“The Cake Is a Lie!” A Portal companion cube cake tribute…

18 Apr

My Weighted Companion Cube cake, and how you can make it!

……I have a confession.  I’m secretly a big video game fan.  Now you wouldn’t know it if you saw me, but there you go.  I recently had the pleasure of playing the Portal game on my XBOX 360, and am chuffed that a new one is on the way.  Sshhh don’t tell anyone!

I made this cake a little while ago, for a friend’s 22nd birthday.  It was time-consuming, but if you want to impress a Portal fan, this is definitely the way to do it.

And this cake is most definitely NOT a lie.

To begin with, there is some preparation needed for this cake.  There are three main components to this cake:

– Fondant

– Baking

– Decorating

First off, the fondant.  I used marshmallow fondant, as this is by far the yummiest.  See my recent post on how to make this sticky treat.

You will need to colour the fondant now.  Don’t worry, it’s easy, you just need to knead the colour in.  Divide your fondant up into about

-60% grey (mix red, blue and green food colouring in equal amounts until your colour is right)

– 30% white (just leave it be – should be white enough already)

– 10% pink (add red VERY sparingly.  Red intensifies once it’s been sitting for a while, so it WILL get darker.  You have been warned.)

Make sure you let the fondant sit for a while before you use it in decorating.  Just cover tightly in cling wrap and let it cool down.  Do not refrigerate.

Now it is time to bake the cake!  Or in this case, cakes, since you are making a cube.  I made a half-cube, as it was only for a small party and would have been gigantic if at full cube proportions.

So, you can use your favourite cake recipe to make the cake.  I’d recommend a good butter cake.  If you would like a recipe recommendation, comment and I’ll give you some links.

Decide on your proportions.  This may depend on the cake tins you have available.  Remember, you can always trim the cake to make a bigger/smaller shape, so anything vaguely square or rectangle will suffice.

The best square tin I currently use. Expect to see him popping up a lot. Wilton stuff is great.

Make sure you let the cakes cool once you have baked them.  I baked three different cakes, of different colours, to add effect.

TIP: You can make these cakes in advance quite easily.  They can be made up to one week earlier, just make sure you store them properly in the freezer.  If I make cakes in advance, I triple wrap them in cling wrap and then freeze them. 

Blueberry, vanilla and chocolate. The middle one looks kinda like bread, no?

Now, as you see above, you will have to trim the cakes to make them even.  Mine crested just a little on the tops, so I evened that out to make sure they sat nicely when they were ready to be stacked.

TIP: Wrap the cooled cakes in cling wrap and place them in the freezer for about an hour.  This hardens the cakes a little, which means that when you’re carving them up they are much less crumbly.  You retain shape much better when cutting a frozen/chilled cake.

Once you have carved the cakes up, it is a good idea to place them in the fridge again as decorating them will be a fairly intensive process and you don’t want your cake to break while you are handling it!  Again, place it in cling wrap to keep air out.

Now it’s time to think about decorating.  You will need your food colourings, and a good buttercream icing.  The recipe I go by is very simple.

No need for fancy colours with the buttercream – you’re using it as the “glue” and the “cement” of the cake.  It will be going in between the layers and all over the cake to provide something smooth for the fondant to sit on.  Believe me, it is important.  The last thing you want is your cake looking all lumpy because you couldn’t be bothered smoothing it down!  Make sure you leave some icing for later – you need it to decorate with.  Only a little bit though.

Stack em high! I know it isnt very sexy at the moment...it gets better I swear.

Stack your cakes up, adding icing in between the layers and all around.  Make sure you fill any cracks you find, and keep it light.

Try and keep the corners sharp, and the sides smooooooth.

Once this is done, you can place the cake aside and start working on your fondant.  You’ll have to knead it out a fair bit to get it malleable, and make sure you grease down your benchtop with shortening before you start rolling it out.

Now youre having fun with porta-I mean-...fondant..(hur hur)...

I know the above pic is bad quality, but you get the idea of what shapes you need to create with your fondant.  Assemble them at this point so it’s easy to put it all together later.

Once you’ve rolled out your grey fondant, you need to very carefully pick it up and spread it over the cake.  I recommend rolling it up with your rolling pin.

mmm...grey cake...

Get rid of any air bubbles by gently lifting the fondant up and easing them out.  Try and preserve the corners as much a possible – fondant has a tendency to round things off, which is annoying.  Trim off the excess.

Now it gets fun!

Cut a + shape into the cake with a very sharp knife.  Pull out the strips of fondant.  Make sure you go down the sides also!

Snip snip

Using some of the leftover icing, pipe a pink line through the area you cut out.  Make sure you use a plain nozzle.

Easy piping bag - grease proof paper.

And now all you have to do is put the rest of your shapes on the cake!  Easy peasy.  I’d write down how to do it, but the pictures just explain it so much better:

Tah-duh!

You can also jazz it up a little by putting some candles on it.  Since this was a birthday cake, they were mandatory.

Happy birthday to you...

"And all the cake is gone. You dont even care, do you?"

So there you have it.  I’d definitely recommend starting this cake early.  The fondant can be made weeks ahead, and the cakes up to a week ahead (stored in freezer).  Buttercream best made on the day, but this is easy.  The fondant shapes can be cut and stored early (on cling wrap since they’ll stick to other surfaces).  The grey covering best rolled out on the day (it drapes better).

Well done for getting through this lengthy post.  Any comments are most welcome.  I leave you with some quotes:

“I’m making note here: Huge Success.  It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.”

“Anyway, this cake is great.  It’s so delicious and moist.”

Oh GLaDOS.  You charmer.

– xx Chefcrissy

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10 Responses to ““The Cake Is a Lie!” A Portal companion cube cake tribute…”

  1. Nicole le Strange June 15, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    Hehehe, as soon as I saw the words ‘Portal’ & ‘cake’, I thought; “It’s a lie”!!!

    Fab-looking cake…or should I say, *another* fab-looking cake?! Glad I saw your post on MFP!

    N x

    Like

    • Crissy June 15, 2011 at 12:10 am #

      Hehee! I do so love that cake. I will have to make some more gaming-related ones soon. Have a few birthdays coming up…stay tuned!

      Like

  2. momfog April 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Like that! Lol!

    Like

    • chefcrissy April 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

      Lol! I’m the worst when commenting from my iPhone. Predictive text is not my friend!

      Like

  3. momfog April 19, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    Very nice. I think you underplay the ease of kneading color into fondant. Working with fondant kills my hands and arms but is is worth the effort. I’m making a Nintendo DS in July for my son. I love fun cakes!

    Like

    • chefcrissy April 20, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      I edited your spelling mistake out, hope that’s ok! 🙂

      I agree, fondant is not the easiest thing to work with, but the results speak for themselves. Good luck with your DS cake, I’ll look out for it on your blog.

      Like

      • momfog April 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

        By all means, edit away. I usually don’t catch apelling mistakes until I’ve hit the submit button.

        Like

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