Tag Archives: fondant

Threadcakes pt 1 (painting fondant)

27 Jul

*FYI, I wrote this blog post last week, and for some reason it never posted! Sorry it’s way overdue! 😉

I’ve spent the past few weeks with food colouring-stained hands, a sore neck and the determination to create something to be proud of. I have spent many hours hunched over small pieces of fondant with a tiny sewing needle and my smallest paintbrush hoping that I didn’t screw anything up. I also spent many hours pacing in my kitchen and taking breaks to prevent myself from going insane. That is what my life turns into when I am given a long eriod of time to work on a cake. Usually I have to make and decorate a cake withing a few days, but with this cake, I spent many hours on the decorations before I even thought about baking the actual cake. I spent tons of time planning, making stencils, marking fondant, mixing “paint”, painting fondant, colouring in fondant etc. Here’s what it took to make my 2011 entry for Threadcakes.

First, I had my dad print off 3 copies of the design “Captain Obvious” and cut out the elements. I cut out each individual letter for the title, the speech bubbles, the four squares, and the superhero and his cape seperately.

I then rolled out white fondant, and using a super sharp exacto knife, I cut around the paper to get my fondant pieces.

Once all these were cut out I started with the speech bubbles. I placed the paper cut-out on top of the fondant and used a sewing needle to poke along the letters so that when I lifted the paper I just had to connect the dots.

Pretty much perfect right? I mixed gel food colouring and vodka to get an almost ink like substance. The only problem was that I thought the mixture smelled like garlic for some reason, but nobody else could smell it. hmmm… Anyway, remember when I said I *just* had to connect the dots? Well, words were easy, shapes were a LOT harder.

That was one of the easier ones, I must admit, but it was tricky nonetheless.

This was my favourite part: Captain Obvious himself, the main graphic on the shirt. It was a lot of fun, but the muscles kinda creeped me out a bit. To give you an idea how hard it was, here is a picture of the top, right square of the cake right before I painted it along with the needle for size reference. Can you make out what it is?

It’s an airplane with the superhero flying above it. Here’s a picture of the pieces in black and white to compare it to.

By far, the worst part was the top, left square just because of the extent of the detail. I worked on it over the space of three days because I was getting so frustrated! When it was all done though, I go to colour everything in which was really fun.

I started with the speech bubbles because I had to use red royal icing to go over the words that were supposed to be red. When I made the bubbles to begin with, I was referring to a black and white photo, so I had no idea words were red. oops! Then, I painted all the yellow parts…

all the red parts…

all the blue parts…

I then painted the hero’s skin, the grass and tree. Once that was done, I assembled the cake and placed the fondant pieces on top.

Cool huh?

For the entry, we had to take pictures cutting into and eating the cake (to prove it’s edible?) and I entrusted my dad with this task.

Too bad he didn’t let me make sure I looked alright first. This is what I look like after finishing a super intricate cake at 11pm at night…

Not cute. :p Oh well, at least I got some delicious cake, the recipe for which will soon follow. Don’t forget to “like” my entry, and you can even post comments on the entries now which is cool. 🙂

http://www.threadcakes.com/entries/view/1094

Craziness and M.C. Escher

4 Jul

When I was a kid I would send hours flipping through books around the house either reading them or recreating the drawings via freehand or tracing. I particularly loved drawing characters from Disney books or Rugrats due to their simplicity. At one point I remember challenging myself by spending a day drawing skeletons from my mum’s nursing books. Then there was my dad’s M.C. Escher book. I spent lots of time looking at the pictures and illusions but I never once tried to recreate one because they were seemingly too complex. I just couldn’t grasp how a person could come up with such intricate designs, and I went back to drawing my cartoons.

At the end of the school year I was provided the opportunity to do an art project for my senior inquiry class in relationship to fractals, chaos theory and entropy. The first thing that came to mind was cookies, and the second was M.C. Escher. I came home an immediately got out that beloved M.C. Escher book and picked my design. I also did some research online, and found some interesting Escher quotes. My favourites:

“I don’t use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.”

“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. I think it’s in my basement… let me go upstairs and check.”

“We adore chaos because we love to produce order.”

Yeah, he was definitely a strange but brilliant man. After some research I decided to make fractal cookies but long story short, it was an epic fail that costed me many hours of painstaking work (I’ll post that disaster later). I then picked a new pattern and a new plan: a fractal cake.  I rolled out a piece of fondant and cut around my pan to get a circle.

Then, I began to trace the design onto parchment paper which took me a few hours.

Once that was done I then laid the paper on top of the fondant and began one of the most difficult cakes I’ve ever attempted. this is where many of you may realize just how much work I put into my cakes, and you may begin to appreciate them that much more. In order to make sure he design was as close to perfect as possible, I took a sewing needle and poked holes through the parchment paper into the fondant along the lines. I then took an edible ink pen and traced the line, and coloured the fish. All. Night. Long.

 

 

 

It was definitely a time-consuming process, but as I kept going it kept getting better…

and better…

Until finally, I had covered the whole piece of fondant!

I remember starting the whole process at 6pm after dinner, and going to bed, at midnight without putting the whole cake together. When I woke up the next morning, two hours before school started, and began to assemble the cake. The first think I noticed was that my fondant was bigger than my cake. So, I had to trim the excess which meant trimming hours of the most painstaking work.

After doing this, I began assembling the cake.

I took the top of the cake off to level it out. I didn’t even bother filling the inside figuring I didn’t have nearly enough time.

I then started to frost the cake just as the sun came up.

Once it was sufficiently covered, I placed the fondant on top. I then piped more frosting around the top and bottom edge with a star tip.

I then got ready for school, and carried it in my lap the entire drive there, and it miraculously survived!

I should be starting my cake for the Threadcakes competition either this week or next week. I still think I might end up doing two, but right now I’m just really excited about the first one! I can’t wait to see how it turns out and see if you all like it! For now, I’m keeping the design a secret, but all will soon be revealed. 🙂