Thong cake (Flip-flop cake)

Blue and Yellow Thong cake

This lovely cake can be baked for many different special occasions. I even made one for a Christening!!

Materials

900g Pale blue sugar paste, coloured with Wilton Royal blue and Americolor Royal Purple (for cake, straps, plaque and flower centres)

200g Dark blue sugar paste, coloured with Wilton Royal blue and Americolor Royal Purple (for flowers)

300g yellow sugar paste (for top layer)

1 hollow plastic dowel

pale blue Royal icing for piping

clear A4 sheet of plastic acetate

Make the Dark Chocolate Mud Cake

Use an 8″ square pan but fill it with more batter than usual following the quantities below
500g unsalted butter
400g dark chocolate
10g (2 tablespoon) instant coffee
2-2/3 cups warm water
380g (2 cup) caster sugar
520g (3 cups) self raising flour
60g (1/2 cup) cocoa
4 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Grease and line base and sides of cake pan 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 pan.
5. Bake at 150C for 1 hour 45 mins. Test with skewer. Cool cake in pan.

Make the Dark Chocolate Ganache

1.2 kg (2lb 10oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped

500ml (17.5 fl oz) pure cream

Method: 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).

Making the templates

Draw around a thong and enlarge the line drawing in a photocopier to around 14.5 inches long (my AUS size 10 thong needed to be enlarged by 140%). You may have to enlarge in two steps if your copier is only A4 size. If your copier does not enlarge images, you will have to draw an enlargement by hand.

This is a right hand thong so make sure you don’t accidentally flip your templates and end up with left hand pieces that won’t fit your cake!!!

Copy this shape twice onto thick card. One will be covered in foil to make the set up board and the other will eventually be covered in cling film to make a top board to help with ganaching the sides of your cake.

Your paper template will later be reduced by 1/4″ all round and used to cut out the thong shape from the cake slab.

Making the templates
Making the templates
Make the cake board (rectangular) and the set up board (thong shape)
As it is next to impossible to purchase rectangular cake boards exactly to the size you need, it is best to make your own from 6 or 9 mm MDF covered in foil. Below is a picture of my efforts in making a rectangular board and a thong set up board at the same time. I use PVA glue spread by my fingers to do the job and it works well. Please note that I used the rectangular board with the yellow / orange thong cake at the very bottom of this blog. N.B. (another method I use is to cut the thong set up board out of a large square of gold or silver set up board. This way you won’t need to cover the board.)Glue on the metallic foil
Glue on the metallic foil
Glue and overlap the edges neatly
Glue and overlap the edges neatly
Ready for action
Ready for action

Slice the cake into 3 layers

Place your 8″ square cake on a turntable and cut the dome from the top (if necessary) of the cake to get a levelled surface. Place one hand on top of the cake. Hold a long serrated knife in the other hand, making sure to keep the knife level, then slice the cake twice horizontally to make three even layers. Spread each layer with syrup (whisk 100g of apricot jam with 100ml boiling water until smooth) as this will reduce the amount of crumbs when ganaching, help the ganache to stick to the cake and keep your cake moist. Then cut one layer in half to 8 x 4 in.
Cutting the cake into 3 layers
Cutting the cake into 3 layers
Brushing each layer with apricot syrup
Brushing each layer with apricot syrup

Make and fill a rectangle

Take one of the half layers and sandwich it on to the end of one normal layer with ganache. Put the other normal and half layer on top and sandwich with ganache. You should now have an 8″ x 12″ rectangular cake.

Assembling the layers
Assembling the layers

Build up the cake

Take your initial paper thong template and make it slightly smaller by cutting off 1/4″ – 1/8″ all round (this space will be filled with ganache later on). Place the template on top of your cake (the template will be too long for the cake but don’t worry) and using a sharp knife held at right angles, cut around it. Build up the shape of the thong with the cut offs using ganache as glue. Using some ganache to stick the shaped cake on the set up board. Brush the sides with the syrup.

