I was given the challenging task (how could I refuse!) of 'London 2012 themed cupcakes' and, as I had been pondering for some time about the prospect of making the London 2012 venues in cake, I jumped at the challenge.
The Olympic Park is about the size of Hyde Park and scale was always going to be an issue, but I decided to use an A0-sized plan of the Park to set out cupcake wrappers highlighting the main venues. I then had to decide which venues I could attempt and which might be too difficult!
In the end I think I got most of the main venues in and managed to make the Handball Arena, Aquatics Centre, Velodrome, Basketball Arena, Olympic Stadium, Water Polo, the Energy Centre, International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre (IBC/MPC) and the Hockey Centre. The venues were all vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and coloured sugar paste.
The Energy Centre in the foreground and the Velodrome and Basketball Arena in the background:
I also made mini gluten-free chocolate muffins with blue buttercream to represent the River Lea (complete with a couple of fish and crayfish!) and piped green grass on some more mini muffins for the parklands. A few flowers added here and there, a frog and butterflies completed the ecology of the Park:
I was a bit stuck with how best to represent Eton Manor (where Wheelchair Tennis will take place during the Games, and also the location of a wind turbine which will play a key role in delivering energy to the Park). I was mulling this over one evening and noticed that one of my daughter’s toy's had a wind turbine exactly the right size so I borrowed it for the Eton Manor turbine cupcake.
The Stadium posed the greatest challenge with the white supporting V-shaped steel roof trusses. I baked one larger cake in a bowl and hollowed out the middle to make the main shape and then iced it all white. I cut up lollipop sticks for the V-shaped supports and piped royal icing box shapes with a cross in the middle for the roof trusses, sticking it all together with lots more royal icing. Hardly structurally sound, but it did the trick!
The Aquatics Centre and Olympic Stadium:
It’s exciting to see some of the work that the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Arts and Culture team (where I work) have done over the last 18 months coming to fruition. I am looking forward to walking through the Park and seeing how successfully the arts and culture projects animate and help to visually and audibly stitch the site together. I’m also looking forward to the men’s Diving, but that’s for an entirely different reason.
Do you fancy making a London 2012 inspired cake? Could you create your own Olympic Park in fondant? Do send in your photos to us or comment below.
Recipe for Stadium cake
- 100g butter, very soft;
- 120g caster sugar;
- 75g plain chocolate melted with 3 tblsp milk;
- 140g gluten-free self raising flour;
- 3 large eggs;
- 2 tblsp cornflour;
- 1tsp baking powder.
- 50g soft butter;
- 100g icing sugar (beat with butter until soft and fluffy);
- 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Royal icing sugar:
- 250g royal icing sugar (beat with 2tblsp of water for about 10 mins);
- 2-4 tblsp water (add 1tblsp if too stiff, should be soft peaks).
- 10 paper lollipop sticks.
Oven temperature: fan 150C, 300F gas mark 2.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Melt the chocolate and milk in a double boiler or microwave and whisk until combined. Add chocolate mixture to butter and sugar and beat again.
Add the rest of the ingredients all together and beat to a smooth batter. Using a small glass bowl greased and floured (about 6inch widest diameter), fill 2/3 with batter. Use the remaining batter in mini muffins to make the Parklands and River Lea. Bake the Stadium for 30 minutes, and mini muffins for 10-15 minutes.
When cooled, hollow out the middle using a pastry cutter and cover the Stadium in a layer of buttercream. Leave in the fridge until hard. Using royal icing pipe squares with a cross in each onto non stick greaseproof paper and leave over night to go hard.
Cut the lollipop sticks in half.
Ice the Stadium cake with royal icing and then assemble the cake using two lolly pop sticks for V shapes and fix the square on top with royal icing.