Sunday, February 5, 2012

Happy Sunday! This week we feature a beautiful little cake that could be for a Bridal Shower or maybe the top tier for a Wedding Cake but is, in fact, a very girly girl Birthday Cake for one of my favorite girly girl clients! 

This 6 inch dark chocolate cake is filled with fresh buttercream icing and then covered in the same buttercream and decorated with 75 sugar Hydrangea leaves. Just enough cake for a small celebration of friends and family.

It seems like a rather simple cake but, of course, making the flowers started a week ago. It is a many stage process that starts out with fresh fondant being made for the flowers themselves. Once the fondant is ready, and there is a 12 hour waiting period before it's ready for use, I rolled out the sheet of fondant and used my hydrangea cutting set to cut and press the petals. These then have to set up for 12 hours and then I was able to gently fold them a bit to give them some movement like real flowers. Then they set up another 12 hours and I can finally begin the dusting process. In person they are a bit glittery but I used mat dusts to create the purple and blue colors and just a touch of the pink pearl dust to add the splash of pink and a little sparkle.
Each petal was first dusted with the pink in the centers. Then I went back over them with the purple and then the blue. This photo was taken right as I started the blue layer. I then went back over them again with purple here or there and finally finished them off with more of the pink. The wonderful thing about hydrangeas is that they are not all colored the same from petal to petal. The color variations is one of the reasons I find them to be so beautiful. They range everywhere from white to pink to blue to purple and every mix in between. I went with the purple variation. The next step is using water to set the candy pearls into the center of each petal. These set up again for about 6 hours and I was finally able to form them just a little more before letting them dry for 2 more days till solid. This turns them into fondant "candy" and they are, oh, so good!

Finally it was time to fill and crumbcoat the cake and let it settle overnight. At last the top coat of frosting went on, was allowed to "crust" up so I could apply the quilting pattern sheet. This, for me, is just a light impression.  This is, for me anyway, easier to do on fondant than on buttercream so you have to be very careful to press lightly with the pattern sheet. Press too hard and breathe too hard at the same time and you have suddenly ruined your finish. Then you have to start the final top coat of frosting all over again. I  use a rolling cutter to go over the quilted lines so that they are deeper into the cake and more noticeable.

I used a leaf tip, tipped to the side, to make the ruffled edges and then I put the first layer of petals onto the cake. Then, using more frosting, added the rest of the petals until they were all in place. The last touch is the candy pearls set into the joins of the quilting. 

This little cake took 75 hydrangea petals. Can you just imagine how many would go on a full 3 tier Wedding Cake!?! Fortunately I can just imagine how gorgeous that Wedding Cake would be when it was all stacked and finished. Just remember that if you do choose to go with a multi-flowered design that each flower adds to the cost of your entire cake. This cake, without the flowers, would cost $45. But when you add the flowers it takes the cost up to $82. That is due to all the hours that go into making the flowers look real but edible. Since hydrangeas are toxic to humans, this is the only safe way to have them on your cake.

This upcoming week brings another shower cake...can't wait to share!


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