Another birthday, another cake. This time for a six years old who wanted a swimming pool party. Since we live on an island in a protected bay (no waves), why not do it close to home, rather than drive 1/2 hour to the closest proper swimming pool. It was to be a swim party in the little bay down from the house: shallow water (easy supervision) , lilos, shade, grass and fun kids who can spend their time in the water. And that comes with a swim party birthday cake!
Resisting to heat and sun
It was a hot day, the party was at a little beach a few minutes walk. Bringing the party home for the cake was out of question of course and bringing the cake to the party meant it had to be able to suffer heat for some time: no cream based filling, no custard filling, no butter cream icing.
Swim party without the whole mermaids story taking over
The next part of the challenge was the decoration First I had only a limited amount of time available to complete the task. Then I still wanted a cake that did not hint oo much around the mermaids world but had more water features in it, think Moana if you want!
The cake itself
Here, I went for a sure value, a cake I know super well, the Reine de Saba (Sheba’s Queen), used a tall edge baking tin and this was it. Generally I would make that cake “flatter” , as a result it is lighter and more fluffy than when piled high.
Result: really good cake. Did I add a filling. No! I opted for the idea the children like simple things. The fact it was already a good chocolate cake was plenty.
I opted for a layer of dark chocolate ganache surrounding the sides and top. This help for the next stage and add a lovely soft chocolate kick (yum). Nothing thick, that layer was maybe two millimetres thick, maybe three in places.
On top of the ganache, I used fondant icing. You know, the one you buy in packs at the supermarket and roll flat with the rolling-pin. Using different food colourants we got a pretty cool outcome. I say “we” because Ben joined me when I was starting the sides and completed the waves on the side.
On top, there were only few components: a mermaid which we had to find in the toy box late at night (it was getting late) and a clam. The pearl clam did take a little work. I am not the biggest fan of macarons (or macaroons), I find them so sweet! As a result, I never did them before. I did one trial a few weeks before and this set of macarons. Well, in the end, it is not that hard to make but you can’t really mak one or two, so make sure you have guests to help you go through the batch to avoid a sugar overdose! The coral reef was also made with the macaron mix, I just piped it in that shape which became quite handy.
The recipe of the swim party birthday cake
It can be found HERE. The recipe for macaron is not included, I will get around to do it. I did not find one that I liked in English , so used a French one. The recipe is the one used by the biggest French pastry chefs.