Happy Sunday! This week brings a 3 day weekend for me and lots of relaxing time! But it also brought this incredibly fun to make Birthday Cake! The only guidelines I was given was that it had to be black (over the hill motif) and flowers and fun. So this is what I came up with! It was a hit with the client...hopefully just as big a hit at the party today!
Cakes like this LOOK complicated but in fact, what they are is very detailed and not very hard to do. This means they take a lot of time and patience to finish. Step one, of course, is to cover the board with the fondant and let it set up, at least over night, till firm. Then cover the cake and let that sit for at least an hour. After placing the cake onto the board I started on the flowers. When I made the fondant I took sections off of the beginning white loaf, colored those my four colors and then placed those in baggies. The color will darken up and be more vibrant if you let it sit for 24 hours. The Black and the Red fondant for this cake is Duff's Fondant bought from Michaels. The colors are great and it tastes good so I buy that brand. Tip here...wait for a Michaels 40-50% off coupon to buy it since it's a bit spendy!
Now the flowers. I didn't use tylose to firm up the petals because these flowers were going to be eaten and I wanted them soft like the black fondant covering the cake. This does mean they are a bit trickier to get onto the cake! They wanted to move and stretch out. So I made them a bit thicker than normal and I used an offset spatula to place each petal on the cake after I had very lightly brushed it with a damp paintbrush on the backs. The petals that extended past the end of the cake were trimmed immediately level with the bottom of the cake. Once I had placed all the different flowers onto the cake and rolled out my "snake" of red trim I then trimmed the bottom of the cake petals to allow the rolled trim to fit right under them nice and snug. Then the real work began.
I make up huge batches of royal icing and then store them in the fridge in canning jars. I go through it rather quickly but a full batch of royal icing will last me a month. Since they are in individual jars I don't have to expose the whole batch to air (very bad for royal icing since it dries up so quickly) and just use a little at a time when I need it. For this cake I used about a half of a jar that I had colored bright yellow. That went into a piping bag with a #3 writing tip on it. Then, very patiently, I piped on all the lines and dots that you see on the flowers. I would finish one flower, move on to the next and when I was done with the second flower I would go back to the first and gently push down the little points to make them flat. If you try to do this too soon they stick to your finger and pull up the whole dot/line. If you try to do this too late and they will be dry and it will be too late to push down without cracking your design.
I did the trim to the board while all the flowers were setting up. I didn't want to do the writing right away in case I bumped one of the flowers. I wanted the royal icing to set up nice and hard before I tried that. The trim is simply strips that have been cut using the wavy edge of my handheld double wheel cutter. I then used water to "glue" them to the edge of the board (the black extends all the way over the top and sides of the board so you are gluing your trim to the other fondant). Then I embossed them using a small piece of nonskid shelf liner but you can use anything to texturize fondant as long as it's very clean and foodsafe. I used this same technique on some of the flowers on the cake so this tied in the texture from the cake to the trim on the board.
Finally I piped on the words and designs. Now I do this freehand but there are plenty of press sets out there that you can use to gently press the letters into the fondant and then pipe over the outlines.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks' cake! I was a bit out of my element doing a black cake but it turned out so striking that I'm really pleased that I did it! This next week brings some more of the "Dinner Party Cupcakes". These are becoming a hit! I guess grown ups love cupcakes as much as the kids but they want their own grown up version for their parties! Can't wait to share what I have planned for these!