It was an aunt’s 60th birthday recently and my uncle asked me to make a bottle of champagne cake for her.
As you know if you have read previous blogs, I like to make my own moulds where I can, and this time was no different.
I make the moulds using catering high-strength aluminium foil, which I use in double-thickness to wrap around the item I am using as a template – this time it was a bottle of Moet. I then packed around the foil mould with baking beans so it did not rock in the baking tin.
I use a Madeira mix for sponge cakes when I am going to sculpt cakes, as it is a denser sponge and holds its shape well.
Once cooled it was necessary to prop up the neck of the bottle so it did not break, as it is very fragile at this stage. I then glazed it with apricot glaze – this serves two purposes; firstly to give the marzipan something to adhere to, secondly to keep the cake moist.
I use marzipan beneath fondant when I am sculpting cakes as it helps them retain their shape. Before fully covering the cake fill in any dents or add extra depth with pieces of marzipan.
I then covered the bulk of the bottle with green icing – as you can see this bears no resemblance to the black-green of a champagne bottle, but this can easily be achieved. Add some black dusting powder to confectioner’s glaze, and use this to paint the green icing – this will not only give the icing a glass-like sheen, but will also create the green-black colouring.
To obtain the gold foil top I used a small mesh sieve to create the imprint in the icing, which I then painted with edible gold paint. I then wrapped a black sleeve around the base of the neck, edging it with the same gold paint. I then added the black star & wording on the bottle neck.
The finishing touch was an edible image of the champagne bottle label, and some gold stars on the cake board.
Kathy was so taken with the cake she refused to cut it for days – but eventually gave into temptation!!