I started by baking two rectangular chocolate cakes, and cut and stacked them to give me the height I required. I sandwiched them with chocolate buttercream and covered the structure with buttercream.
Mistake number one 🙂
Carved cake + rain + one degree above the equator = Disaster
So I spent 3 hours covering the cake with strips of fondant. I used brown and yellow, marbled together to look like wood grain. Cut into “planks” and laid on the buttercream. Tiny gold nonpareils were pushed into the wooden boards to look like nails. I was pleased with the appearance of the ship and decided to complete the details the next morning. We’d been invited to dinner, so I went off happy in the belief that I had very little to finish the next day.
Mistake number two.
(Soft chocolate cake + gooey buttercream) x precarious carving – air con = Disaster
We got home at 12 to find my ship’s stern had keeled over! It was lying in 2-3 pieces on my dining table. There was no salvaging it.
Panic stations!! But there was nothing to do at the time. I had to wait until the next morning.
And so 3-4 hours of frenzied work the next morning. I ripped off the fondant and cut through the centre of the ship to neaten the break. Added more cake (the off cuts– thankfully frozen, and not snacked on, the previous day) and used ganache to hold it together.
As I added the fondant boards again, I could see the new section trying to pull away….but prayers and Pocky kinda held it together….
Once the cake was completed, I gingerly transferred it to a large board which I’d covered with blue paper. I added sails cut out of striped wrapping paper and straws. Added a hastily hand drawn Jolly Roger.
I made a small treasure chest with a piece of cake, covering it with wooden planks as well and stuck silver and gold nonpareils to look like treasure.
His rapier, which I’d made from gumpaste, would not stay upright, so I inserted a toothpick into the hilt. A skewer supported his upraised arm, as I was really worried how he’d survive the long drive to Sentosa island, where the party was.
But survive he did! And my lovely client sent me this beautiful picture of the party!
And a heartfelt thanks to you Anju and Ankita, for trusting me with this cake!
And to all of you novice cake decorators, if you have any queries about this cake, please free to ask me. I’m not an expert, but I’ll help you all I can 🙂