“It is He who gave you life, and it is He who will cause you to die, and it is He who will then resurrect you.” -The Holy Quran ( 22 – 66 )
Birth and death are the two events which invoke the most powerful emotions in us. The irony of life hit me when I faced these two situations in a single day – my daughter’s birthday and my grandmother’s death. My heart tore between joy and grief. It made me stop and ponder over the might of our Creator and reinforced my faith in His divine decree.
My elder daughter Sofia turned 7 yesterday and I had been working on this teapot cake for her for the past 3 days. On the morning of her birthday, as soon as I added the finishing touches to it, I got a call from my sister in India that my paternal grandmother who was quite ill for some time passed away . My entire childhood flashed in front of my eyes as I remembered all the times that I spent in my grandmother’s house. Earlier in the day I had been thinking about the day when Sofia was born. I reminded myself that this was Allah’s will and we mere mortals could not do anything about it except pray for her soul and at the same time pray for my daughter’s long life and well being. It took a lot of effort on my part to gather myself and welcome my excited daughter as she came back from school.
I have often mentioned my utter dislike for fondant but I was craving to make a fancy 3 dimensional cake and also brush up some of my fondant skills. I went through some tutorials on making a teapot cake and it looked easy enough using the Wilton Sports Ball Pan Set.
On Day 1, I made the spout and handle using gum paste in order to allow them to dry. On Day 2, I baked the cakes in the Wilton Sports Ball Pan Set and made the gum paste flowers. The instructions sheet that came with the pan mentioned that it would take 1 standard cake mix or any scratch recipe meant for two 9 inch layers. I followed the Vanilla Cake recipe from Joy of Baking and found out that I had enough leftover batter for a 6 inch layer. Also, the cake took about 40 minutes rather than 30 – 35 minutes as mentioned in the instructions. I baked the two halves at 325 degrees F and lowered the temperature to 300 degrees F towards the last 10 minutes so that the outsides don’t become too dark. On Day 3, I made the buttercream frosting, covered the cakes with frosting and then with fondant.
I cut about 1 inch from both halves of the cake in order to make the bottom level and also to make the teapot lid. I think, perhaps I should have cut slightly smaller pieces as I would have liked my teapot to have a more rounded shape.
The biggest problem that I faced was to cover the ball / teapot smoothly with fondant and ended up messing up in a few places. Also, in spite of using 3 toothpicks for the spout and 2 for the handle I found that my handle and spout slid slightly and rested on the bottom afterv some time. Perhaps they were a bit too heavy. However, in the end the delight on my daughter’s face made me forget all the flaws.
Have you ever made a Teapot Cake ? Did you face any problems with it ?
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