Thursday, 13 September 2012

Cake: The Trash Can Pack / Trashies

I volunteered to bake a cake for my Nephew's birthday last week. Apparently he's really into the 'Trash Pack' and Trashies toys -he has the bin and the dump truck. Now, I've only ever seen the TV advert so a little research was needed, but I quickly decided that in the time scale a 'Trash can' cake was the most straight forward with a surprise bright green cake inside.

This is a basic guide to how I made the cake - although I'm sure there are far easier or more professional ways to achieve the same cake. I didn't have a lot of time to plan and shop for this cake, so everything had to be available from my local asda or my own store-cupbaord - with more planning I'd have located some 5" round baking tins and bought more dowels and ready coloured grey and green sugar paste.
(using a 12" by 6" rectangular tin)
14oz Self Raising flour
14oz Butter
14oz Caster sugar
7 medium eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2tsp vanilla essence
Gel food colouring: green

1 tub frosting/buttercream
1 kg ready to roll white icing
Gel food colouring: green, black and yellow
Gold luster

Firstly I made a large rectangular cake using the recipe above (if you have small enough round tins use these instead and you will have less wastage), which I have adapted from my basic sponge measurements. After preheating my oven to 170°C I cream the sugar and butter, then adding the wet and dry ingredients alternately. I added the green gel at the end so I could judge the brightness of the green. I used asda natural colouring gel, most gels will work well, but avoid the liquid colouring. To add the gel I coated the bottom part of a cocktail stick in the gel and swirled it around in the cake mixture to release the colour before turning the mixer back on, I binned the leftover stick and repeated the process 3-4 times.

Baking times will vary depending on the size of tin, but for mine it took 30 minutes, although I was expecting between 45-1 hour for a thicker cake.

Once cooled I cut the large cake into 4 individual 5 inch cakes, I levelled the tops and stacked them with frosting between each layer and using a dowel rob for stability ... again, ideally I'd have used 4 evenly spaced dowels and cut them to size but time was an issue and as it had to be transported I left the dowel in (which I tried to hide a bit with the 'lid' handle). The cake did 'slouch' a little by the end as a result of the lack of even support, but I like to think it added to the 'old trash can' look of the cake.

Once assembled, I crumb coated the whole cake in frosting (store bought betty spoon as a time saver) and refrigerated for half an hour.

Now the interesting part, the icing. Firstly I died most of my 1kg of white ready roll icing grey using black food colouring gel - you can buy ready coloured icing from sugarcraft and specialist shops if you have more notice. Then I rolled out a large rectangle of icing and cut it to straighten the edges and measured to the height of cake, I placed the cake onto the rectangle and rolled the cake up in it, cutting at the overlap and using a sugar craft tool to bleng the join a little.

Placing the cake upright I then rolled out a circle to cover the top of the cake. And used a ball shaped sugar craft tool to make grooves around the cake to look like the indentations on the outside of the 'trash can'. Next I died most the remaining white icing green to match the inside of the cake and cut 'oozy dribbles' to go around the cake, I hid the tops of these with a long flat 1 inch piece of grey icing - which was supposed to look like part of the lid.

To one side I used more green icing to cut the letters 'j-a-c-k' and the number 5 out, and laid a 1 inch strip of grey icing over a stack of two flat wooden spatulars to dry out and give it a 'handel' shape. the remaining tiny bit of white icing was then died yellow, formed into 'screw' shapes and painted with gold luster.

The cake went down very well, the kids all liked the shape and theme of the cake while the adults where impressed with the favour of the sponge (despite the vivid green colour, lol).

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