I made a cake in the shape of a Canberra bus shelter this week for a special city-wide bake off. The theme was Canberra icons, and I decided to make a concrete bus shelter because I'd worked on a story about them earlier in the year and fallen in love with their unusual round design. It also happened to be a super simple cake shape. Here's how it came together:
I wanted the cake to be sturdy so I baked and froze three white chocolate mud cakes on a quiet weekend while Gilmore Girls played in the background. I doubled the recipe and ended up with heaps of leftover batter, so there were cupcakes too.
The last time I made a novelty cake (a rubber ducky no less) it was rushed and messy, so this time I was a bit more organised. Earlier in the week Tony helped me sketch out the basic details of the cake, working from my bus shelter mug. He also mixed the colours for the fondant while I traced the shapes I needed and cut them out.
The next night I iced and assembled the cake with Rocky 3 was playing in the background (Tony's choice). It was surprisingly straightforward, mainly because I followed Joy the Baker's excellent how-to-frost-a-cake tutorial which meant the usual things that go wrong didn't. Eye of the Tiger helped too ;)
My office was hosting a mini bake-off that was part of the bigger event, so somehow I had to get my very tall and heavy cake to work. This was not a good way of transporting it. It almost slid into my lap at the very first turn even though Tony was driving very carefully. The rest of the drive was tense. Thankfully I had a giant sheet of baking paper to gingerly hold it in place. Next time I'm investing in a fancy box.
And here's what it looked like on the inside - like a wedding cake! Because it was such a giant cake, plenty of my work friends wrapped up slices to take home to their partners and kids. It reminded me of the slices of birthday cake I used to carry home from parties, wrapped up in napkins.
The Canberra-themed bake off was in support of PANDSI, a local post and antenatal depression support service. Supporting women's mental health is so important to me and you don't have to donate money to make a difference. Sometimes it can be as simple as texting a friend to say hi, organising an afternoon walk with your neighbour or dropping off a meal to a family member that can help difficult conversations begin.