80s Theme Cake

This 80s Theme Cake was made for Jessica’s 30th Birthday Bash in Brisbane. It is made from white chocolate and dark chocolate marbled mudcake, filled with dark chocolate ganache and covered with sugarpaste. The Rubik’s Cube is a really delicious truffle.
The birthday girl wanted hot pink, turquoise and yellow as her colours but you could use whatever colours you wish. To celebrate her 1980s themed birthday the cake incorporates the MTV logo, Pacman arcade game, Rubik Cube, Boogie box, fluorescent colours and animal print fondant, not to mention the giant number ’30’.

 
Baking Diary
DAY 1
Colour sugar-paste. Hint – You can buy ready coloured black sugarpaste which saves a big mess. Also I used Wilton’s Rose edible gel colour for the hot pink.
Make ganache click here for detailed ganaching info

Bake cakes
Wrap cakes in foil and place in fridge overnight.
Cut finger nails. There is nothing worse than making a mark with your long nails on your completed cake.
DAY 2
Take cake out of fridge first thing in the morning and allow to come to room temp.
Torte and ganache cake then leave it to set. click here for detailed ganaching info
Once set cover with sugar-paste.
DAY 3 
Decorate and complete the job.
DAY 4 
‘Stuff up’ day. You never know what might happen when making a cake so always pencil in a ‘stuff up’ day (I had a day with my feet up when making this cake as I had a toenail removed, ouch!)
DAY 5  The day of the party
 
Marbled Mudcake
The three tiers are made up of a 7″ round, a 5″ round and a 4.5″ square. The rubik cube (1.25″ / 3 cm) is made from the cut offs from the Boogie box mixed with left over ganache formed into a large truffle cube and covered on all sides with a thin layer of ganache.Make the light and dark mudcake batter in separate bowls then pour the dark in first filling your pans to half the usual height then fill each with the white choc mud batter and gently stir round a little to mix and bake for 1.5 hrs at 150C
 
Dark Chocolate Mud Cake (Pam’s recipe)
187g butter
150g dk choc
1 tbsp coffee, powder or granules
1 cup water
1 cup SR flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
 
Dark Chocolate Mud Cake Method
    1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
    2. Grease and line base and sides of cake pans with one thickness of baking paper, bringing paper 5cm above side of pan.
    3. Combine chopped butter, chopped chocolate, coffee, and water in a saucepan.
    4. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl of mixer.
    5. Add caster sugar to mixture and beat well until dissolved. Add sifted flour and cocoa, lightly beaten eggs and vanilla.
    6. Pour mixture into prepared pans stopping at half the height you normally fill to.
No need to be delicate with this one – just make sure that the chocolate mixture has cooled sufficiently so as to not create a thickening reaction when the flour is added.
 
White Chocolate Mud Cake (Planet Cake recipe)
185g butter
185g white chocolate
170ml water
95g SR flour
185g plain flour
250g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence

White Chocolate Mud Cake Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
  2. Grease and line base and sides of cake pans with one thickness of baking paper, bringing paper 5cm above side of pan.
  3. Combine chopped butter and water in a saucepan.
  4. Stir over low heat until butter is melted. Turn off heat, then add the chocolate and stir until it has melted and is well combined.
  5. Sift flours into a bowl. Add sugar, a pinch of salt and make a well in the centre.
  6. Pour chocolate mixture, egg and vanilla into the well then stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  7. Add the white batter to the already half full pans and fill to their normal height.

Marbling
To create the marbling effect simply gently stir round a little to mix (Do not overdo) and bake for 1.5 hrs at 150C. Check the small cakes before their time is up.

 
 Dark Chocolate Ganache click here for detailed ganaching info
1600g dark chocolate, finely chopped
800ml pure cream
  1. Grind the chocolate to fine granules in a processor.
  2. Put the chocolate in a large bowl
  3. Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to boiling point. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and mix with a hand whisk until the ganache is smooth. (Do not use an electric whisk, as you will create too many air bubbles in the ganache.)
  4. Allow to cool completely and then leave to set overnight.

Decoration
Templates can be found on my Free Stuff page click here
I used a whole lot of edible glue on this cake. I even stuck the tiers together with glue as it wasn’t a big heavy cake and the glue would survive the 200km round trip delivery.

