Bentley Motors Anniversary Mega-Cake
In March I was commissioned to create a replica of their site in cake, for Bentley Motors in Crewe, as it was the 75th anniversary of their opening the Crewe factory.
Normally I make 3D cake sculptures, but they wanted a 3ft x 5ft cake. Previously the largest cake I had made was 14” square – but I am always up for a challenge!!
I decided to make 15 12” square cakes which I would then ice as one large cake. It didn’t dawn on me at the time what a mammoth task I had taken on – that only really struck home when I went to buy the ingredients –
16.8kg Plain Flour
94 teaspoon of Baking Powder
13.2kg Soft Margarine
13.2kg Caster Sugar
75 tablespoons of Lemon Juice
45 tablespoons of Milk
AND 225 EGGS!!!!
The buttercream then took –
3.4kg Icing Sugar
15 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
45 teaspoons of Milk
And 1.1kg Raspberry Jam!
It also took almost 20kg of icing for the decorations and the cake covering.
Overall the cake weighed almost 60kg……………….
The only room in the house with a door wide enough to get the cake out is the lounge, so when I was ready to decorate I had to set up a large workstation in there, so I could roll out the icing and decorate the cake.
I also had to make my own cake board, as you can’t generally buy cake boards of this size! I bought a sheet of mdf which I then covered fully with cake board foil.
Luckily Bentley Motors loaned me the scale model they had of the site so I was able to plan how to decorate it, and make the trees & buildings a little in advance. I made over 200 little trees from sugarpaste to line the site, and used a mix of sugarpaste & modelling paste for the buildings. These proved awkward as the roofs had to be cut at various angles, so it was a case of timing it right so the paste was neither too soft nor too hard to cut.
I was also able to make a scaled template so that I could create the correct shape for the site.
The cake was being collected on the Thursday, so on the Sunday before I began by levelling the cake tops, then filling each cake with jam & buttercream, and joining each one with buttercream.
I left the cake top without buttercream so I could draw the shape of the site on the cake top, using an edible icing pen. This meant I could then buttercream the site area first so I could ice that, and cut out the correct shape using the template.
Once I had iced the site area it was the turn of the sides and the remained of the cake top, in pale green.
I found the best way to ice such a large mega-cake was to do the sides and top separately. Because the paste would tear if I tried to pick up 5ft long pieces, I found the best way was to very lightly dust the top of the rolled out paste with icing sugar, and the roll it around my rolling pin. This let me then pick up the paste and position it where I needed it, then carefully roll it out over the cake – it worked really well.
Once iced, it was time to decorate. Using the template I positioned the little icing trees, then placed the buildings on the cake before attaching them, to make sure they were in the correct place. When I was happy I attached them with edible glue.
I then cut out an edible image of the Bentley logo, and started to measure what size the lettering needed to be, as it was important that it was correctly spaced.
This time finishing the cake was only half the story – it then had to be transported to the Bentley Motors factory in Crewe.
Thankfully Bentley were happy to collect the cake – they had visited a couple of times to check out the size, and how they were actually going to get the cake out of the house – after all, you cannot tip a cake on its side to get it out of a door!
On the Thursday 4 men armed with two very long, thick batons arrived – of all days it was raining so the cake was covered in fine plastic. They carried it “stretcher-style” out of the lounge, through the garden and round to the front of the house into the van.
Thanks to them the cake arrived at Bentley Motors without a scratch!
The official cutting took place at 10.30am, and the cake did not last much after that, but the feedback was that it was definitely worth all the hard work!
I learnt a great deal making this mega-cake so know exactly what to do for the next one, which hopefully won’t be too long.
You can see my other cake sculptures on my website, www.cakesindividuallyiced.co.uk or my FB page, http://www.facebook.com/cakesindividuallyiced