Wednesday, 11 September 2013

How to Make a Power Ranger Cake

This is my son's birthday cake from earlier this year, he and I spent ages trawling the internet (it's a tradition now!) for the perfect birthday cake. We watched Cakes By ChoppA make his extremely popular Spiderman Cake on YouTube, which I used as my inspiration for this project. Actually this cake started out as a Spiderman Cake but as with all little boys he changed his mind at the last moment and decided that his cake should be of Jayden the Red Samurai Power Ranger!

We I also watched the very talented Mich Turner on her  How to Hand Paint your Cake tutorial video too, some great tips for painting the tricky black parts. It proved very useful, especially for holding a steady hand and painting the top of the cake, worth checking out.  
So here is the final result which went down a storm with his friends (teacher also got a slice too), it has taken some time to put this post together but I think it is worth it because you never know when the little man in your life needs a really special cake! 

Serves 10-12

2 Qty of Katie Cakes Red Velvet Cupcake recipe
500g Ready to roll icing (sugarpaste)
500g Icing sugar plus extra for dusting
250g Butter softened
2-3tbsp Water
Red food colouring
Black food colouring

Sharp knife
Cake polisher/smoother
25x25cm Cake board
Rolling pin
Small paint brush

Bake the red velvet cake in a 22 x 22cm cake tin, greased and lined for about 40-45 minutes or until it is firm the the center. Cool completely on a wire rack. Trim off the domed top of the cake so that when the cake is flipped over is has a smooth flat surface to work on and the crumbcoat (buttercream) will be easier to apply.

Meanwhile make the buttercream as follows, whip the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer or by hand until soft and light, gradually add the icing sugar and mix until pale and fluffy. To loosen the buttercream slightly which will make it easier to spread, add the water a tablespoon at a time mixing after each addition until you are happy with the consistency, set aside

I used my son's Power Ranger mask as a template guide to cut out the basic cake shape (the mask I used was  23½cm x 18cm). Holding a sharp knife vertically, use small sawing actions to cut out a basic face shape. When the basic shape is cut out, remove the excess sponge cake and set aside. Trim the top edges to create a more realistic mask finish. I used the cake sponge scraps to make Children's Chocolate Truffles which I then rolled in black and red sprinkles in keeping with the Power Ranger theme!

Spread a small amount of buttercream on your cake board and lay the cake on top, this will secure the cake in place while you work. In order to keep the board clean while I'm applying the crumbcoat (buttercream), I like to place strips of baking paper under the sides of the cake.
With a butter knife or a pallet knife, spread the buttercream all over the sponge ( pushing the buttercream into the sponge helps it stay in place) neaten the sides with a blunt edge of the your knife. Dome the buttercream on the top of the cake, tapering to a point where the chin finishes, this will give the cake a more realistic finish. 

Set aside about 80-100g of the white sugarpaste. Roll out the remainder until it is 4mm thick on a flat surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Smooth with a cake polisher before laying centrally over the cake.

Smooth the sugarpaste into place, use the heel of your hand to gently ease it into the sides, smooth over with the cake polisher.

Trim away the excess with a sharp knife and give the cake a final polish and carefully remove the baking paper strips.

At this stage the cake could be used for any character, you have a basic face shape that can be painted to become Spiderman, Captain America or any other member of the Power Rangers. 

Using a small ( makeup) brush paint on the red food colouring, this will give a much brighter red colour to the cake and it is totally edible. Dying your own sugarpaste usually yields a pink colour so painting the cake gives a much better result.  

Use long strokes with a small amount of food colouring on the brush. Set aside while you get on with making the mask details.

On a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar roll out the reserved white sugarpaste until it is 4mm thick and cut out the mask details. As you can see from the collage above I basically cut these pieces out free hand using the mask as a guide, it wasn't perfect but my 6yo was delighted with the end result!! 
I laid the "eye" part first onto the still wet red food colouring and then placed the "mouth" over it for a layered look and neatened off the edges with a cake polisher. 

Using black food colouring and your small (washed) brush, paint on the details. I used black food gel which I thinned out with a boiled and cooled water as it was a bit sticky. However it later dripped slightly at the corner of his eye, which wiped away without any mark but beware, don't let it get too runny or paint it on too thickly like I did ;) 

I later added two strips to the side of the "mouth" which I accidently omitted. I neatened the seam and painted in with black as before. 

So here is the cake and mask side by side, pretty good for a first!

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