Edible Glue
Also called Gum Glue
Add 2 tablespoons of warm water to a quarter teaspoon of Tylose Powder and allow the Tylose powder to melt. Don’t worry if at this stage the glue appears not to be blending. Put a lid on the container and leave it in the refrigerator overnight and in the morning you will have a perfectly clear and ready to use glue.
 
The glue should be a dripping consistency. If it is too thick, just add a little more water and stir with a toothpick .
 
The edible glue should be stored in the refrigerator when not in use.
 
To apply the glue, use a good quality paintbrush and brush on to the area where you are going to be working. Leave until it begins to dry a little so that the area is just tacky to touch.
The animal print is made up of thin strips of black sugarpaste.
Some sugarpaste shapes for the Boogie box, Rubik’s Cube and Pacman
Pattern pieces for the more complicated shapes can be found on my Free Stuff page. Flat pieces such as the ’30’ and the ‘MTV’ logo should be made early and left flat. Curved pieces such as Pacman should be stuck to the cake soonish so that they can mould themselves to the shape of the cake. Add Tylose powder to any parts that need to be very stiff such as the MTV logo. I added just a quarter of a tsp of Tylose to a lump of pink which I used for the ’30’ and the ‘MTV’. Knead the powder into the sugarpste till well combined.
To make the handle for the Boogie box use some plastic tubing with cocktail sticks pushed in at the ends. Stick the sugarpaste on with edible glue.
You will need 45 coloured squares in total (none on the bottom) and stick them on with edible glue. Each square is 1cm x 1cm. Secure to the cake using two short wooden skewers and edible glue.
I used this image in the background of my cake picture. I made the image a couple of years ago with camper vans and surf board, typical of the Gold Coast and reminiscent of the ’80s. I changed the colours to suit the colour scheme of the cake.

Easter Cookie Tutorial

These cookies are iced using the ‘Outlining and Flooding’ technique which is simple to learn. The outline works as a dam or wall to hold the runny icing which you use to fill in the main parts of the cookie.
I made these cookies in 3 delightful flavours: chocolate, vanilla and gingerbread.
 

Chocolate Cookie Recipe

makes about 24 medium-sized cookies
275g plain flour
100g self raising flour
75g cocoa powder
125g granulated sugar
125g salted butter, diced
125g golden syrup
1 large egg, beaten
Sift flours and cocoa, add sugar and mix well.
Add butter and using finger tips rub till mix resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well and add syrup and egg.
Stop as soon as a ball has formed.
Cover and chill till ready to use or roll and use immediately.

170C for 14-18 mins

Vanilla Cookie Recipe

makes about 24 medium-sized cookies

200g unsalted soft butter

200g caster sugar
seeds from one vanilla pod or 2 tsp of best vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
400g plain flour
In the mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla till well mixed and just creamy in texture. Do not overwork or cookies will spread during baking.

Beat in the egg till well combined.

Add the  flour and mix on low speed until a dough forms.
Cover with cling and place in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Place dough on floured surface and knead briefly.
Roll out to 5mm thick.
Cut out your shapes, then, using a palette knife, lay them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Chill again for about 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 180C/170C fan and bake for about 10 mins, depending on size, until golden brown at the edges.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool before decorating.

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

makes about 24 medium-sized cookies
90g butter
150g soft brown sugar
90g golden/corn syrup
425g Plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp mixed spice
1 medium egg (beaten)
Gently heat butter, sugar and syrup until dissolved.
Cool slightly for five mins.
Pre-heat oven 180C and lightly grease baking trays.
Sift flour, baking powder and spices tog into mixing bowl and make a well in centre.
Add melted mixture and egg into the centre. Bind tog with knife then use hands to form soft dough.
Sprinkle work surface with flour and roll out the gingerbread to 3mm (1/8″)

Bake in centre of oven for 13 mins.

Transfer cooked gingerbread to a cooling rack.
I have been using a homemade Cookie Leveller to roll out my cookie dough. I have all the instructions if you would like to make one.
Cookie Leveller click here
 

Royal Icing Recipe click here

A thicker consistancy icing is used to outline the cookie shape and then a thinner one (like custard) to fill in.

