Pinterest is your best friend in cake makery. I'd been pinning submarine cakes for months leading up to Brodie's birthday, thinking I was ahead of the game. Then he threw me the curve ball of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory party request.
There are about 8 million Wonka cakes on Pinterest so I had plenty of inspiration. Most of them had fondant icing covering the main cake and because I watch a lot of Cake Boss I know that fondant is hard to handle for the amateur cake wrangler so I went with buttercream and made the smaller fondant decorations in front of the telly a few nights before the party. I bought a variety pack of fondant from the supermarket along with a package of white and made the toadstools, lollipops and candy canes. Fondant icing doesn't actually taste very good though so I felt it was a bit of false advertising but they held up well - I let them dry and harden so they were pretty robust.
The cake was just a basic red velvet which I baked in my largest round tin. I shaved a bit off the front and stacked it at the back so make the cake more hilly and so the chocolate river could flow down the way. I attempted to temper the chocolate so it would stay shiny but clearly my tempering skills are lacking so it was a bit dull in the end. I melted chocolate and poured it down the cake - tricky eh? Greig suggested some Malteser bubbles for the river and they looked good.
I whipped up a double batch of Peggy Porschen's white chocolate buttercream - first used here - and dyed it green with gel food colour. I gave it a thin coat using a palette knife - I believe this is called 'dirty icing' thanks Buddy! Finally I piped the 'grass' all over with a star tip.
Then it was time to add the decorations I'd already made. Greig came up up with the idea of including Augustus Gloop in the form of a lego man trapped inside some marble run tubes and drizzled in chocolate and dare I say that might be my favourite bit of this cake?
I have no idea what next year's request will be but I'm looking forward to the challenge and I won't be trying to make any early predictions!