I made this cake recently for Father's Day (we made matching cards too), it could also be a very thoughtful birthday cake. Birthday cakes for men can be a tricky thing, as a result I am constantly looking for inspiration for the men in my life. To compound the thing it is even more of a task if they don't support a football team. This on the other hand is what I call a neutral cake, it could be made for a birthday, thank you teacher or a retirement cake without any problem.
Now when inspiration hit me to make this cake, I couldn't find any step by step instructions. As a result I really struggled with the collar, so through my trial and error you can proceed with confidence and present the man in your life with a really thoughtful gift!!
265g Self raising flour
35g Cocoa powder
1½ tsp Baking powder
300g Soft margarine
300g Caster sugar
6 Medium eggs
175g Butter, room temperature
350g Icing sugar, sieved
2 tbsp Cocoa powder
2 tbsp Water
550g - 600g White ready to roll icing (sugarpaste)
100g Blue ready to roll icing (sugarpaste)
Cake board/Large platter
Cake polisher/ smoother
2-3 tbsp Boiled and cooled water
Small clean makeup brush
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/350ºF/ Gas Mark 5. Grease and line a 30cm x 22cm baking tin with baking paper.
Place the chocolate sponge ingredients in a large bowl, mix on high with an electric mixer for 3-5 minutes until everything is combined. Pour into the prepared baking tin, level off and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the the centre springs back when pressed lightly in the center with your fingers. Set aside to cool. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile make the buttercream as follows. Place the butter in a large bowl and mix on high with an electric mixer until soft. Add the sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder, mix slowly at first increasing the speed to high. Mix for 2-3 minutes. Add the water and mix on high until the buttercream is light and creamy. Set aside but don't refrigerate, it will become too stiff to spread on the sponge.
Trim the domed crust off the top of the sponge. Place the cooled sponge upside down on a large cake board or serving platter. To prevent the sponge from moving while you are decorating it, place a large daub of buttercream onto the cake board or serving platter, set the sponge into place. Cover the whole sponge with a thick layer of the chocolate buttercream.
TIP: I have strips of baking paper under the sponge, which I will remove when the cake is decorated with the sugarpaste, I find it is easiest way to keep a cake board clean.
Roll 500g of the white ready to roll icing (sugarpaste) into a 40cm x 40cm rectangle and lay it centrally over the iced cake. Smooth into place using cake polishers or cake smoother and trim.
Use the heel of your hand to smooth the sugarpaste into place, polish the cake until smooth.
Cut out a breast pocket and lay onto the right hand side of the cake, draping half of it down the side. "Glue" it into place a dab of boiled and cooled water and a small brush (I keep a small makeup brush for this job). With a toothpick of sharp knife create the stitching around the edge of the pocket.
Roll out 150g of blue sugarpaste, cut out a tie shape, lay it onto the cake. As you can see in the insert, I cut out a triangle shape with the points cut off for the top of the tie. Glue both into place with the boiled and cooled water. Making sure that the tie drapes right down to the cake board (which I forgot to do) this will conceal front of the shirt.
Knead the remaining white sugarpaste, use the guide above and cut out a 25-30cm collar (my collar above was too small so learn from my mistake!!)
Carefully fold over the collar and attach it to the cake, "glue" into place with the boiled and cooled water. Work the tie into the collar, working fast at this stage will help.
From the scraps of white sugarpaste, cut out small polka dots using a piping nozzel and glue into place onto the tie.
I added some extra details onto the cake, which are optional. I thought that the studs added some glamour and I also added a sleeve as if the shirt was folded.