Hobbycraft has always been the place to go for arts and crafts supplies but did you know the chain also has a baking section? I expect this has seen a boost since the inception and success of the Great British Bake-Off series. Speaking of which, the 2016 season of Bake-Off is already in full swing
Hobbycraft challenged me to bake the highly popular anti-gravity cake using the CakeFrame Pouring Kit. I believe last year’s GBBO winner Nadiya Hussain made the show-stopper and perusing Pinterest (which is a brilliant source for inspiration), there are numerous interpretations of said cake.
The truth is, I was a tad nervous as I don’t bake as often as I used to and when I did, it was mostly cupcakes but I did realise the great thing about this cake is any mistakes are so easy to cover up. In fact as I discovered, making an anti-gravity cake is a lot simpler than it looks but it requires patience. Fortunately the recipe I used allows the sponge cakes to be kept for up to three days so I was able to bake one evening and decorate the next.
The first thing I had to establish was what recipe to use and I found this one featured on BBC Good Food, which has excellent ratings: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/gravity-defying-sweetie-cake
The recipe uses Smarties, however the great thing with these cakes is you can use any confectionary – Maltesers, M&Ms, white chocolate buttons, Galaxy Minstrels, milk chocolate buttons, even popcorn – let your imagination run wild.
There isn’t a lot to the kit. It comes with a plastic, hollow rod and joint to make the holder that creates the anti-gravity illusion, a lock nut to screw it in place, some blanking caps and a 10″ round base board. On the back is a tutorial with pictures on how to make the ‘pouring cake’ as it’s called.
The round base board is made of plastic and has five holes. Depending on which hole you decide to stick the rod in (behave!), the remaining ones are covered up with the blanking caps.
To conceal the white plastic, the instructions recommend covering the board with sugar paste, which makes it all look pretty. I don’t get on with sugar paste. OK, I’ve had one bad experience in the past and it put me off it. Seeing as I am not confident with rolling out sugar paste, I bypassed using the plastic board and the convenience of screwing the rod in place for stability and used a cake board instead. Sahhreeey, CakeFrame!
If using the plastic round base board, you first make the hole in the cake, then fix the long foundation piece by feeding it through the board and securing it in place with the lock nut before placing the cake over the foundation rod. Got it? Good. Fill the middle with ganache or frosting before placing the final sponge over it. Finally with a palette knife coat the cake from the sides and the top with the ganache/frosting.
While the icing is still fresh, stick chocolate fingers around the edge. Then attach the long rod into the top of the long foundation piece already in the cake, followed by the elbow joint which will help give the anti-gravity look.
Finally the rod is coated in melted chocolate or frosting and each sweet is stuck to it. Build this up until the entire thing is concealed. Top the cake with more sweets and finally grab the empty bag and hook it on top of the elbow joint to make it look like the sweets are pouring out of it. Boom! There’s your anti-gravity cake right there.
I took this into work the next day and not only did it grab everyone’s attention who walked past, people couldn’t stop themselves from taking a slice, which has never happened. Normally *I’m* offering cake to folks! The entire thing was demolished in less than 30 minutes. And the reaction was mental on my Instagram.
CakeFrame’s Pouring Kit is available in store for £10 and should be available online soon. Has it given me a new taste for baking and decorating? It’s certainly ignited something in me and I will be thinking about what kind of cake to make next time. Kids love this, adults love it even more. Who knows? I may even make an attempt with the sugar paste.