Outlining

Outline your cookies first and leave at least 15 minutes before you flood the inside of the ‘dam’ (outline). If the outline is a dark colour, it is best to wait 24 hours so that the colours don’t bleed into each other.
Outlining the egg
To outline the cookie hold the bag at 45 degrees and position the tip on your cookie. Put enough pressure on the bag so that the icing comes out and you can start moving in the direction that you want your icing to go. Start lifting the pipping bag till it is a few centimetres above your cookie and the icing just falls in a continuous line onto the cookie below. Come back closer to the cookie at corners and when finishing also reduce or stop pressure on the bag to go more slowly or to stop.

Flooding

Use a number 3,4 or 5 sized piping tip depending on the size of your cookie. Fill in one area at a time quickly zig zagging back and forth. Don’t worry if you haven’t filled in every spot: speed is more important at this point. To fill in these little missed bits just use your piping tip, toothpick or small paintbrush (used only for food), to push the icing into your missed bits.
Using a squeezy bottle to fill in with icing
Using a toothpick to fill in the missing bits

Decorating

Bunnies with White Tummies
Outline and flood your bunny with your chosen colour and immediately add a circle of white icing for the tummy. The icing will quickly sink down till a smooth or slightly domed tummy area remains.
Once completely dry add cheeks and front paws.
Add nose and eyes once cheeks are dry or almost dry.

Bunnies with Spots 

Outline and flood your bunny with your chosen colour and immediately add little blobs of white icing to make the dots.
Once completely dry add the bow using a No.00 piping nozzle.  
Pretty Little Easter Eggs
Outline and flood your eggs with your chosen colour and immediately add little blobs of white icing to make the dots.
Once completely dry add the bow using a No.00 piping nozzle.
Yellow Chicks
Outline and flood your chicks with yellow and when completely dry add little feather details, a pink beak and an eye.
Bunny Faces
Outline and flood each face with your chosen colour leaving the centre of the ears icing free.
Once dry add the cheeks in the same colour.
Once completely dry use a contrasting colour to make the nose, whiskers and middle ear. While still wet sprinkle the ears with coloured sugar sand or similar. If you are worried about the sprinkles sticking to the nose and whiskers you can add the nose and whiskers after the sprinkles have been added.
Finnish by making the eyes.

Storing

Let the cookies dry for 24 hours before you package them.
Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place out of the sun (sunlight can fade the colours). The cookies can keep for up to 2 months but I prefer to use them up within a month.

Frangipani Chocolate Box Cake

This is a wonderful cake suitable for all sorts of occasions – birthdays, Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, anniversary’s etc. I made this cake for the first time for my friend Lesley’s birthday and it was such a success that I have made it many times since and each time I give it a different look. This cake was for an 65th Birthday surprise. 


Below are the instructions you need to make this cake including my 10 minute video clip ‘How to make fondant  frangipanis’ using an individual frangipani petal cutter and a step by step guide to making frangipanis using a one piece rose cutter. Decide which method you prefer and have a go.


Instructions are for a 6″ dark chocolate mud cake filled with dark chocolate ganache and covered in sugar-paste


Ingredients

Dark Chocolate Mud Cake 
100g butter
 
100g dark choc
 
10g coffee
 
70ml water
 
55g SR flour
 
55g plain flour
 
20g cocoa powder
 
0.25 tsp bicarb
 
210g caster sugar
 
2 eggs
 
3 tsp oil
 
45ml buttermilk
Ganache
520g dark chocolate
 
260ml pure cream
 

Flower-paste

700 grams of rolled fondant (I used Bakels Pettinice, but any will do)
2 teaspoons of Cellogen (if you use CMC, Tylose Powder or Gum Trag then only use 1 to 1.5 teaspoons)
1/3 teaspoon raw egg white
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
 
a small amount of Crisco or shortening


Edible Glue
1 teasp Tylose Powder
 
Other
500g (17oz) pink sugar paste (rolled fondant)
 
30g (1oz) bag of chocolate buttons or Freckles
 
227g (1/2lb) box milk chocolate15cm (6″) thin card board for the lid.


