All Aboard the Birthday Train!

Oh technology, you continue to amaze me!
This is my first blog direct from my iPhone; no more hours uploading and sifting through photos, trying to find time to sit at the computer, type and edit…

Last week was my dads birthday, and the obvious choice was a train cake. He’s loved trains for as long as I can remember, I went on many a train ride as a child, and my parents house is full of model trains!

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The cake itself was a simple loaf-tin sponge. Because there was to be so much decoration, I didn’t want to worry about the layers sliding everywhere. This came straight out of the oven, and was sliced 2/3 to 1/3, to make the engine and coal tender.

The engine cab was made out of a small 4 inch diameter sponge, cut in two and sandwiched together. I covered this separately with fondant to make the train itself super-simple, just one big square to ice, instead of lots of fiddly bits!

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Then came the decoration. Again this was an easy choice, another of my dads favourite things, liquorice.

I bought some liquorice catherine wheels, but they were far too big for the size of the cake! They were very easy to unravel, and I re-rolled them into smaller circles, secured with a bit of water (to make the ends stick together) and some black icing.

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The coal tender I had fun with! Firstly i painted a black square on the top, with some thick black icing (basically just food colouring + icing sugar, maybe a couple of drops of water). Then I picked out all the black tubes from my pack of liquorice allsorts, and placed them randomly, stacking them up on top of the tender, gluing in place with some more black icing. A sprinkle of black glitter and my “coals” were good to go!

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A couple of square liquorice allsorts, one wrapped in fondant, formed my funnel, and some spare catherine wheel strings went in between the 2 pieces of cake, to look like the coupling between the engine and tender.

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For some finishing touches, I took up my paint brush and some food colouring. This included the wheel details, cab windows, and main engine detail. Given that it was his birthday I wanted to make it personal – with “dad” on the side, and his date of birth (which you can just see) on the very front number plate.
He was really pleased with the cake – as was I!

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