Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bunny Birthday Cake

Happy Sunday! This week brings a birthday cake for a special little girl. I've mentioned before that the really fun cakes for me are the ones I do as gifts for my family. I have so much fun designing them and bringing the joy to my loved ones when I present them with these edible gifts.

This week's cake was for my neice who was turning 5. Miss Sarah LOVES her bunny and when asked what kind of cake she wanted she was very very clear that she wanted a "bunny cake" so I created her this dream cake for a covered in carrots! Sarah is a very girly girl so that meant her bunny needed to be a girly girl too. So she got pretty flirty lashes and a "goin' to Sunday School" hat complete with a little flower on top. The bunny, carrot and the "S" are all fondant with some tylose mixed in. With all figures you have to make the pieces then, after they are dry, assemble them together with some water or "gum glue". Gum glue is simply some gumpaste or tylose that's been disolved into some warm water till it has a glue consistancy. It glues the pieces together fairly quickly making a bond between the sugars.

Close up of the Bunny

And what goes with bunnies better than baskets? I have done the basketweave technique on round cakes before but had never tried it on a square cake, much less on the top of one and thought that it would make for a very interesting background texture for the bunny and the carrots. I love the way it turned out. For those who have never done a basketweave before I thought I would attempt to explain it. As with most techniques, you can find video on YouTube.

Start out with a good crumbcoat on your cake. I used tip #48 which has a jagged tooth design on both sides of the opening. There are tips out there that have a smooth side and a jagged side but for basketweave I use the double jagged sided tip. That way, as I work my way around the cake, and as I twist my bag to keep icing in the tip, I don't have to worry about which side of the tip I'm working with, it's the same on both sides! You start from a corner, on a square, with a solid vertical line down the cake. Then you do another small line at the top, the middle and the bottom horizontally over that first straight line.
Here I tried to show how I "tucked" the horizontal lines and brought them over the vertical line. I followed these horizontal lines with a straight verticle line down the cake and then three horizontal lines. It's important there there is some of the horizontal line under the vertical line. This is what gives the woven effect and makes it look bumpy like it's really a basket.

I trimmed the cake with a leaf tip and green icing and then tucked in royal icing carrots I had piped out onto parchment paper and allowed to dry for a few hours. If you are doing small royal icing pieces like this then they will dry in a few hours but if you are doing larger or thicker royal icing pieces you may need to let them dry overnight so they are solid enough to pick up. Use an offset spatula to gently lift them from the parchment and always, always, always make at least double what you think you will need since royal icing breaks easily! I made about 100 carrots and used about 75 of them.

Next week's focus is another family cake! My grandaughter turned 2 recently and we are having a family party in her honor. And, of course, Nana gets to make her cake! I'm so excited to share this one with you all next Sunday night!


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