Reducing the size of the 'cutting template' to leave room for the ganache

Reducing the size of the ‘cutting template’ to leave room for the ganache
Placing the template on the cake
Placing the template on the cake

Apply ganache to the sides and top

Quickly cover the sides and top of the cake with a thin crumb coat of ganache. This will seal the cake and make it easy to add the next layer of ganache and achieve a perfect smooth finnish. Place the cake in the fridge till the outside is nice and firm to the touch.
Before applying the second layer of ganache, cover the remaining thong shaped piece of card with cling film and place on top of cake. Using the top and bottom card shapes as a guide add the ganache and smooth it off with a straight edge such as a ruler or set square. Pop the cake back in the fridge to firm up then remove the card and cling film and smooth some extra ganache over the top of the cake to fill any gaps.
Using a top board and set square to smooth the sides
Ready for the sugar paste
Ready for the sugar paste

Cover with sugar-paste

Knead 900g of pale blue sugar-paste to a pliable dough and roll to 1/8″ thick. Brush the top and sides of the cake with a little water as this will help the sugar-paste to glide onto the cake and also help it stick. Smooth the top of the cake first with a smoother. Next smooth the sides by gently pulling the sugar-paste away from the side before smoothing down with your hands and then the smoother. Roughly cut away the overhanging sugar-paste with scissors, knife or a pizza cutter. Carefully trim the sugar-paste around the base with a small knife. Now stick your cake to the display board with some syrup, Royal icing or edible glue.

Using the cake smoother
Using the cake smoother

Apply the top layer

Roll out yellow sugar-paste to about 1/8 in thick. Place the thong template on top and cut around it with a small knife or pizza cutter. Brush the top of the cake with syrup. Gently lift the sugar-paste and place it on top of the cake. Manipulate the sugar-paste till you get a good fit. Use a smoother to smooth it off and help stretch it if needed.

Using the template
Using the template
Using the pizza cutter
Using the pizza cutter
Applying the top layer
Applying the top layer

Prepare the toe area

Insert the hollow plastic dowel into the correct spot in the toe area using the template as a guide. Leave 4 cm (1 1/2″) of the dowel above the cake. Clip off any excess with scissors. Roll out some yellow sugar paste to 1/8″ thick. cut out a strip 5 x 2 cm (2 x 3/4″ ). Wrap the strip around the skewer and secure with a dab of water or edible glue. Because my dowel was made from yellow plastic and it matched the colour of the thong, I didn’t bother covering it in sugar paste. Fill the hollow dowel with yellow sugar paste as best you can and insert a cocktail stick as in the image below. The cocktail stick will help to anchor the straps and central flower. Mark the position of the straps (towards the back of the thong) with a sharp knife using the template as a guide. Cut out two acetate strips 2.5 cm wide and longer than needed (cut off any excess later). Join the strips at right angles and secure with sticky tape. Make a small hole in the centre with a pin and slip over the end of the cocktail stick. Cut the end off the cocktail stick now but leave a little bit sticking up to help secure the flowers. Decide how long your acetate straps need to be and cut off any extra at an angle while leaving enough to be inserted into the cake as an anchor.

Cut out two pale blue sugar paste straps to fit and attach with edible glue.

To make edible 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 acetate straps

The acetate straps
Adding the sugar paste straps
Adding the sugar paste straps

Make the flower decorations

Roll out the dark blue and the remaining pale blue sugar paste to 3 mm (1/8″) thick. Using a small flower cutter, cut out up to 30 flowers and a similar number of flower centres in the pale blue. You will also need one large dark blue flower and a circular pale blue plaque to write your birthday message on. You can stick the flowers onto the thong in a random pattern but I have measured mine so that they are spaced 6.5 cm apart.

I used a piping bag with a size 00 nozzle. The RI was make up of 10g of real egg white, 70g sifted icing sugar, 3 drops acetic acid and water added a few drops at a time. Mix all ingredients together with a hand held electric mixer and a few drops of water. Add edible colouring and a few more drops of water until your RI (Royal Icing) reaches the required consistancy: it should take 7 seconds for stirred RI to flatten out. If your RI is too stiff add some more water and test again. If it is too soft,add more sifted icing sugar and test again.

Cutting out the flowers
Cutting out the flowers

Blue and Yellow Thong cake

Blue and yellow thong cake

Blue thong_080313_7874 1mb
Thong cake

Black and White Thong Cake

Another variation to match the party invitations.
Another variation to match the party invitations.
Stripe Thong Cake with Matching cupcakes and surf board toppers
Stripe Thong Cake with matching cupcakes and surf board toppers

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.