Individual frangipani petal cutter or a one piece 5 petal rose cutter


Petal Dust in yellow



1. To make the Dark Chocolate Mud Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease the tin and line the base and sides with a collar that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin.
  2. Put the butter, chocolate, coffee and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted, then remove from the heat.
  3. Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the combined egg, oil and buttermilk and the chocolate mixture, stirring with a large spoon until completely combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 2 hours (for 11’5″cake) or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean, though it may be a little sticky. Leave the cake in the tin until cold.
2. To make and apply the ganache click here.
Frangipani Chocolate Box Cake

3. To decorate the cake
Measure the height of the cake.Roll out 200g of the pink sugar-paste so that you can cut a strip about 46cm (18in) long and 1cm (0.5in) wider than the depth of your cake.Brush the sides of the cake with a little water.Roll the sugar-paste up like a bandage, making sure it is not too tight and then unwind it around the side of the cake.Paint a light line of water around the inside edge of the chocolate box and neatly press the chocolate buttons into the ganache. My buttons were big so I cut each one in half first.Arrange chocolates on top of the box. Stick one of the chocolates on top of the others as this will help secure the lid at an angle later on.Moisten the top and sides of your thin cake board with a little water, roll out and cover with 100g (30z) of pink sugar-paste. Trim and neaten edges.Use 200g (7oz) pink sugar-paste to cover your base cake board (moisten with a little water first), if you are using one. Cut out a long strip of sugar-paste and roll up as if a bandage and unroll to cover around the board


4. To make the Flower-paste
Flower-paste (also called modelling paste)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serves: Makes around 500 grams of paste
Instructions:
Use a little Crisco on your work surface and knead up your fondant so its nice and soft.
Sprinkle the Cellogen, or alternative, over the work surface and knead it into the fondant.
This flower paste is white as it is for a different cake. Sorry!
Make a well in the mix and pour in the egg white, knead until mixed through, it may feel a little sticky, add more Crisco to the surface if you need to.
Sprinkle the Cream of Tartar on the work surface and knead into the mix until all incorporated.
Wrap the paste in cling wrap tightly, a few times and place in an air tight container, leave for at least 12 hours before use.
You don’t need to refrigerate it, and it will last for months.
I cut mine up into four pieces, and generally freeze it. It defrosts with the heat of your hands in minutes.5. To make the Frangipanis

Soften the flower paste
Roll out till thin
Press down hard with your cutter
Lift up and check
Use the balling tool or something similar to push out the flower-paste shape
Stick the petals together one at a time using edible glue
Carefully paint glue along the last petal edge
Join together and make sure all the petals are evenly spaced.
Turn upside down and check that there are no gaps
Curve the petals a little
Squeeze the stem together firming everything up nicely.
Place in an egg carton overnight to harden.
6. Finishing touches
Glue the flowers around the base of the cake using edible glue.To make the glue mix the Tylose powder with approximately 4 tblsp water. Any lumps will disappear if you put the mixture in the fridge overnight.I arranged the flowers in pairs as it made a more interesting arrangement.Arrange a few of the flowers together for the top of the lid. As the flowers were hard, I pushed them into a piece of the left over flower-paste which was still soft as I had wrapped it in cling film overnight.Stick the lid to the chocolates using a blob of ganache.
 Below is a different colour combination that you might like to try.

Star Wars Death Star Cake

This Death Star Cake was such fun to make that you just won’t know when to stop! It is made of Dark Chocolate Mud Cake and filled and covered in Dark Chocolate Ganache then grey Sugar-paste. Use two 8.5″ or 9″ metal kitchen bowls to bake the cakes.
 
