This is a birthday cake commission for a wonderful (lactose intolerant) baby who is very attached to the creature that is 'Igglewiggle'- the blue doll clutching a red blanket atop the cake. Whatever happened to Sesame Street? Trust the creators of Teletubbies to spawn something even more disturbing. Oddly, it is very well received by the toddlers. I guess they are all such happy unassuming fellows that strange creatures like this just don't register as deviant. I have to say though that this little baby, for whom the cake is for, is incredibly sweet and loving, whatever the effects of Igglewiggle and his crew.
I made the coconut chiffon cake from a recipe taken off a very helpful blogger, Wen, sans the pandan (also known as screwpine) addition. It is all a chiffon could be asked to be: soft and springy with a lovely crust and none of the nasty oiliness you sometimes get in these cakes. I'm all up for trawling through the rest of his blog looking for more excellent recipes!
The chiffon was then given a layer of coconut and lime zest flavored creme mousseline (I have to say it: the creme is really good!!!) and over the top is some lime icing, an assortment of fruit, a tempered chocolate message and the ignoble Igglewiggle. I went a little manic on the fruits- 11 different fruits were used here: mangos, plums, persimmons, kiwis, limes, red currants, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and purple gooseberries. That is a pretty awesome selection, the remainder of which I had for breakfast. I know the creme filling is not friendly towards the lactose intolerant, but baby's mother is aware and consenting. And, look what I found to go with the cake: an awesome firecracker candle!!!
On a separate note, I had serious bother with the baking of the chiffon though. I ordered a chiffon tin a week and a half back and hoped it would be able to wing it to me in time for this commission. It didn't. By this time, I had already made the white sheet/handkerchief decoration thing, which meant I had to find a tube pan of the correct dimensions and NOT non-stick very quickly. This didn't happen either. For some reason the whole homestyle baking equipment industry is fixated on non-stick surfaces. So I tried a makeshift tube pan using a standard cake ring and cookie cutter as the inner tube. That didn't work as the expanding cake just exploded the cutter away. Then I thought, just perhaps, a shallow enough cake would see sufficient heat distribution through its core to rise, and may have enough strength to support itself. That wasn't so either and here you can see comparatively thin but sunken chiffon (its edges were nice and fluffy though). So, and take note all peoples considering making this, unless muffin sized, the cake absolutely must a heating element through it. In light of that, the cookie cutters were popped back into place, but this time with a jam jar holding them in place. This gave decent results, but the best of my makeshift attempts came when I preheated the jars in the oven first before filling the mould and placing the bottles over the cutters. This was to compensate for their low thermal conductivity. So there you have it, my coconut chiffon cake. Ugh, we have been through a lot of chiffon this last 24 hrs. Nevertheless, once my chiffon mold arrives, I shall be re-making and re-posting this.