My daughter Megan is mad about animals, especially birds of prey. For her 8th Birthday she was taking some friends to the wonderful Hawk Conservancy Trust in Hampshire (England). So this year, Meg really wanted a NEST cake, with exactly three eggs in it.
First I made 2 round sponge cakes for the base. For the nest I baked half an amount of batter in a Pyrex bowl, with a small dish on top to make the cake rise in a nest-like shape. Normally I don’t like to use, or eat, ‘shop-bought icing’, and make my own butter icing, but because it is naturally quite yellow, its really difficult to get the colors. I ordered in some Regal Icing packs (it’s amazing what colors they do!), and rolled out some blue to cover the round base (for sky), where it cracked or didn’t quite reach I hid that with chocolate branches.
For this I had found a wonderful regal chocolate icing pack that really does smell and taste like chocolate. I used my daughters play-doh shaper to squeeze out long ‘sausages’ of curved, chocolate icing and arranged them around the cake, using another play-doh tool to mark little lines and wood knots into it. I covered the nest in chocolate butter icing, and the messier it went on the more authentic it looked. For the eggs I rolled out a long snake of white icing, and of blue, twisting them together and shaping them into 3 eggs, without too much kneading – for a nice marble look.
I also thought Meg would love it if there was a little icing version of her in the nest holding the eggs, so I spent ages watching people’s tutorials on the internet (thank you to those wonderful people who put their knowledge on video!). I had a bash at making a person, using flesh coloured regal icing no less, it was very tricky getting the proportions right – her head ended up looking too big. I drew on her face with edible coloured pens I’d ordered, and pushed dry spaghetti into her to hold her upright but things still seemed to sag a bit. I wasn’t sure if the person should be kept in an airtight container till the next day so as not to dry out and crack, but maybe that would’ve been best, it seems the darker the colour (black boots) the softer and saggier the creation.
Lastly I finished it with some flowers and green leaves I cut, attaching everything with a dab of cold water. To be honest the colored icing didn’t taste bad. Megan LOVED her cake, and was dead chuff with her icing self … but …. in all the excitement of loading kids into the car etc, I left the cake at home!! We had a laugh about it and ended up back home afterwards to do the cake and candles, when one of the boys said “wow, you’re a very good cake maker”, I could’ve kissed him!