The cakes I’ll share with you now are the cakes that I made in the year following my first attempt at decorating. There’s a fondant figure, flowers, superhero and cupcakes. As I go through, I’ll tell you a little about the process, any problems I encountered and things I did…that I shouldn’t have. It’s always good to learn from mistakes – especially if they’re someone else’s and you don’t have to make them yourself!
Dorothy the Dinosaur
I took this cake a little more seriously than the first. Did some research at least. Finding cake decorating supply shops was quite difficult. The north side of Brisbane didn’t seem to have too many, or if it did they didn’t advertise or have web sites to locate them easily. I found one, in Redcliffe, so I went in and spoke briefly about my idea of making a fondant figure – making sure I bought what I needed while I was there. They didn’t have very much in the way of supplies, but I was told that I needed to add ‘gum trag’ (tragacanth) to my fondant in order for it to set hard and give the figure its stability. She failed to mention that gum trag wasn’t the only option for this and… it dries out the fondant leaving visible cracks.
I wanted to make sure I spent the time on Dorothy and the flowers so I chose to do a butter frosting on the cake and add the details in fondant. I was up literally all night just making Dorothy and the flowers.
This one was for me, I knew exactly how I wanted it to look and that if I kept it simple, hopefully…the fondant would work. I had read a few tips on decorating online and found that I needed to adhere the fondant to the cake with a butter cream frosting or ganaché (blend of melted chocolate and cream). I chose to ice the cake and used a butter frosting for this.
Basically, I made the cake the day before and refrigerated it overnight – I even made the cake red, yellow and blue (long before the rainbow cake fad). I made the icing the night before and left it in the fridge too. I like the idea of frosting underneath, it’s not as expensive as ganaché. My frosting; however, didn’t form a crust. The fondant stuck well, a little too well – luckily I got it on first go! – but it was moist from the frosting, so you can see fingerprints and it was a little sticky. If I had known a little more about various products, I would’ve outlined the logo on top a little different too.
Baby Face Cupcakes
These were for my daughters childcare teacher. She was going on maternity leave and I decided to do them so all the girls at the centre could have them for morning tea – and I wanted to thank her for caring for my daughter and helping me out too. I had been given the Planet Cake book for Christmas and had seen them in the book, but didn’t actually refer to it at all when making them months later. I used a mix of jam and boiling water to make a syrup to stick the fondant to the top of the cake and stop the cupcakes drying out. It tastes good too. They look a little complex, but they’re quite simple really. The beanies are cut with the same circle cutter used for the face then cut in half with a small strip cut for the up-turn.
These were the first cakes that I made for someone outside of my house. The next step in it being slightly, just slightly addictive..