Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunday update!

So, its been a very busy week with work, uni and baking a friends birthday cake.
I got a little sketching done during my free time, but Ive been mostly working on a single piece that Ill upload once its finished.

 My biggest, most time consuming project for the week was a cake. But not just any cake, a good friends birthday cake which meant that it had to be awesome! So awesome that I stepped way out of my comfort zone from the usuall cake and slice baking I do in order to make a piece of art.

I was originally going to make a castle since my friend asked for one, but I decided that a dragon guarding its treasure would be way more cool=P

 Completely edible! (except for the 7 toothpicks holding the plants and treasure chest in place)=P

I am very pleased with the result of my efforts. When I decided to attempt this, the only fear I had was not whether I could do it, but instead it was the thought of it falling out my hands during its transportation to the party.

Development stuff!
I started the whole task on Thursday night. I needed to bake the cake 2 days in advance since I wouldn't of had time to bake it, allow it to cool and decorate it on the day it was needed. The main part of the cake the dragon sits on is chocolate buttermilk pound cake and the chest is just a vanilla sponge (I know for next time to not use a fluffy sponge recipe for this kind of thing... it falls to pieces way too easily and was very difficult to work with). The dragon is made out of what my flat mate likes to think of as a huge cow patty, but really its Oreo biscuits and cream cheese - 4 boxes of Oreas and half a kilo of cream cheese! Omnomnomnom

On Friday night, after a few celebratory drink for a friends engagement, I started to work on the fondant decorations that needed time to dry and become hard. The little plants gave me a bit of a hard time, I re-made them twice since they fell to pieces the first time. I fixed this by making them quicker and then placing them into an egg carton so they didn't flop and fall apart. The wings were made in the same evening too. I would of liked to make the treasure chest too, but the cake had to be refrigerated and if I was to decorate it with fondant and keep it cool, the fondant would get sticky when taken out of the fridge.

Saturday, the day of the party, came along and I spent about 10hours completing the rest of the cake. I started with the Treasure chest, which was the hardest part of the whole cake to make due to its hur-derp fluffiness. I used apricot jam as a base instead of butter frosting before covering it with the fondant, adding the indents for the wooden plank and painting it. The fun part was making the treasure!  I used the end of a circular piping tip to make the coin indents, hand molded the excess coins and used edible gems and those little edible pearl thingies to decorate it (plus a lot of edible gold glitter).

The base of the cake was made in layers. After adding the chocolate frosting, I wrapped a ring of brown marbled fondant around the edge followed by two layers of leaves (I found the leaf cutter mold for a dollar in a book shop oddly enough). The grass was cut using a knife and scissors then painted with a little green food colouring to get the 'streaked' look. The cobble stone where then modelled on top.

At this point it was nearly time for the party. I thought 'Well, I could put the treasure chest on top and consider it done so I can avoid my friends wrath for being late'. But I figured, bugger being a bit late! I'm gonna make a bloody dragon!
Out came the black mass of dough. I hand modelled it (no, I didn't use a mold) and then relised that I didn't actually figure out how I was going to shift it to the top of the cake without it falling apart. Before going to the next step and adding the decorations, I tried to test move it first. I was so glad I tried to move it before decorating it since it broke into chunks which would have been disastrous if the dragon was complete. I moved the chunks to the cake carefully and then started adding the fondant and decorations to complete the dragon.

To finish off the cake, I dusted the dragon and grass in edible glitter and attached the treasure chest, wings and shrubs before transporting the whole cake onto the cake board.

Luckily, it didn't fall out of my hands during the trip and it safely made its way to the party, with only one leaf breaking off. Although I was 2 hours late, my mate didn't care  when he saw the cake=)

A lot of people at the party said that I should change my career to professional cake maker. Perhaps one day I may consider it, but for now, Ill stick to sitting at the computer making pretties.