The final Harry Potter film comes out this week, and so my friends and I decided to have a Harry Potter marathon on Saturday. For the marathon I wanted to make a Harry Potter themed cake, and came up with a few different ideas – the castle, a magical creature, etc. I decided to go with a Quidditch pitch, because I was still really keen to try out the grass piping tip (Wilton #233).
It didn’t really occur to me just how long it would take to watch all seven Harry Potter movies until someone mentioned that they are all 2 hours plus each. Oops! We ended up just watching five, six and seven. That’s still about 8 hours of Harry Potter. I admit that I was very tempted to watch the first four movies while I was home alone on Sunday, but I played Viva Pinata instead. Pinatas are so adorable! : )
The cake base is two Nigella Lawson Devil’s Food Cakes and the icing is the same German buttercream I used for the Loch Ness monster cake. These two are a winning combination, and the German buttercream is rising rapidly up my list of favourite frostings. You don’t have to add a ton of icing sugar to the buttercream to get it to the right consistency, unlike a lot of the frostings I usually use from Joy the Baker (although I still love, love, LOVE Joy the Baker). I left a small amount of the buttercream vanilla to dye green, and added about three tablespoons of cocoa powder to the rest to make a chocolate frosting that was really delicious. It was perfect piping and spreading consistency, I was really happy with it.
Oh, and I solved the problem I had last time where my cold mixing bowl chilled the butter and resulted in the frosting being lumpy. I washed the outside of the bowl with some hot water just before adding the butter, and voila, no lumps!
My original idea was to make towers similar to this cake.
I bought a butter cake from Woolworths, cut some rectangles from it, and froze them. I was going to cover them in chocolate clay, two white and two yellow, and then add red, green and blue squares to make the Hogwarts house colours. This didn’t really work for me though, the cake crumbled a lot even though it was still frozen. It also got a little squished and lost its rectangular shape. So the towers went in the bin. I ended up not having enough space on the cake to place them anyway.
See that? It’s almost perfectly flat! Unlike the carrot cake, the devil’s food cake is really easy to level. Of course I already had the advantage of using two cakes instead of one split into two, but the chocolate cake was so much easier to cut without the constant fear of destroying it. I iced the cake with two layers of the chocolate buttercream, then piped the green grass on top. The grass tip is awesome… it was very forgiving of my messiness. It wasn’t really that fast to use, but I guess the more you use it, the faster you’d get.
Once the grass was done I added a fence for my quidditch pitch made of white chocolate clay. I also added some lines for the field, and the quidditch goals.
The final touch was to add some Lego quidditch players. We attached floral wire to the figurines and then attached them to the cake.
Notice that the two Slytherin players are chasing Harry, and there’s another Gryffindor player rushing to Harry’s aid.