Pinata Cake

Must be birthday time again. Since both the boss and IT Guy have a birthday one day after the other I usually make a combined cake for them. Combining themes is reasonably challenging, this year was no different. What theme to go for? Recently Mystery DIY Man and I escaped real life and headed for Europe for a 7 week holiday. While we were gone I was replaced at work by a Llama Pinata (probably a donkey, but llamas seemed cooler) courtesy of IT Guy. The Llama ended up going everywhere I would normally go and it seems like it was probably better behaved as well. So, long story short I figured that I’d make a pinata cake. Then I decided, why do something easy, why not make it harder? I’ll make an actual pinata cake. Idiot.

So, after a whole load of Googling I stumbled across someone else in NZ who had had a similar idea (bonus! Here is their much more successful cake: Armed with some guidance I explained to Mystery DIY Man what we were going to be making (he wasn’t at all amused). This cake was probably one of the more ambitious cakes I have made, I think there is still quite a load of room for improvement but it did at least look reasonably like what it was meant to.

The first problem was making a section where you could hide lollies away and then whack with a hammer. I suspect my kitchen is still covered in the white chocolate that was necessary to make it work. I thought that was messy, but that was nothing compared to working with rice bubbles and melted white chocolate. After sculpting a head, ears and a few legs everything was covered in chocolate and riceies. If only the ricies stuck to each other better than they stuck to me. In the end that part wasn’t too hard, and I started with loads of time up my sleeve (on Sunday). The tricky part came when I started making the cakes, they were all going well until I decided I really wanted to get to the Southern Sinfonia Fundraising Concert…with uncooked cakes in the oven. Rather than deciding not to go, I turned the oven off and left the cakes. By some fluke they were cooked perfectly, but I did still ditch IT Guy halfway through the concert and rushed home to start sticking them altogether and covered in a layer of ganache and fondant. By this stage it was the end of Wednesday and the cake needed to be at work on Friday morning.

Thursday after work was bound to go badly because I had to make way too many ruffles – so I sat down after work to start ruffling up the legs…and then I cooerced Mystery DIY Man to start making ruffles for me to attach. All went well until I realised it was 6.50pm, the legs were just finished and I had to run away to band. Bless him – Mystery DIY Man turns out to be a very talented ruffle creator and attacher. I arrived home to a fully ruffled body – we only had to attack the head. By midnight the head was complete, ruffles and flowers can hide a multitude of sins.

The cake was obviously reasonably successful at work as many people just thought it was another pinata, When it came to cracking it open I suspect the icing needed a bit more drying – but it looked reasonably fun to whack with the bedazzled hammer. I am not convinced that I will repeat the experience – I don’t think Mystery DIY Man would be very pleased if I did.

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