March Madness…it’s here. Sort of. Since there are no surviving Kansas or Texas teams, it’s not quite so mad at this house. But Big Boss will watch the final game anyway while I find something to do. I watch too…and yell at the refs…and groan when an easy shot is missed, but mostly, I endure.
So while I was in the “enduring” mode, I whipped up a birthday cake for grand #5. She asked for purple ruffles, a basketball as the second layer and a K-State Power Cat logo on top. Pretty specific huh?!! I’ve taught her well. Oh…and chocolate cake with hazelnut filling!
I have done the ruffles before but the basketball, not so much. After reading EVERY single post on Pinterest about “spheres”and “basketball cakes”, I put on my big girl britches and started mixing up chocolate cakes.
The bottom tier would be 3 layers, so as to handle all of the ruffles. I chose the half real cake, half styro method for the basketball, which means I cut a styro ball in half and used it as the bottom half of the ball. That gave the top half more support as opposed to an all cake ball. And it worked well. Then the cake half was placed on a cake circle to keep it away from the styro and a layer of buttercream was applied. After refrigerating it to firm the buttercream up, I smoothed it with paper towels and fondant smoothers and got it pretty much where I wanted it.
I learned tho, that I should have pushed a wooden dowel up thru the bottom of the styro half first and had it stick out 3″ or so then pushed the cake down over the dowel. That would’ve been a superior stabilizer for the whole shebang. But I came up with that too late! My method worked but caused several hundred gray hairs in the transport…for the grandson who drew the short straw to help Meemaw get the thing to the party. But…he succeeded!!
Anyway, (if you haven’t dozed off by now) everyone advised rolling the fondant out a little thicker to allow the fondant to go with gravity. And that worked. I was a bit nervous about covering a BALL but it worked out well!
Then an extruder was used to make the black stripes. I had learned on my first extruder adventure that the fondant MUST be very, very soft.
The rest of the decorations were easy peasy! And the birthday girl was happy! There you go!