Dark Chocolate Mud Cake
 
Ingredients
to fill two 8.5″ metal bowls
500g unsalted butter
500g dark chocolate
2 tablespoon instant coffee
2-2/3 cups warm water
3 cups self raising flour
2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
4 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
 Instructions:
1. Grease and line base and sides of bowls with one thickness of baking paper, bringing paper 5cm above side of pan.
2. Combine chopped butter, chopped chocolate, coffee, and water in a saucepan.
Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl of mixer.
3. Add caster sugar to mixture and beat well until dissolved. Add sifted flour and cocoa, lightly beaten eggs and vanilla.
4. Pour mixture into prepared bowls.
5. Bake at 150C for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Test with skewer. Cool cake in bowls.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
 
Ingredients
1.2 kg dark chocolate
500ml pure cream
Heat the cream until it just starts to bubble, pour over chocolate (which you have blitzed in the food processor to coffee granules size) and let it sit for about a minute to melt. Use a hand whisk to blend it all together then set aside to cool.
Your ganache at this point will be thin. You will have to let it set overnight until it thickens to a slightly thicker peanut butter consistency. Since I don’t have the patience to wait, I just let it cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge (don’t cover because you might get condensation). It would  usually set in the fridge in about an hour or two. If it sets too hard, just microwave it in 10 second intervals (keep mixing it whenever you take it out).

If you prefer a really soft filling for your cakes then just whip ½ cup cream and add 2 tbsp of the Ganache and whip a little more. This makes a delicious and easy chocolate mousse.

For more information on ganaching your cake click here.
Sugarpaste
750g in grey to cover Death Star
350g in black to cover board
360g in dark grey for stick on blocks
Royal Icing 
to decorate the blocks

250-300g pure icing sugar, sifted
2-4 drops acetic acid (white vinegar)
1 egg white

Beat icing sugar, acetic acid and egg white with electric beater on medium-high speed for 4 minutes for ‘soft peak’. Add extra sugar if the icing is too soft.
Achieving the right consistency for Royal Icing can be difficult but practise makes perfect, so if icing is too thick or too thin just empty your piping bag and add more water/vinegar or icing sugar. You will soon work it out. Add black edible colour until the correct shade of grey is achieved. Fill a pipping bag fitted with a number 1 tip.

Step 1. Line tins with greaseproof paper and add a collar of around 20 cms.

Step 2. Bake the cakes and place on 9″ round thin cake boards. Fill and cover in ganache using the instructions above. Make sure that the bottom half of the cake has a flat bottom to sit on.
Step 3. Cover with sugar-paste. If you would like to find out how to colour sugarpaste and use it to cover your cake click here

Step 4. Insert 4 thin plastic dowels as shown and one thick one in the middle which will fit over the small wooden dowel which has been inserted into the base board by first drilling a hole in the middle of the board. These plastic dowels can easily be cut with scissors.

Do not assemble the cakes on the base board until all decoration is fully complete.
The dowel in the centre locates into the hollow dowel in the cake base and helps anchor the cake to the board especially if travelling by car.
Step 5. Roll out the dark grey sugar-paste as thin as you can and cut out all the shapes that you think you will need. Glue them onto the cakes with edible glue (or a little water) and pipe with the Royal Icing making up your designs as you go. Use the pictures of the finished Death Star as a guide only.

Step 6. Roll out the black sugar-paste making a little hole in the centre. Slip the hole over the dowel in the centre and cover the cake board. Lift up the sugar-paste and paint on a little water underneath to help the sugar-paste stick to the board.
Add a little icing or edible glue around the wooden dowel. Slip the bottom half of the Death Star onto the dowel. To attach the top half of the Death Star apply PVA glue to the cake boards or use a knife to spread on some icing. Make sure the concave circle is facing forward and is centralised.

I hope you have as much fun making this cake as I had!
May the Force be with You!

More Star Wars Cake Tutorials

Click on the images below to go straight to the corresponding tutorial.

Jawa
Jawa Cake
Millennium Falcon Blue
Lego Millennium Falcon Cake
Star Wars r2d2 Cake
Star Wars r2d2 Cake

Other Star Wars Cakes, without tutorials

Stormtrooper Cake, hand painted
Stormtrooper Cake, hand painted

 

Darth Vader
Darth Vader

Darth Vader

Star Wars Death Star Cake

Valentine Heart Cookies Tutorial

This year I made my Valentine Heart Cookies from gingerbread. I did this as I will be selling them at Pottsville Beach Markets on Sunday 5th February 2012 and the biscuits will have to keep for a couple of weeks. Gingerbread easily keeps for a month in cello bags and is my best choice but if you would rather make a Buttery Sugar Cookie recipe then click here.
 
