Planning to bake an anti-gravity cake? Read our tips and tricks to help you make your showstopper a success...
You've bought the ingredients, put aside the time, and looked through our step-by-step recipe - now all you need to do is bake a gravity-defying cake. Simple! Before you get started, read through food editor Cassie's top tips for a perfect finish.
Stabilise your straw
Push a wooden skewer cut to size down the centre of your straw - this will add stability. Paper straws can go soggy when in contact with the icing, so use a strong plastic one.
Patience is key - only add a few sweets to the straw at a time, and leave plenty of time for them to set before adding the next layer. If they haven't set properly the whole thing will collapse.
Get the correct chocolate consistency
Make sure the chocolate you use to glue the sweets to the straw is at the correct consistency. It should be pourable but thick - like toothpaste. if it's too runny the sweets will slide straight off, too thick and they won't set. If it firms up too much, pop it in the microwave for 10 second blasts, until pliable.
Leave enough of the straw uncovered to be able to attach the sweetie bag. if you're using a paper bag, you can cut it down to size so it's not as heavy. Balance it on top and secure with sticky tape if necessary. If you're attaching a sweetie bag, only cut off a small corner - the bag will balance much better and give the sweets a tumbling effect.
Pad it out
To pad out the bag, you can stuff some cotton wool or paper tissue inside, but not too much as it'll make the bag heavy and could cause it to collapse.
More top tips for baking success...
- It's important to check that your tin is the right size, or the cake won't cook properly. Grease and line your cake tin properly to make it easier to remove once baked - check out our video for how to line different shaped cake tins.
- Stick to the details of the recipe - small steps such as preheating the oven and measuring out ingredients with reliable digital scales will make a big difference to the end result.
- Don't be tempted to peek in the oven while the cake is cooking - each time you do, the oven cools down, and the chances of a collapsed cake increase.
- Do check the cake just before the end of the cooking time - when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out dry, and the cake feels the same when pressed in the centre or at the edges, it's likely to be done.
Have you made a gravity-defying cake? We'd love to hear about it - leave your comments below...