Simhat Torah cake

As an architect who loves birthdays, chocolate and baked goods, Elisheva Menachem uses fondant to model the shapes she wants and creates something new each time.

Simhat Torah cake (photo credit: ELISHEVA MENACHEM)
Simhat Torah cake
(photo credit: ELISHEVA MENACHEM)
Most of my cakes have deeper meanings than just their outward beauty and delicious taste. In this case, for a Simhat Torah cake I chose a blue background because it is on this day that we start praying for rain. I made the cake round in shape because the circle symbolizes the cycle of completing the entire Torah every year, and beginning it again.
On this holy day we dance around in circles showing the love we have for each other -- and for the Torah that unites us -- and how we are all equal today, no matter what color we are or who we are or where we come from. Therefore I made the fondant figures in all colors and placed both the Sephardi and the Ashkenazi Torah scrolls in the center.
You will need:
A round cake baked in a 21-cm. diameter pan
Sugar frosting (or any frosting you choose as long it is still wet when covering)
Fondant (a baseball size worth of blue fondant, for covering the whole cake and some white, yellow, red, gold, green and brown fondant. You can buy white fondant and add food coloring.)
Chocolate chips (optional)
Flat surface, rolling pin, thin knife, brush for water, etc.
Cake ingredients:
2/3 cup oil
1½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla
2¾ cup flour
2½ Tbs. baking powder
tsp. salt
1¼ cup water/ juice/ milk
1½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
More chocolate chips to decorate the bottom of the cake.
Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside. In a big bowl mix the rest except for the water. Add the dry ingredients and juice alternately. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Pour into a 21-cm. diameter greased pan.
Bake at 180º for 30 minutes, or till done.Sugar frosting:
3 pkg. powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. oil
4 Tbsp. hot water
½ tsp. vanilla
Mix well, add more powdered sugar to thicken, or more water to thin it out.
Cake assembly:
In advance Shape the people, flowers and the Sefer Torah shapes out of the fondant at least a few hours before you start the cake. Leave to dry and harden.
When using fondant, remember it is very similar to Play-Doh. If it becomes dry, wet it a little. If it gets too sticky, add some cornflour or powdered sugar.
To connect fondant objects simply put a dab of water. which is used as glue.
Remember: fondant dries if stays out! When not in use, place in sealed air tight container.
Bake the cake and let it cool.
When the cake has cooled down, mix the sugar icing and pour over the cake. Spread evenly all around.
Roll out the blue fondant to a thin layer, so that it’s big enough to cover the top and sides of the cake. Fold half over the rolling pin, lift and place on the center of cake, covering the entire top. Smooth the top and then smooth out the sides slowly while stretching the fondant. Press all around the sides. Slice the extra pieces of fondant off.
Wet the area where the feet of the figures will stand. Stick them carefully straight down onto the cake. Hold in place if necessary.
Wet the center of the cake with a few drops of water. Place the Torah scrolls in the center, surrounded with flowers and leaves.
Surround the bottom of the cake with chocolate chips.The writer can be contacted by email at [email protected]