 

Gingerbread Cookies

90g butter
150g soft brown sugar
90g golden/corn syrup
425g Plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp mixed spice
1 medium egg (beaten)
Gently heat butter, sugar and syrup until dissolved.. Cool slightly for five mins.
Pre-heat oven 180C and lightly grease baking trays.
Sift flour, baking powder and spices tog into mixing bowl and make a well in centre.
Add melted mixture and egg into the centre. Bind tog with knife then use hands to form soft dough.
Sprinkle work surface with flour and roll out the gingerbread to 3mm (1/8in).
Bake in centre of oven for 13 mins.
Transfer cooked gingerbread to a cooling rack.
Outline and fill the cookies at the same time using RI (Royal Icing) with a number 2 piping nozzle and remember that RI takes 24 hours to set.
Royal icing
Traditional royal icing is made with real egg white, however, because of the slight chance of salmonella poisoning, I now prefer to use dried egg white instead.
20g (3/4 oz) dried egg white
90ml (2.5fl oz) cold water
500g (1lb 2 0z) icing sugar
method
Mix egg white and water in a bowl until smooth.
Sieve the icing sugar into a grease free bowl.
Tip in the egg mixture and beat on the slowest speed for 5 mins until the icing stands up in peaks.


Planet Cake Royal Icing using real egg whites.
250-300g pure icing sugar, sifted
2-4 drops acetic acid (white vinegar)
1 egg whitemethod
Beat icing sugar, acetic acid and egg white with electric beater on medium-high speed for 4 minutes for ‘soft peak’. Add extra sugar if the icing is too soft.
Achieving the right consistency for Royal Icing can be difficult but practise makes perfect, so if icing is too thick or too thin just empty your piping bag and add more water/vinegar or icing sugar. You will soon work it out.

Place icing in airtight plastic bowl with a lid. Lay a piece of cling film directly on top of the icing and replace the lid.

DONT put the cookies in an airtight container until they are set (24 hours to set) need the air to help dry out.

Pipe on your designs once the cookies are set using a number 1 piping nozzle. If you would like to use my designs then click on the image above to enlarge and then copy the same or similar on your cookies. For the straight lines, in particular, touch the cookie with the nozzle at the beginning and end of line only, pulling your line of icing in the air. This way you get the straightest line possible. For the heart-shaped outlines you sort of hold the nozzle above your cookie and let the icing gently fall/glide into place. Do not drag the nozzle along the cookie surface at any time. Very few of my cookies are identical as I adapt my designs as I go. Feel free to experiment. If you would like to make these cookies using a Buttery Sugar Cookie recipe then click here.

Bumblebee Transformer Cake

Dark Chocolate Mud Cake (from Planet Cake Cookbook)
Ingredients for 7″ cake
135 g  butter
135 g  dark choc
15 g  coffee
100 ml  water
75 g  SR
75 g  plain
30 g  cocoa
1/4 tsp  bicarb
300 g  caster
3  eggs
5  tsp oil
60 ml  buttermilk
Dark Chocolate Ganache 
735 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
365 ml pure cream
Fondant
BLACK: 800g sugar-paste to cover entire cake

YELLOW: 300g Mask and number plate
To find out how to make the mud-cake and ganache filling please visit my Ben Ten Cake blogTo Decorate your Transformer Cake

Download the shape below from here and resize to fit your cake if necessary and print it out.

Cut out all the separate pieces of the mask and use them as templates to cut out the pieces of yellow sugar-paste.

Attach each piece to the top of the cake making sure that the pieces are in the right place.

To make the plaque and the number 4, simply cut out a square of yellow and attach it with some Royal Icing, edible glue or water to the front of the cake.
Cut out a number 4 in yellow and another in black with a cutter and attach, first the yellow and then the black.

If you would like to find out how to make this 5.5″  Red Transformer Cake Click Here.

Wine Bottle in a Crate Cake

The label is wet in this photo. it dried out later on.
 
