UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS TOWER CAKE
Ok, I have to say that this cake was the tallest and took the longest amount of time to create. It took me 4 days to complete this cake and it stood 44 inches tall, but I am getting ahead of my self. So... ...my aunt called and wanted me to make my cousin's Engagement Party Cake, and she thought that it would be fun if the cake was the University of Texas Tower, seeing as my cousin and her fiance both attend THE University of Texas! My aunt asked me if I was up to the challenge? I said OF COURSE I am up for it (though if I'd known just how much was going to be involved, I might have qualified my enthusiasm just a bit, lol)! I asked what flavours of cake did she want? She decided on Chocolate Cake with Bailey's Irish Cream Mousse as the filling (in honor of her daughter "Bailey") for one of the two-tiers. She wanted the other tier to also be Chocolate Cake, but this time it was to have a mint chocolate chip filling (in honor of Bailey's fiance, whose name was Snow! I began work on the cake by first doing some research on what others had done before me. Some cake Towers looked fabulous, and others looked like "a dog's breakfast" (as they say in England). I had to decide how BIG to make this Tower and finally settled on making it a scale model. The actual Tower is about 400' tall with 30 floors, so I decided to make mine an inch per foot or 40" tall, and 30 rows of inch tall windows, and the two cakes would be stacked as the base. Later, it turned out that my Aunt was expecting something MUCH more modest! Lol. I began by making the batter for an 8-inch square cake, chocolate of course, and then a 10-inch square cake to go below. I popped them in the oven. When my cakes were done and are chilled, I spread some buttercream icing over them to keep them moist, and as a crumb coat to prevent any stray crumbs from spoiling the final and more decorative coats. I spread Bailey's Irish Cream buttercream between the three 10 inch layers, and then Creme de Menthe and crushed Junior Mint buttercream for the three 8 inch layers. These two cakes were stacked and re-chilled before being covered in their final coat of modeling chocolate and decorated. That was the cake part done and ready for transport. That left me with the harder part...the Tower! There was just no way that a four-inch square, four-foot tall CAKE was ever going to survive 3 hours in a car in warm weather! So I decided to make the Tower out of styrofoam blocks that would be iced in home made fondant and LOOK like cake, but that I could glue together for stability. I knew I was going to have to transport the Cake and Towers seperately, as there was NO WAY that the completed structure was going to fit in my car. In fact, the Tower itself just barely fit! As it turned out, I used 8 lbs of Burnt Orange, 4 lbs of black fondant, and about a lb. of white fondant. That's a LOT of sugar! Lol. I rolled out panels and columns and thin tubes for the scroll work on the faces of the building and it's cornices and clocks. But the thing that took the most work time on the Tower was putting on all the individual little one inch white squares of fondant for the 30 tiers of windows on the Tower, and then painting each one with gold luster dust in sugar glue, to make them shine. But when the light hit those windows, they shone like glass caught by the setting sun. They were magic! Once the parts were completed, it was a mad dash to arrive at the party location. We arrived with an hour or more to spare for construction. Everyone there pretty much stopped what they were doing in awe of the parts as they were carried into the kitchen. Then they all watched in amazement as I inserted 3 wooden dowels into the base of the styrofoam Tower, and then inserted them into 3 bubble tea straws that were already in place through the center of the cakes. Without this structural support the Tower would have begun listing worse than the Leaning Tower of Pisa! The top bit of the Tower has a clock on each face, and that was attached by means of another dowel. I finished decorating the base of the Tower and the base of the Cake and it's corners with piped on chocolate buttercream to finish off the rough edges. There was a quick dusting of powdered sugar over the entire thing in honor of our Mr. Snow, and VOILA...we had several impressed structural engineers standing in amazement, and a very, very happy newly engaged couple!