Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Racetrack Birthday Cake - Tutorial Tuesday

This cake was a hit with my little birthday man and his friends. I think because it turned out to be so large and the fact that toy cars could be driven around it. Francesco Bernoulli and Tow Mater both made an appearance at different stages of the day and then we misplaced Lightning when it came time to light the candles Children had to restrain themselves from pulling out the fun flag picks they were just so tempting. Here is how I did it...

To achieve the tall oval I baked two 8" round cakes and two 8" square mud cakes as they carve nicely. Trim the domes off then slice the circles in half across the diameter to become the race track ends. Stick the base cakes to the board and to each other with some buttercream. Mine is peachy coloured because I used a few teaspoons of passionfruit flavacol and it was a yummy fruity hit. Roughly carve out the grandstand top and sides and arrange on top of a layer of buttercream as pictured. Once you get to this stage you can use a small serrated knife to even up the grandstand area. Then coat the whole cake with a layer of buttercream.    

Roll out white fondant into a roughly oval shape that is 20" long and ease it into place. Use a cutter wheel to run around the top edge and make it neat. Smear crisco around the insides where you would like the grandstand 'crowd' to be.

Roll long strips of red fondant to wrap all the way around the cake. I did this in two pieces and kept the joins at the back. Butt it up against the white fondant at the top then moisten the join with a little sugar glue then adhere a ribbon of yellow fondant on top. Repeat around the bottom where the red joins the board.

Tip 100s and 1000s sprinkles onto the crisco-covered grandstand area. Brush up any extra that roll down and re-sprinkle to fill in any gaps. It helps to hold the cake on a slight angle for this step. Then roll out black fondant and use your cutting wheel again to freehand shape an oval with a slice up the middle to become the middle of the racetrack.

Ease it into place at the base of the cavity and leave a center strip empty to pipe with green grass made from green coloured royal icing. Complete the board with the child's name in leftover yellow fondant lettering and pipe some more grass beneath to 'ground' it.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bananarama Ice cream - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

This yummy dessert is super easy to make at home with Easy Frost, a commonly used cake decorating product. 

For two generous servings I simply whipped 100mls water with 100 grams Easy Frost and 2 teaspoons of banana flavacol until creamy and smelling delicious. Then I stirred through a handful of store-bought chopped banana lollies and froze it in an airtight container for 3 hours (or you can add ingredients directly into an ice-cream maker).

I sprinkled candy bananas on top to serve. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fun plaques to finish cakes - Tutorial Tuesday

There are a variety of plaque shapes out there to use and one of the most fun is the plunger set with the quilted embossed panels. These can be used in so many colour ways and designs as they are, or combining with silicone moulds and alphabet cutters. The following gives some ideas as well as combinations of tools to achieve the example shown. These can be used on cookies as well as cakes
The single plaque plunger 7.5 x 4.5 should be able to be used in all these designs although there may be a slight difference in fitting some of the embellishments

1 Using plaque plunger size 8 x 4.5 cm from the set of four plaque cutters cut a black embossed shape from gumpaste or stiffened fondant.

2 Paint the embossed lines if you wish to highlight them. Here I have used a mix of the gold's from the metallic paint range. It is easier to paint by lightly rubbing the side of the paintbrush over the raised edges rather than directly trying to paint the thin lines with the end of the brush. Any mistakes can be cleaned up with a cotton bud dipped in vodka or similar alcohol. The frame edges were also painted

3 Using the curlicues cutter make two of each shape and glue them like so to make a frame for the plaque. Once the curlicues are painted the plaque frame blends in with them to add extra depth.

4 Letters can now be added if required - this plaque will easily hold two alphabet initials around 15mm high or less of whatever alphabet type you have available

5 Using plaque plunger 7.5 x 4.5 cm cut a white shape from gum paste or stiffened fondant. This can be embossed with the quilted panel if you wish. Also mould the large bow in the "ribbon bows" silicone mould out of pale pink gumpaste and cut the letters BABY from the clikstixs range from a mixture of "small uppercase" and "small lowercase" or all uppercase

6 Glue together as shown

7 Using plaque cutter 7 x 4 cut required plaque shape. Using the Wilton baroque mould, make the following shapes 2 left and 2 right of the scroll shape. They are the ones shown left (partially) and right directly under the string of pearls at the top of this photo

8 Stretch the curl out as shown and glue to the frame of the plaque, curling the ends where needed to make sure it wont overlap with the curl on the other side once its placed into position.