Step 1 – Make the wine bottle out of gumpaste or fondant at least 3 days ahead:
Use a real wine bottle as a mould and dust with cornflour to keep the fondant from sticking to it…a lot of cornflour. Knead some black fondant with Tylose (helps it dry harder and faster), roll it out to about 1/8″ thick, then lay it over the top half of the wine bottle making sure there is plenty of corn starch between the fondant and bottle.  Smooth out the fondant over the bottle and trim off the excess.

I made two bottles just in case one went wrong!!



Tip 1:  Be sure to trim it at the half way mark down the side of the bottle so that you can just slip the fondant off the bottle once dry. You can make 2 halves separately then glue them together with sugar glue if you want a 3D bottle.

Tip 2:  Allow at least 2-3 days for drying time to avoid the fondant losing its shape.


Step 2 – Decorate the bottle:
You can paint the bottle with clear piping gel tinted burgundy (AmeriColor Gel Paste) if you want a shiny glass look but I just left it matte. For the label, I purchased an edible image but you may prefer to paint on the label yourself. Mark the label position before applying and lightly paint the area with water or edible glue.Tip 3:  Pop the edible image in the freezer for 2 minutes before peeling off the backing paper. 
 
 
 
 
Step 3 – Make the wood panels for the box at least 2 days ahead:
For the side panels of the box, make 2 shades of fondant, a light brown and beige .  Rolled each color out into a thick snake them twist them together and kneaded it a little bit until it started to marble.  Then rolled it out flat to around 3/16″ thick.
Tip 4:  Don’t knead too much or else the marble will blend away.  Rolling it out will help it marble more anyways.
Tip 5:  You don’t want to roll it out too thin or else you risk the panels breaking apart.
Cut out 4 panels:  2 panels at 14″ x 4″ and 2 panels at 6″ x 4″.  Lay them over parchment paper, then over a cookie tray to dry.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes to dry a little then take some tools and score lines down it, poke holes into it, dent it, etc…just stress it out and get it to look like wood.
Tip 6:  Letting the fondant sit for a couple minutes before scoring and marking it, it will help the design stay.  If you start scoring it too early while the fondant is too soft and pliable, the marks will smooth away.
As for the base board, I used a 16″ x 8″ x 9mm thick MDF covered in decorator’s foil, firmly glued down with PVA wood glue.
Step 4 – Bake the cake 2 days ahead.
Dark Chocolate Mud Cake (from Planet Cake Cookbook)
Ingredients for 10″ square cake
330g butter
330g dk choc
35g coffee
240ml water
190g SR
190g plain
75g cocoa
.7tsp bicarb
720g caster
6 eggs
10.5 tsp oil
150ml buttermilk
Ganache
1800g dark chocolate
900ml pure cream
 
Dark Chocolate Mud Cake Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease the tin and line the base and sides with a collar that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin.
  2. Put the butter, chocolate, coffee and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted, then remove from the heat.
  3. Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the combined egg, oil and buttermilk and the chocolate mixture, stirring with a large spoon until completely combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 2 hours (for 11’5″cake) or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean, though it may be a little sticky. Leave the cake in the tin until cold.
Dark Chocolate Ganache Method
  1. Blitz the chocolate in a processor till each piece is the size of a coffee granule and place in a large bowl
  2. Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to boiling point. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and mix with a hand whisk until the ganache is smooth. (Do not use an electric whisk, as you will create too many air bubbles in the ganache.)
  3. Allow to cool completely and then leave to set overnight.








Step 5 – Torte, fill, and crumb coat the cake 1 day ahead.
The side panels of the box were cut to make a box 14″ L x 6″ W x 4″ H.  
Cut the 10″ square Dark Chocolate Mud Cake to fit.  Torte each layer to 1-1/4″ tall and filled with 1/2″ of Dark Chocolate Ganache = 3″ tall cake.  Place the cake over a 14″ x 6″ set up board covered in foil.  Use piping gel to help the cake and board stick together.  Cover the cake with ganache using the board that the cake is sitting on as a guide to getting the correct thickness. Leave the cake overnight to harden and make it easier to work with. 


Step 6 – Final Assembly:
Use a very sharp blade to trim each panel to size, if necessary, and gently press up against the side of the cake using edible glue to stick them on. Gently place the bottle in the middle and fill the area around it with white chocolate shavings.