Happy Sunday! This week brings a new Demo cake to share with you. This is actually the mock-up for a Bride who is getting married next summer. She's a friend and I thought, while I have to do a topsy turvy demo cake I might as well do this one up for her. Yes, she loved the way this turned out!
When you visit a cake designer, verses a bakery or grocery store, you start out with an initial meeting where the designer gets to know you and your expectations for a cake. The basics are covered like: theme, colors, flowers, but also the little details of your life like: hobbies, where you two met, where you are going on your honeymoon. Things like that can really help to refine what the client wants and helps to turn out a more personalized cake in the end. But, with a designer it doesn't end there. Once this initial meeting is done it's time for the designer to get to work. Just like a custom wedding dress, a custom cake needs sketches! I sketch out 4-5 designs and then let the client choose from those or they can tell me what they like from the different designs and then I can give them a sketch that incorporates all of what they liked into one cake. A bakery will give you the first consultation and you will decide what your cake will look like right then and there. A grocery store will tell you the 4-5 different cakes they make and you will choose which one fits your day. But with a cake artist you get a truly personalized cake. In the end I want your cake to be a one of a kind centerpiece for your event whether it's your wedding day, your birthday or just the 4th of July!
Now, you knew there had to be a tip or trick this week, right? Well, there are a couple of tips for those who are learning to work with fondant. In my opinion, and not everyone agrees, square cakes are easier to cover with fondant. When you lay the fondant over the box shape you start at the corners and make those as crisp as you can get them. Then you start to smooth down the sides. As always, trimming your fondant, after laying it over, will help you to smooth it easier because you will have trimmed away the extra weight. Before adding any further details you will want your covered cake to set up for about a half hour. This will help the surface to get a little more mar resistant. For this cake I needed fondant "ribbons" and bows. The bows were made a couple of days in advance and tylose was added to the fondant to help it set up. I used paint brush handles to keep the bow part round until it had dried 12 hours then gently removed them and added the center gathered piece to complete the bow. The ribbons were cut out of very thinly rolled out fondant. This is easy to do on the small box but harder for the larger boxes. The small box, from side to side, is 4+4+4 or 12 inches of ribbon each direction. But the next size box is 4+6+4 or 14 inches and the biggest box is 4+8+4 or 16 inches. I have a 12x12 measuring mat (one of those that has a grid on it for rolling out fondant) so while the first one was easy the others had to be pieced out. Since they would be covered with the bows or other boxes I didn't worry too much about how they met up in the middle of the top of the box. So the second box was actually 4 pieces of 7 inch long "ribbon" and the bottom box was actually 4 pieces of 8 inch long "ribbon". For the larger boxes I started at the center of the box and laid the "ribbon" over the edge down to the bottom of the box. Once it was where I wanted it to be I lifted it from the bottom and used a paint brush to brush on a damp amount of water then laid the ribbon back down and smoothed it to the bottom of the box. Then I trimmed the ribbon and used a fondant tool to tuck the edge under the box.
So you are probably wondering how the topsy turvy effect is achieved. Well, for a demo cake it was really easy. I simply put bows on each box and used those to tip the box above. Secured the box with royal icing to add stability. But, for a real cake it's a bit different because you are dealing with the weight of a cake. For that we use cake boards on the bottom of each tier and dowels of different lengths inserted so that they stick up out of the bottom cake just a little bit higher on one side than the other and tip the cake up just a bit. Royal icing is also used as "cement" to stablize the cake. The final touch is a very long dowel that is inserted into the top cake all the way to the base of the bottom cake. Then the final bow is placed on top to cover where the dowel went in. Sugar roses are added to the design to help cover the structure part of the cake as well as to add a bit more to the cake design.
This upcoming week brings a Bridal Shower cake to share! Bridal and Baby Showers have grown to larger parties than they were back "in the day" where it was 8 women around a coffee table. This shower is for 25 and we have worked showers where there were double that amount of guests. My theory is that, due to the economy and tighter budgets, we have stopped having the smaller gatherings of family and friends and have started making the bigger events in life a bigger celebration that includes all of our family and friends we have missed throughout the year. It certainly makes it more fun for the cake designer who makes a larger cake and thus ends up with a larger canvas on which to create their work of art!
Have a great week! See you next Sunday!