The baking bit:
Sponge cake recipe
Rectangular tin (10’’ x 8’’)
Jam of your choice (optional)
10’’ cake board
White modelling chocolate
Dark modelling chocolate
Pattern impression mat of your choice
Edible gold dust
Airbrush + edible brown colour (or cocoa powder)
1. Bake a sponge cake of your choice in a rectangular tin (10’’ x 8’’). The recipe I used is a vanilla sponge recipe for an 8’’ round cake which was supposed to be baked in two 8’’ sandwich tins. Instead of the two sandwich tins I just used the 10’’ x 8’’ rectangular one.
2. Once ready and cold, cut the cake in the middle using a bread knife.
3. Using your bread knife, cut off the top of both of your cake parts trying to level the surfaces as much as possible.
4. Cut off all the crusty sides.
5. Repeat the process with all the sides of your two parts of the cake. Eat the crusty sides ;)
6. Now take your cake board (note: we are not going to cover the board with sugar paste in this tutorial. If you would like to have it covered, I recommend to cover it the day before and leave it to dry before placing the cake on top of it), place a little blob of buttercream between your cake board and the cake – this will secure the cake and won’t let it slide. Using a palette knife, spread some buttercream on top of your cake.
7. I added some strawberry jam in the centre of the cake but you can choose to avoid it or add anything else you would like to have. If you choose to add jam like I did, remember not to use too much of it and not on the sides and corners – this is to avoid the cake to slide inside once covered with modelling chocolate.
8. Now place the second cake part on top of the other like a sandwich.
9. Using a small knife try to give a roundish shape to one of the sides of the cake, which will be the spine of your book cake.
10. Spread some buttercream on the spine and all around the sides and upper part of the cake. Cover the cake completely with buttercream (note: do not put too much buttercream, just enough to cover the cake with a light layer).
11. Refrigerate your cake for few minutes while you prepare the modelling chocolate.
12. Take your white modelling chocolate and roll it out with your rolling pin. Cut out 2 rectangular parts as larger as the 2 smaller sides (top edges) of the cake. Using your smoother, position the chocolate on them and push firmly. These will be your textblocks.
13. Do the same exact thing with the fore edge, leaving only the spine uncovered. Now, with your palette knife, shape the chocolate on the top edges as in picture, giving them a round finish.
14. Use now a sharp tool and a ruler. With the help of the ruler draw some straight lines on each part covered in white chocolate to make the pages. If you want to give the pages an antique look you can now airbrush them with some brown colour or alternatively, if you don’t have an airbrush, you can simply use some cocoa powder and a brush.
15. Roll out your dark modelling chocolate (note: do not roll it out too thin, remember that it’s going be your front cover and spine, so it’s good to have it a bit thick). Once you have rolled it out, cut out a rectangular shape bigger than the cake top (in this way you will have a front cover looking as a real book cover, which is always slightly bigger than the book itself), also you will need to cover the spine of the book with the same piece of rolled out chocolate. Once you have positioned the chocolate on your cake, smooth it with your smoother.
16. To make the corners, cut out some straight lines off your rolled out dark chocolate. Simply place them next to your pages/textblock and top edges as shown in the picture.
17. Join the corners with the tail of the book and do the same with the headcap on the other side of the cake. You can also add a little piece of dark modelling chocolate between your textblock and the headcap/tail, to create a headband, and join it with the pages using your sharp tool.
18. I have now rolled out a piece of my dark modelling chocolate on a pattern impression mat. You can choose the pattern you prefer.
19. Cut out some corner shapes, and brush them with a bit of gold edible dust.
20. With some edible glue, stick them on the 2 corners of the book cake. You can repeat the process by creating two or more raised bands on the spine of the book using the same design.
21. Your cake is complete. You can now add any decoration you prefer (flowers, letters, etc.) J