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.  

Black and White Tiffany Wedding Cake

I made this cake for a wedding on the Gold Coast yesterday!
The top tier is a 10″ Hummingbird Cake filled with Cream Cheese Frosting and some Decorator’s Buttercream to go directly under the sugarpaste.
The bottom tier is a 12″ Dark Chocolate Jaffa Mud Cake filled and coated with Dark Chocolate Ganache and covered in sugarpaste.
Making and using black sugarpaste can be a nightmare and so for this special cake I purchased ‘Satin Ice’ Ready Made black sugarpaste. The white sugarpaste is Bakel’s.
Quantities of Sugarpaste
5 Kg white sugarpaste
1.3 Kg black sugarpaste
Three of the sketches used in the design stages.
Ingredients for the 12” square dark chocolate Jaffa mud cake 
500g butter
500g dk choc
55g coffee
360ml water (replace some of this with the juice of 2 oranges)
280g SR
280g plain
110g cocoa
1.5 tsp bicarb
1080g caster
9 eggs
Zest of 4 oranges
16 tsp oil
225ml buttermilk
Ganache
2700g dark chocolate
1350ml pure cream
Method for the dark chocolate Jaffa mud cake 
Preheat the oven to 160C (Fan Forced). Grease the tin and line the base and sides with a collar that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin. Add baking strips (made from damp cloths wrapped in tin foil) around the outside of the cake tin.
Put the butter, chocolate, coffee, water and fresh orange juice in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted, then remove from the heat.
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, orange zest, oil and buttermilk and the chocolate mixture, stirring with a large spoon until completely combined.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 2 hours or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean, though it may be a little sticky.
Once removed from the oven, use a pastry brush (or similar) to brush the top of the cake with boiled water to keep it moist and save it from cracking and forming crusty bits on top. Then cover with a clean tea cloth to reduce evaporation. Repeat the brushing with boiled water step two or three times at half hour intervals as the cake cools.
Remove the baking strips once they can be handled or use oven gloves to remove them.

Let cake cool completely on a wire rack before taking the cake out of the tin.

Wrap the cake well in cling film (do not squash cake) and put in fridge till morning.
Method for dark chocolate ganache
  • Find out how to make ganache and fill / cover your cake with it Click Here

Ingredients for 10″ square Hummingbird Cake 

A 250ml measuring cup was used for this recipes.
440g can crushed pineapple in juice or syrup [or 62ml (1/4 cup) pineapple juice/syrup and 110g (1/2 cup) well-drained crushed pineapple]

300g (2 cup) self-raising flour
150g (1 cup) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 large eggs (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
250ml (1 cup) oil (we use peanut oil, but any mild-flavored oil could be used)
780g (3 cup) mashed very ripe banana
450g (2 cups, firmly packed) brown sugar
170g (1 1/3 cup) pecan nuts, broken or chopped into pieces
Cream Cheese Frosting (to fill the cake)
245g (1 3/4 cups) icing sugar
40g butter
80g cream cheese
2 1/2 teaspoons (12.5ml) lemon juiceDecorator’s Buttercream (a nice firm buttercream to spread on the sides and top of cake)

(Very stable in very hot weather which we get in the summer here on the Gold Coast, Australia. Probably the best buttercream for covering the outside of cakes as it firms up nicely and forms a crust)

250g Lurpak butter
250g copha or solite
1 tbsp lemon juice
around 750g Pure icing sugar (just keep adding till you are happy with the consistency)
one and a half tablespoons of ‘Pavlova Magic’.
1/4 cup of water (don’t freak out if the icing seems to curdle, it comes together fine.)
Method for Hummingbird Cake

If using a can of crushed pineapple, empty the contents into a strainer over a medium bowl. Set aside to drain.

