My friend Jay is at university learning to teach film studies. So I thought what better birthday cake to make her than a film clapperboard, personalized to her? She was so grateful to receive such a thoughtful and tasty gift.
It started life as a sponge recipe made in a large square cake tin. I cut along one edge of the cake, to take off a slice about an inch and a half thick. This would be the hinge. I sandwiched both parts of the cake using a basic vanilla butter cream icing and strawberry jam for extra flavor. The main piece was then placed onto the board, on top of a blob of butter cream, to stop it sliding around. The surface of the cake was brushed with warmed strawberry jam, to create purchase for the next layer of icing.
I used ready to roll icing, bought already colored black. I rolled this onto the work surface using a plastic rolling pin and plenty of icing sugar to stop it sticking. I then placed the sheet of icing onto the cake, rolling it around the rolling pin to help to transport it to the cake. I smoothed down the edges, from the middle outwards, to avoid air bubbles. If you see photos of clapperboards, you’ll see that the corners are often rounded, which is handy as this is the effect created by smoothing roll out icing onto the edges of a cake. The excess icing was cut off using a knife, as close to the edge of the cake as possible.
I did the same with the hinge part of the cake, although this was trickier, as the cake needed to be positioned very close to the cake already iced – this doesn’t leave much room for smoothing the icing at the hinge corner. I used strips of white roll out icing cut to size to make the thick stripes on the hinge; these were stuck on using more butter cream. An extra piece of black icing was stuck on the corner to hide where the cake joined. Silver balls made the screws at the hinge look very realistic.
Finally, I needed to add the detail of the text boxes and the writing. I mixed icing sugar with a little water, this needed to be very thick in order to hold its shape, otherwise it would have run everywhere. I used a piping bag with a very small nozzle and just had to be brave! You only get one chance at getting this bit right, so I just had to make sure I knew exactly what I was writing and where. The benefit is that the writing you create is very fluid, but it needs to look like handwriting anyway so it works. You’ll notice the ‘film’ is my friend ‘Jay’s Birthday’ and the ‘date’ I’ve written in is actually her birthday. Another personal touch.