Big Bear is Mario Bros mad. I’m not sure where he gets his obsessive tendencies from, because it’s not like Mummy Bear has an all consuming hobby, is it?! Over a year ago Big Bear asked for a Mario themed party, and he’d dreamt up this huge Mario themed cake which ‘has the biggest Goomba in the world on it’, to go with the party. But it stayed as just a dream, because Big Bear is cursed with a birthday that will always fall in the summer holidays when the Bears like to go away.
However this year he seemed to have upped the level of nagging (either that or my tolerance levels have depleted in the last year) and so a hall was booked back in July, and the party was a go! Which meant the massive Goomba cake was also back on. At least the bonus was I’d had over a year to consider how to construct the cake, so when it came to it although it took a whole lot of time, I’d already worked out how to make the shape and what to decorate it with.
I haven’t got any photographs of the baking/decorating progress, because I was doing it all whilst trying to supervise two very destructive little bears and blitz the Bear house ready for the surveyor. Turns out Bears can multi task. Just not take photos at the same time!
The Goomba is made out of the top part of a giant silicon cupcake mould for his head, and half of the bottom of a silicon giant cupcake mould for it’s body. The main part of the cake is 4 layers of an 8 inch round tin, each layer being approximately 4 inches thick. For ease I made the whole cake out of a simple Victoria sponge recipe, but made it in 3 batches of batter.
Victoria sponge recipe
8 oz stork
8 oz golden caster sugar
8 oz self raising flour
4 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 160C. In a large mixing bowl, cream the stork and sugar using an electric whisk. Beat the flour and baking powder into the creamed mix on a low speed.
In a separate bowl, use a hand whisk to gently beat the eggs and vanilla essence, then pour half the mix into the large bowl. Beat the batter on a low speed until just combined, and then add the rest of the eggs and beat again.
Split the mix evenly between 3 separate 8 inch round sandwich tins. Use a spatula to spread the mix over the base of the tin, and move the batter so that there is a slight dip in the centre of the tin. This will help to prevent there being too much of a dome in the middle of each of the cakes, preventing wastage when levelling them.
Bake in the oven for 40 mins or until a knife come out clean form the centre of each cake.
Repeat this recipe and split between one 8 inch round sandwich tin and the bottom of the silicon giant cupcake mould to create the final layer of the base cake and the Goomba body. To ensure the middle of the giant cupcake bakes at the same speed as the outside of the cake, after 30 minutes in the oven place a metal butter knife or metal skewer into the centre of the cake and return it to the oven until cooked through (it will take longer than the single sandwich tin). The metal will act as a heat conductor, raising the temperature of the centre of the cake and ensuring it cooks properly.
Make the final Victoria sponge batter using the same method, but 3 eggs and 6 oz of stork/sugar/self raising flour and fill the top of the silicon giant cupcake mould with the batter, and bake for approximately 1 hour at 160C. Use the knife/skewer trick again to ensure the centre of the cake cooks at the same speed as the outside.
Once cooled, use buttercream to stack, fill, and crumb coat the cake in three sections; the main base cake, the body, and the head. I used 150g of unsalted butter, about 600g of icing sugar and 100 mls of whole milk beaten together with an electric whisk to fill and crumb coat the entire cake.
It took 1kg of white sugarpaste coloured with Wilton Sky Blue to cover the main base cake and 12 inch board in one go, 500g of white sugarpaste to cover the Goomba body and create the eye accents on the Goomba head, and 500g Dr Oetker chocolate sugarpaste to cover the Goomba head. No wonder it weighed so much!
It was the first time that I had used dowels on a cake, as it always seems such a mission to insert them mark them, cut them level etc, but seeing as this cake had to have ‘the biggest Goomba in the world on it’ and I didn’t fancy a disappointed Big Bear, dowels were a must. They were actually straight forward to use, although next time (see – I’m saying ‘next time’, so they can’t be that bad!) I will buy plastic ones, because I’m not really a hack saw loving kind of Mummy Bear. I only used dowels in the main base cake to support the whole of the Goomba, because I figured that the body could support the head without a cake card as it usually does with a giant cupcake.
I cheated a little and bought ready coloured black, red, ‘Lincoln green’ and ‘Teddy bear’ brown regal ice sugarpaste for the various accents and coloured the small amount of yellow myself Wilton lemon yellow. The Mario and Luigi figures were another cheat – I bought them because I am well aware that my modelling skills mimic my singing skills! I also ran out of time on the lettering, so I used ready made white chocolate letters rather than cutting them myself. It was a bit of a compromise, I think it would have looked better with coloured lettering, but Big Bear didn’t know any different, so I guess that’s all that matters.
It took hours – I worked through the night so to avoid the little Bears’ misplaced offers of help. but I was a little distracted by the opening ceremony of the Paralympics so it could possibly have been finished earlier that 3am! And Big Bear’s reaction when he saw it in the morning? ‘Mummy, that is the best cake I have ever seen!’. Clearly he has never searched for ‘Mario cake’ on Google, but I’m not going to show him how!
Mummy Bear x