Grease a deep 10” square cake pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced). If you are not using a fan-forced oven, adjust the oven rack to the lower half of the oven so the centre of the cake will be in the centre of the oven.
Stir or whisk self-raising flour, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon together in a large bowl until combined.
Measure 62ml (1/4 cup) pineapple juice/syrup and 110g (1/2 cup) pineapple flesh.
Place eggs, oil, banana, brown sugar, pecan nuts, crushed pineapple and pineapple juice in a large bowl. Stir the ingredients together until well combined.
Add banana mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Bake cake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until a thin-bladed knife or wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out without any batter attached.
Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan.When cool cut in half and fill with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

 Place icing sugar in a mixer and mix on high speed for a few seconds to remove any lumps. Add butter, cream cheese and lemon juice to the food processor. Process on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Stop the machine and use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl. Process for a further 15 seconds, or until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Make a dam of Decorator’s Buttercream around the edge of the cake and fill in the middle with the frosting.
Decorator’s Buttercream
Melt/soften the copha (make sure soft all the way through, or just melt) (Solite is already soft, so just add straight to the bowl).
Add copha/solite and softened butter to mixer, start mixing, add lemon juice.
Add the icing sugar a cup at a time, once combined add pav magic, and water. Leave to mix for about 10 minutes.
Smooth over the sides and top of the cake and leave till firm.
Covering the cake with sugarpaste
Knead some white icing to a pliable dough and roll it out to 3 mm (1/8 in) thick, using a large rolling pin.
Cover both cakes with white sugarpaste.Making the strips
Cut out 3.5 cm wide strips of black and white sugarpaste the height of the cake. You will need 20 black strips and 16 white strips plus 4 white corner strips which you can custom cut to fit once all the other strips are in place. Start off each side by marking the midpoint and sticking the first black strip right in the middle.

Making the lids

Let the cakes sit for a couple of hours to allow the icing to dry before you make the lids. Brush the top of the cakes with a little water (or syrup) and run the brush around the top inch of the side of the cakes. Knead 700g of the white icing for the top box lid and 900g for the the bottom box lid.Once the dough is pliable, roll out each piece till they are at least 8 in larger than the width of each box. Roll the icing over your rolling pin, lift it up and roll it over the cake. Smooth the top and sides with a flexi-scraper. Use a ruler to mark the edge of the lid on all 4 sides. Trim the lid with a sharp knife.
Making the ribbon

Knead 500g of the black sugarpaste to a pliable dough and roll out. Measure length of ribbon needed. Cut out 4 strips of the required length by  3.5 cm wide. Trim one end of each ribbon into a point to help fit the ribbons together on top of the cake. Stick to the cake with water or edible glue and trim excess ends with a knife.


To make the bow simply follow this video.
Once the bow is completely dry use edible glue to stick it to your cake.

I hope you enjoy making the cake as much as I did.

Beach Cake Tutorial



This fabulous Beach Wedding Cake is covered in ivory sugarpaste and decorated with matching handmade and painted sugar-paste shells.


The bottom tier is a 10″ dark chocolate mud cake filled with dark chocolate ganache and the top tier is an 8″ white chocolate mud cake filled with white chocolate ganache.

Ingredients for 10” Dark Chocolate Mud Cake round
270g butter
270g dk choc
31g coffee
200ml water
155g SR
155g plain
60g cocoa
.6 tsp bicarb
590g caster
5 eggs
9 tsp oil
125ml buttermilk
 
Ganache
1475g dark chocolate
740ml pure cream
 
Fondant
1.475kg sugar-paste
 
Baking time
1 hr 50 mins
 
Method for Dark Chocolate Mud Cake click here

Ingredients for 8” White Chocolate Mud Cake round
240g butter
240g white choc
215ml water
120g SR
240g plain
315g caster
2.4 eggs
1.25 tsp vanilla
 
Ganache
1025g white chocolate
350ml pure cream
 
Fondant
1150g sugar-paste
Baking time
1 hr 20 mins
 

Method for White Chocolate Mud Cake click here

 
How to make ganache and cover your cake with it click here




Sugarpaste
I coloured all my sugarpaste at once using Wilton’s gel paste in Ivory.
1.475Kg for the bottom tier plus 1.150kg for top tier plus 500g for the shells

How to colour sugarpaste and use it to cover your cake click here 


How to assemble a 2 tiered cake click here 

I used Poly-Dowels from GlobalSugarArt.com to support my cake this time and found them easy to use. They are easy to cut with scissors and more hygienic than the wooden ones, I think.

