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Clue(do) Cake July 21, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Sweet things.
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Was it Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with the candlestick? Or maybe Mrs White in the study with the rope! No, this time it is definitely Miss Scarlett in the hall with the revolver. Of course as seasoned Cluedo players know, it is usually Miss Scarlett…

It is finally done, finished and well and truly eaten! This is the (not so) Secret Project I mentioned in my previous post. And I know it’s not Nero Wolfe related, but it is detective related, so I hope you still enjoy it! To provide some context: Threadless is an online t-shirt store, where users submit designs and then vote for which ones get printed and are then available to buy. Each year, they run a Threadcakes competition, where people bake cakes of their favourite designs and submit them.

I had recently been considering a foray into cake decorating. I thought I’d start simple, get used to working with fondant and shaping designs, and *then* move into something more complicated. Of course all my sensible plans flew out the window (as so often seems to happen to me…) when I read about the Threadcakes competition. I knew immediately I had to make a cake based on this t-shirt. My favourite board game is of course Cluedo (or Clue as it is known in the US), even though I am absolutely terrible at it!

For the cake design, I decided to recreate the Cluedo board based on the 1983 board design. To start with, I baked two chocolate cakes, using this recipe. This was a great recipe and resulted in a cake which was moist and chocolatey without being too rich. It was also dense enough to stand up to the layers of fondant I added! I evened the cakes out as best I could and glued them together with buttercream. I added a thin layer of buttercream to act as a ‘crumb coat’ which is meant to prevent the crumbs from getting in your icing.

Once this had dried overnight, I added a proper layer of buttercream icing and smoothed it out as much as I could. Then it was time for decorating. To decorate the cake, I used fondant and buttercream icing. I scanned in an actual Cluedo board and reduced the image until it was the right size for the cake, and used this as my guide / stencil during the construction process. I coloured my fondant using gel colours to make the colours for the board background, the board itself and the rooms. Incidentally, here’s a pro tip for you: when colouring fondant, make sure you wear gloves and cover your bench top with something! The gel colour tends to ooze out all over the place as the fondant is kneaded, and gel colours can be hard to get off…

I piped the room outlines and other board details on using buttercream icing, and used an edible icing pen to write on the room names following the stencils I’d made. I shaped a little playing piece (red for Miss Scarlet of course), a dice and a revolver out of fondant. I used the reverse buttercream transfer method to make the designs of the cards – I think this is a great technique for piping complicated designs without needing to freehand them. This is especially good for me as I have no drawing / copying skills whatsoever!

To see a full explanation of the cake, and a lot more process photos, head over to the Threadcakes site – my entry is here. The gallery is absolutely amazing and it’s great to have a look and see what everyone else has made.

Amusing postscript: The remaining pieces of the cake ended up getting stolen! As the cake was far too big for H and I to eat by ourselves, I took most of it to work for my coworkers. After enjoying it one day, we wrapped up the remaining (small) piece for the next day. When we arrived the next day, it had mysteriously vanished! In this case it was not Miss Scarlet in the Hall with the revolver, but was in fact the cleaner with the cake in the office! However, I’m sure Miss Scarlet was somehow involved…

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