Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Duggan's Island Birthday Cake

Wow, I don't know where to begin this story. I guess with the inspiration; When I was a child my family had a small wooden outboard motorboat. It may as well have been a yacht! We loved that boat. On summer weekends my dad would hitch it up to the trailer while my mom made a picnic lunch then off to the boatyard we'd go. All six of us plus the dog would hop in and we'd sail off on our great adventure in the Great South Bay of Long Island. We lived dangerously, my mom did not know how to swim and we wore no life jackets and sunscreen was non existent. There's no way we could get away with that today! On our adventure, we came across a little uninhabited island in the bay which we claimed as our own and immediately christened  "Duggan's Island". We had a blast!!!! This has always been such a great memory.
Fast forward almost 5o years. My dad's 83rd birthday is coming up and I want to make an over the top cake that represented part of our lives. (I also wanted to practice stacking a cake, harder than I thought. As you will see, it is slightly crooked) I decided on a beach theme since so much of our formative years were spent at the beach. Then I remembered the boat and the island and knew that was where I wanted to go with this. I knew I made the right choice when my father brought up the island in a conversation we were having.
The bottom tier, which represents the ocean, is a 10", 3 layer  red velvet cake without the red. The shells are made of candy melts and brushed with luster dust. I made sand out of brown sugar and crushed  graham crackers over tinted royal icing. Sadly, I did not have enough so couldn't bring it to the edge.The next tier, which represents the beach and sky, is an 8", 3 layer vanilla cake filled with strawberries. The 3rd tier, representing the fluffy clouds in the sky, is a 6", 3 layer coconut cake with lemon curd filling, frosted with seven minute icing and  covered with coconut. All of this topped with a blazing sun. The boat, the sign, the fish, the birds and the sun are made of fondant.

I loved making this cake and learned so much while doing it. My father loved it and that, to me, is the most important thing!