Sea Shells
Using 500g of the ivory sugarpaste, I decided to make a 50/50 mix of sugarpaste/gumpaste (read ‘Successful Molding’ below for other suggestions for mediums to use with molds). I used the recipe below for gumpaste but only used half the quantities to achieve a 50/50 mix.


I used 3 First Impressions Molds which I ordered from America from GlobalSugarArt.com


S102 4 Shell Set
S188 Shell Set 6 (21398)
Clam Shell Press 2 pc.


I made 10 of each shell making a total of 130 shells.



Gumpaste Ingredients:

 
500 grams of sugarpaste (I use Bakels Pettinice, but any will do)
 
2 teaspoons of Cellogen (if you use CMC, Tylose or Gum Trag then only use 1 to 1.5 teaspoons)
 
1/3 teaspoon raw egg white
 
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
 
Instructions:
 
Use a little Crisco (here in Australia I use Copha which is a solid white vegetable oil) on your work surface and knead up your sugarpaste so its nice and soft.
 
Sprinkle the Cellogen, or alternative, over the work surface and knead it into the fondant.
 
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 or some icing sugar to stop it sticking to your hands.
 
Sprinkle the Cream of Tartar on the work surface and knead into the mix until all incorporated.

(Thanks to Fran for this gumpaste recipe which I have adapted a little.)
 




Successful Molding by Alan Tetreault
GlobalSugarArt.com

 
 
Successful molding using silicone molds is all dependent on the medium you choose. Many decorators call me in frustration that they cannot get a good impression with a silicone mold using sugarpaste.  Generally, for larger or detailed molds, I recommend using at least a 50/50 mix of gumpaste and sugarpaste.  If the mold has a lot of details or undercuts (details that are cut out of the mold that you cannot see from the opening) I use 100% gumpaste.  On a large mold that is very detailed, I recommend adding Tylose to gumpaste to make a very firm and strong gumpaste.  The more detailed the mold, the firmer the gumpaste should be to achieve the best results.  Here are my suggestions:

 
It helps to use a small dot of shortening (Crisco) on our fingertips while pushing the sugarpaste or gumpaste into the mold.
 
1.  For small molds that you want to be able to cut through or eat, use only sugarpaste.  For each pound of sugarpaste, knead in about one cup of confectionery sugar or enough so that the fondant no longer sticks to your hands or the surface you are kneading on.  This will make molding easier and you can handle the finished product without it stretching out of shape.  This also works well on side designs, drapes and borders that you are molding with a silicone mold.  Adding a flavoring to the fondant (like orange, lemon, almond, peppermint, etc.) can be a nice finishing touch.  Especially since it is usually the children that try to eat the decorations!  Freezing the molded fondant for 5-15 minutes before removing helps keep the detail.
 
2. For larger figurines, flowers and borders like pearls and ropes, I recommend a mixture of 50% gumpaste and 50% fondant kneaded together.  This makes a mold that can still be cut through with a knife when you serve the cake but you may not want to eat the pieces.  Freezing the molded fondant for 5 -15 minutes before removing from the mold helps with removal and keeps the detail.
 
3.  For large molds or molds that have undercuts, I use all gumpaste.  Freeze 10 minutes before removing from mold.4.  For very large or detailed molds, I add 1-2 teaspoons of Tylose to one pound of gumpaste and knead it well. Allow it to rest overnight in the refrigerator in a sealed bag.  The next day, break off a piece and knead it well before using it to make a mold.  It will be very firm. Freeze 10-15 minutes before removing from the mold.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
These shells were molded using 50/50 gumpaste/sugarpaste with no added confectioners sugar.  
I placed the filled mold in the freezer for 15 minutes then removed the shells from the mold and lightly dusted with non toxic Luster Dust in Spanish Moss (bronze metallic look) by Sunflower Sugar Art from GlobalSugarArt.com. I used a paintbrush to apply the dust.
 



This YouTube clip will give you a good idea how to use silicon molds even though it shows a baby mold and not a shell mold.

 
Leave the shells to dry for at least 24 hours before gluing them onto the cake with edible glue
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.
 
I left 16 assorted shells to place around the cake and sprinkled some raw caster sugar to look like sand.

