Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Operation Sugar cake for Katie

Many of you will know Kiwicakes is a sponsor of Operation Sugar, which provides free birthday cakes for seriously ill children in NZ. I'm also personally registered as a volunteer baker - and I finally got my first assignment: a mermaid themed cake for Katie turning 10. Katie has Bronchiectasis.

Katie's mum Lisa tells me her daughter is very keen on publicising Bronchiectasis (see the support page on facebook here) to raise awareness for her condition. Specials thanks to Lisa and Katie for the lovely photos. 

Katie was also happy to be photographed for the Northern Advocate newspaper, the story appeared on Saturday 7th December. You can read the story here

Katie requested chocolate flavours for the whole cake. I made the bottom tier with milk chocolate ganache, to suit the children coming to her party, and the middle tier with dark chocolate ganache for the adults.

The cake sizes were a 13 inch diameter round base stacked with a 10 inch diameter hexagon. the supports are 9 inch wilton hidden pillars topper with an 8 inch round separator plate. On top of this rests an 8 inch diameter hemisphere cake.

Nearly all of the decorations were made with Chocit chocolate modelling paste. I love the never ending working time of this product. Two days after I made the mermaid, I was still able to adjust the angle of her tail (which I would not have been able to do with fondant or gumpaste).

The Chocit modelling paste comes in a wide variety of colours. I was able to mix colours together, to achieve other great shades. Some examples of my colour mixing are: the mermaids hair is yellow & white mixed together, the tail is blue & green in equal parts, the lime green used extensively on the cake is green and yellow mixed 3:1, the stingray is a tiny pinch of black added to white and the coral supports are surround with pink mixed with ivory.

The little stingrays tail I didn't model, I simply pulled the Chocit, stretching and breaking it to the length required.

The marbled shells were made by twisting together ropes of pale yellow and pink Chocit, then pressing it into silicone seashell moulds.

Just keep twisting until the stripes get tighter and tighter. This process was also used on the shells that are around the pink pillars in centre of cake (at hexagon level).

The shells on the cake board are all made from solid chocolate. The kina shells are made using these moulds and white candy melts, to which I added a few green candy melts (making the resulting green much paler than green candy melts straight from the bag). They are dusted with Rainbow Dust Pearl crushed pine lustre dust. The pink shells are made using white candy melts, dusted with pink lustre.

The paua shells are made with these moulds and blue candy melts (see here for a tutorial on how to make paua my way). The scallop shells are made with this mould, with a pearl gumball added to the centre. They are dusted with Rainbow Dust Starlight comet white.

The cake board was 20 inches in diameter. I covered it with baby blue Satin Ice fondant, which I embossed using this impression mat of waves and dots. Katie's name is cut out of purple gumpaste using the FMM Funky Tappit set.

This fish on this tier were made using this mould and the heart bubbles were created by taking some white hearts from this sprinkles blend and attaching them with some edible glue

I used the same fish mould (used in the earlier photo above) to attach to the coral pillars. The coral was created by taking uneven lengths of Chocit and wrapping around the pillar, starting at the top, overlapping each one down the length of the pillar.

The pearl drape was made using a bead mould and white Chocit, dusted with Rainbow Dust starlight comet white lustre. The individual little pearls are Kiwicakes own brand sugar pearls

The mermaid's tail colour was made mixing blue & green Chocit together.

The fondant covering for the two bottom tiers was marbled using the marbling technique from here. The colours used are blue & baby blue Satin Ice fondant. The top hemisphere tier was marbled with baby blue and pastel green Satin Ice.

I hope you've enjoyed the story of my Operation Sugar cake. Perhaps you'll consider signing up as a volunteer with Operation Sugar. You can check out all the wonderful cakes people have made on Operation Sugar's facebook page.

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