For some time now, I have been keeping an eye on a certain website and blog called I Want Cake who design and create custom cakes. I was really enjoying seeing what they were coming up with. Little did I know, a seed had been planted in my mind that was ready to explode later in the year.
It all started around the beginning of this month, my birthday was approaching and I was just beginning to think about how I would celebrate it.
A few days later, on the 4th of June, just a little over a week from the occasion, I suddenly declared the need for a cake to a friend who knows the people behind the aforementioned website. Here is the very first inkling of the idea, it's for the history book folks.
[11:28:23] i think i want to commission a ":D" cake Nick
[11:28:28] i cannot be more serious.
AND THE REST IS HISTORY!
After getting partial confirmation that I could get a cake done in time, I immediately got down to writing ideas on a piece of paper, my mind was buzzing. To the right you can see the very beginnings of the cake idea and my illegible handwriting.
Being the meticulous person I am, I went into Illustrator a couple of days later and drew up a complete spec of the cake, with as many intricate details as I could think of, it was a lot of fun playing around with it, you can also see this in its entirety on the right.
Basically, I wanted a 3D ":D" that was an accurate representation of the emoticon, eye alignment and all. Based on the Futura font, only chunkier to suit a cake. I wanted it to be fun, as I explained in the summary:
"This is a fun, happy cake, designed to make you smile for the inner child, exploding with happiness and colour :D" - Me
The cake was to be a chocolate mud cake, with white chocolate icing with an idea to cover the top with smarties, this instantly won appeal and was the major contributing factor to the final result.
In the end even this spec was missing some details, I even managed to make it a bit confusing because I wrote too much, woops, lessons learnt.
On the 8th of June I sent off the spec to Nancy at I Want Cake and waited for a reply. While I waited I started to have reservations about the idea. Is this too weird of an idea? Will they want to even bother with this? Being really sick at the time didn't help either.
Thankfully I got a reply the next day and even at short notice, Nancy was more than happy to oblige to go ahead with the planning of the cake, with the delivery date only 1 week away.
"I think it's brilliant." - Nancy
After a couple of days of back and forth with Nancy getting the smaller details worked out, the end was in sight. Friday rolled around and I got an email very early in the morning with exciting news:
"An email to let you know that your cake is done and COLOURFUL! :D
The decoration of the cake is different to "Figure 4" but I can assure you it continues to be "a fun, happy cake, designed to make you smile for the inner child, exploding with happiness and colour". The cake took much longer than anticipated but the result speaks for itself. I am hoping you go :D :D :D :D when you see it." - Nancy
Traveling to Martin Place at lunch time, I met up with Nancy for the first time, who couldn't have been a friendlier person. I was a bit surprised at the size of the I Want Cake branded bag I was handed, the thing looked huge! I was expecting a smaller cake for sure, I was grinning at the thought of going home and taking a look at the first time, I really had no idea what to expect even with all the planning.
I was nervous (with anticipation, not worry), what was going to be inside?!
When I got home, I sat it down, took a deep breath, opened the lid, and was grinning from ear to ear. It was stunning. The way the smarties were placed was perfect, I really loved the way Nancy did it.
It reminded me of the cakes my Mum made for my brothers and I from the Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book (shown right). This book was an absolute classic in our household. There are many photos of cakes in the family archive from that book. They all have such a distinct, colourful style to them. And from my memory, smarties were major part in the designs, one of the main reasons i'm making the connection.
The cake continued to grow on me throughout the day. By the time I got home and took a proper look at it I was bursting with excitement, it was so awesome. I particular like hearing how someone described it as "psychedelic". Very pleased with the result.
Presentation & Taste Test
Just like I planned on the original piece of paper, I placed two candles in the eyes of the cake (by taking two smarties off) and placing the rest on the D, it was perfect and looked quite dramatic when it was all lit up.
The cake itself was a chocolate mud cake with a white chocolate ganache, it was thick and rich, layered inside, a consistency perfectly suiting the style of the cake, making it even better. It reminded me a lot of the consistency you get with brownies, really delicious.
I Want Cake
If you have a special occasion coming up, be it a birthday, wedding or anything else, I cannot recommend I Want Cake more than enough.
Thanks again to I Want Cake for their speedy delivery and devoting their time to making this idea a reality. :D CAKE!
Behind the scenes
While the cake was under construction, Nancy took a series of photos as the cake was constructed, here are a number of them.