Alexander is already two, the horrible or the terror two but no matter how terrible, you just can't get angry with his mischievious endeavors. He gives you the most attractive smile and says 'sorry' in the cutest way. At such a young age, he knows what he wants. He is into Lighting Mcqueen, Thomas the Tank Engine, Go Diego Go and Bob the Builder - all the boy's stuff. So, it was easy to choose the design for his birthday cake. Lighting Mcqueen is made with pastillage and pretty easy to do and can be done, weeks before the party. The cake is the same as all Renee's birthday Cakes but since it is a cake for a boy, i changed the fruit to blueberry instead of strawberry. Recipe for the cake and buttercream is here http://lilyng2000.blogspot.com/2006/03/renees-birthday-cakes.html
1/2 tbsp gelatin
2 tbsp water
2 cups powdered sugar (lightly spooned into cup)
1/4 cup cornstarch (lightly spooned into cup)
pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
Sprinkle the gelatin over water in a small heatproof glass cup and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Set in a small pan of simmering water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. (This can be done in a few seconds in a microwave on high power). Remove from heat.
Combine the sugar, cornstarch and optional cream or tartar in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the gelatin mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Mix with lightly greased hands and knead vigorously in the bowl until the sugar is incorporated.
Turn onto a smooth, lightly greased surface such as Formica or marble and knead until smooth and satiny. If the pastillage seems very dry, add several drops of water and knead well. If it seems too sticky, knead in more powdered sugar. The pastillage will resemble a smooth, well-shaped stone. When dropped, it should not spread.
Pastillage is easier to work with if it has rested for at least 1 hour. It dries very quickly, so it is important to cover to prevent drying. Wrap in a cloth rubbed with a bit of white shortening, then tightly in plastic wrap, and place it in an airtight container.
When ready to roll out, spray the work surface and rolling pin with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Pastillage can be rolled as thin as 1/16-inch. It dries and holds it shape very quickly.
If stored Pastillage seems very stiff, a few seconds in the microwave make it pliable.
To make Lightning Mcqueen:
Get a picture of Lightning Mcqueen and enlarge to a size that will fitt on the cake.
Cut out the outline of the different colors on the picture and use these cut outs as a template.
Color the pastillage accordingly and roll it to flat, big enough to fit the templates.
When all the templates are complete, assemble them together as in a zig zaw puzzle.
Leave to dry.