 
I hope you like my cake and try making one yourself. Please share your efforts with me as I would love to see what you come up with.

Hand painted Wedding Cake Tutorial

Materials needed

7″ and 9″ round card for the base of each tier.
Doweling for support
Bottle Green satin ribbon – 6mm wide by 2m
Bottle Green satin ribbon – 2 inches wide by 2m
Black satin ribbon 1 inch wide by 2m
Diamontes buckle
13″ diameter cake board 4mm or 6mm thick
Hand painted Wedding Cake Tutorial
7” Dark Chocolate Mud Cake round

135g butter
135g dk choc
15g coffee
100ml water
75g SR
75g plain
30g cocoa
.3 tsp bicarb
295g caster
2.5 eggs
4.5 tsp oil
60ml buttermilk

Ganache

735g dark chocolate
365ml pure cream

Fondant

740g sugar-paste
9” Dark Chocolate Mud Cake round
220g butter
220g dk choc
25g coffee
160ml water
125g SR
125g plain
50g cocoa
.5 tsp bicarb
480g caster
4 eggs
7 tsp oil
100ml buttermilk

Ganache

1200g dark chocolate
600ml pure cream

Fondant

1.2kg sugar-paste
Click here to learn how to make dark chocolate mud cake and dark chocolate ganache.
Click here to learn how to torte and cover your cake with ganache.
Click here to learn how to cover your cake with sugar paste.

The pattern on the top tier of the cake was inspired by Crewel Embroidery and I looked at many examples on the net for inspiration.
 
Sample of Crewel Embroidered fabric


I wanted to use simplified elements of the original designs to create a new and unique black and white design.  
First of all I made a template for the top of the cake and the sides from some greaseproof paper…
….and then drew on my design with an HB pencil. 
 
I turned the paper around and traced the design on the back, again using an HB pencil (do not use a softer pencil as it will smudge onto your pure white icing and really make a mess). Pencils are made from graphite not lead and are non toxic.
I transfered my design onto the cake using a sharp HB pencil, securing the template with sticky tape around the sides and holding the top down lightly with my fingertips.


 I scanned my greaseproof paper templates for you to enlarge in your photocopier to fit the exact size of your cake. Once you have the outline transferred to the cake you can paint the motifs larger going over the lines a little covering up all the pencil marks as I have allowed for this by drawing the outlines smaller than i require for the finished work.
 
The bottom of each stem is covered by the green ribbon and the top of each stem I ended in an RI dot or two. Choose one of the central stems and line it up with the stem on the top of the cake.
I used Cake Art black edible colour on top but it was a little shiny so used Wilton on the sides and was happier with the finish. I used two round Taklon brushes a No 5/0 to outline and a No 4 to fill in.
If your colour is too thick, use a little Vodka to thin it down. I didn’t need to use any on this occasion.
 
Sorry that the video is so boring and has TV noise in the background but it is my first YouTube clip and I hope to improve. It also shows how slow I am at painting on cake. it took me 4 hours to complete! My brush was rubbish with hairs sticking out at right angles which I cut off making the brush almost impossible to use as there were only about 12 hairs left LOL! I have since replaced it.
Another tip! Use a brush with very long hairs as this helps with lines. Lay most of the brush on the cake and pull it along as this reduces hand wobble.
To make my design zing I wanted to add piped Royal Icing dots but decided to wait until the cake was fully assembled.
 
To assemble the cake I firstly placed the bottom tier on its base using some Royal Icing as glue. I then covered the bare edges of the board using a roll of sugar-paste which I unrolled like you would a carpet around the cake. Join at the back by first overlapping the sugar-paste and cutting with a knife through both layers, removing the excess and joining with a little Royal Icing.
Ali (my partner) marks the length of dowel to be cut while I take the picture.
I needed 4 dowels to support the top tier for this cake and one double height piece for the central dowel (this stops the top tier from sliding about while being transported).
Ali pushes in the first dowel
Ali carefully taps in the central dowel.
The central dowel cuts right through the middle of my design but it is easy to cover this up with a small black sugar-paste cut out, topped with a smaller white round piece of sugar-paste and crowned with a large dot of black royal icing.
Can you see the added dots!
I stuck the black ribbon onto the middle of the green ribbon using 12mm wide double sided tape but left the ends of the bow unstuck so that they could be hanging loosely from the bow as they would look too rigid otherwise.
I didn’t cut the ribbon in any way to form the bow. I just made it look good while holding it in my hand then slipped it through the diamonte buckle trying not to lose any of the nice shape I had.

