as one big one and the cut it out like they do on Ace of Cakes!
The shaped cake was then covered with white icing with any additional shaping being done before it was then covered with Blue icing. Then it was time to add the detail.
Thomas’ face – I made this using a mixture of fondant, petal paste and tylo powder to ensure it stayed strong and in place.
The coal – I made this by covering sugar in black liquid food colouring
The Red outline – I piped this on using a piping bag and fondant mixed with a little water
Wheels – Made from swiss roll and covered in fondant
The underneath of the train was a block of cake covered in icing with the wheels stuck to the side of the block. I then placed a board on top of this covered in grey icing, then the main section of the train was placed on top of the board. The board provided support to the main section of the train as it was rather heavy and I added some dowels to provide additional support to the whole cake.
I was really happy with the end result. It was bigger than I had planned but stayed in one piece and I felt the Thomas face was the best I had made to date, as we had done a model of Thomas in cake class and I have made one since for my brother and my nephew.