9 Make a left and a right of the smallest baroque curl and glued them in this position

10 The frame was then painted with a mix of the metallic gold paints

11 Another mould with so many combinations and small embellishments is this one the "tiny decorative features" mould. The pearl string makes an ideal border embellished by the shapes as shown. The small bow can also be used or make a border using one of the flower designs for a pretty alternative.
I hope this inspires you all to further ideas and designs, we would love to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fluorescent Graffiti Cake - Tutorial Tuesday

Today we have a fun tutorial from Lisa at The Whole Cake & Caboodle, created for Kiwicakes. Whether you say fluro or fluoro - this cake is sure to please. And even better under a black light at your party the fluorescing effect is amazing.

1. Cover cake as required. Black works best although white and other colours will work if you have a particular colour palette in mind. If doing a tiered cake it will be easier to stack it first

2. Make some royal icing. Using a small bowl (or several bowls if you wish to do all colours at once) mix up paint to an approximate ratio of 1x semi heaped kitchen tablespoon of royal icing, 10 drops of colour, and a teaspoon of water. You may need more colour (blue and green especially) and you may need a little more water if your consistency isn't runny. It needs to drip off the spoon but you need to be able to control it so not pouring off.

3. Using a spoon with a little on it flick it back and forth across the top of the cake in a pleasing design. To get side markings use a spoon with some on and tip and drag against the fondant essentially drawing with the side of the spoon. You can also stand and flick the icing off the spoon for a true splatter effect

4. Work through layering colours as required and to fill gaps to make it even…or as even as messy can be!

5. Finish cake if required with a ribbon trim or some gum paste beadwork.

This is messy as is shown by the photos, use an old sheet or a new plastic painters drop sheet to protect your surface and stick partially to walls if you don’t fancy cleaning and wish to really get flicking

It does wipe off easily and not stain but it can go a fairway depending upon how carried away you get (its addictive!)

The fluoro will stain some fabrics slightly if not washed immediately (I have some fluoro marks in one of my tea towels)

Use a clean spoon or paintbrush to spread out drips into a line if you don't fancy the drippy look. This will be labour intensive though.

The colour will be quite shiny when wet but as the royal dries it will loose some intensity and lustre. This is normal.

If you are not confident roll out a portion of scrap icing or use a blank piece of computer paper, or even upend a pot and practice on that

If you are wishing to put ribbon around the edges you will need to ensure any large drips are flattened so the ribbon sits cleanly. Scrape them off or push them flat

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to make fondant or gumpaste icing chain for cakes - Tutorial Tuesday

This awesome chain tutorial was created for Kiwicakes by Lisa from The Whole Cake & CaboodleGreat for bags, necklaces, medallions, key rings, earrings etc

Use a colour that is going to be similar to your end colour if painting. I.E grey for an end result of silver. Yellowy brown for a gold chain. 

Roll out gumpaste or stiffened fondant to the thickness required.  If it's too thick it will be hard to deal with but it needs to be thick enough for support. In this case its around 2 mm thick. If making smaller links go thinner. If making larger links roll it thicker.

Using a # 2A Wilton tip punch numerous holes in the rolled icing leaving room to cut the outside link

Using a #1A Wilton round tip line up the inner hole and punch out each ring making a reasonable number but not to many that will dry out before joining. Around 30 is a good start. You can use any size circles cutters just make sure they dont cut too thick or too thin a link when used together.

Divide into lots of three and cut one of every set of three links at one point to split open as shown. I make small chains of three links to start as when it comes to joining them together they have dried enough to ensure they don’t buckle or become mishapen, and are a lot easier to handle. 

Open up the cut link and carefully thread two chains on to one end.

Dampen the end of the cut chain link with edible glue and gently meld the ends together with your fingers. Squeeze to reshape if necessary.

Leave links round or squeeze the side of each link to make into an oval shape.

Line the sets of links up with a slight overlap and work out how many sets of three you will need by measuring the length you have created and working out how much more you need and make them so they start to harden before joining

Stamp out the required amount of links to join your wee chains and cut to open. Join each set of three together on a joining link as shown. This will be a little fiddlier than joining three links together and the weight can pull apart the links if they arent joined well enough or are too soft. Leave for a few minutes to harden if necessary.

Make the chain to the length required and then either dust when completely dry and hard with lustres, spray with PME spray or give it a light airbrush cover with pearl or metallic coating. You can paint with metallic paints but be careful you don’t wet the links to much so they get mushy. Use chain as required

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