Pink Tiffany Wedding Cake Tutorial

This cake was made up of two square tiers. The bottom tier was an 11″ dark chocolate mud cake with dark chocolate ganache and the top tier was a 9″ white chocolate mud cake with white chocolate ganache.

Ingredients for the 9″ square white chocolate mud cake

400g butter

400g white chocolate

350ml water
400 plain flour
200g SR flour
520g caster suger
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

White chocolate ganache

1700g white chocolate
600ml pure cream
Fondant
1700g sugar-paste

Method for the 9″ square white chocolate mud cake 

(adapted from Planet Cake Cookbook)
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease tin and line the base and sides with a collar of baking paper that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin. Add baking strips (made from damp cloths wrapped in tin foil) around the outside of the cake tin. Put the butter and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until butter has melted. Turn off the heat, then add the chocolate and stir until it has melted and is well combined.
Sift the flours together in a bowl. Add the sugar, a pinch of salt and make a well in the centre.
Pour the chocolate mixture, egg and vanilla into the well then stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Pour into the cake tin, Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake. Cover with foil halfway through if the cake is browning too quickly.
Once removed from the oven, use a pastry brush (or similar) to brush the top of the cake with boiled water to keep it moist and save it from cracking and forming crusty bits on top. Then cover with a clean tea cloth to reduce evaporation. Repeat the brushing with boiled water step two or three times at half hour intervals as the cake cools. Remove the baking strips once they can be handled or use oven gloves to remove them.

Let cake cool completely on a wire rack before taking the cake out of the tin.

Wrap the cake well in cling film (do not squash cake) and put in fridge till morning.
Method for white chocolate ganache

  1. Process chocolate till it resembles breadcrumbs and place in a large bowl
  2. Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Pour the cream over the 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.

Ingredients for the 11” square dark chocolate mud cake 

440g butter
440g dk choc
50g coffee
320ml water
250g SR flour
250g plain
100g cocoa
1 tsp bicarb
960g caster
8 eggs
14 tsp oil
200ml buttermilk

Ganache

2400g dark chocolate
1200ml pure cream

Fondant

2.6kg sugar-paste
Method for the 11” square dark chocolate mud cake 
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. Add baking strips (made from damp cloths wrapped in tin foil) around the outside of the cake tin.

Put the butter, chocolate, coffee and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted, then remove from the heat.

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.

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.
Once removed from the oven, use a pastry brush (or similar) to brush the top of the cake with boiled water to keep it moist and save it from cracking and forming crusty bits on top. Then cover with a clean tea cloth to reduce evaporation. Repeat the brushing with boiled water step two or three times at half hour intervals as the cake cools.
Remove the baking strips once they can be handled or use oven gloves to remove them.

Let cake cool completely on a wire rack before taking the cake out of the tin.

Wrap the cake well in cling film (do not squash cake) and put in fridge till morning.
  1. Process chocolate till it resembles breadcrumbs and place in a large bowl
  2. Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Pour the cream over the 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.

Making the lids

Let the cakes sit for a couple of hours to allow the icing to dry before you make the lids.
Brush the top of the cakes with a little water (or syrup) and run the brush around the top inch of the side of the cakes.
Knead 400g of the pink icing for the top box lid and 600g of pink for the the bottom box lid.
Once the dough is pliable, roll out each piece till they are at least 8 in larger thad the width of each box. Roll the icing over your rolling pin, lift it up and roll it over the cake. Smooth the top and sides with a flexi-scraper. Use a ruler to mark the edge of the lid on all 4 sides.
Trim the lid with a sharp knife.

Making the ribbon

Knead 500g of the white sugar-paste to a pliable dough and roll out to 16 x 40 cm rectangle. Cut into 4 long 4 cm wide strips. Trim one end of each ribbon into a point to help fit the ribbons together on top of the cake. Stick to the cake with water and trim excess ends with a knife.

Making the bow

Instructions on making the bow can be found on this video.