Ballerina Shoes Cake

Ballet shoes cake
Ballet shoes cake

This 9″ Ballerina Shoes birthday cake is made from dark chocolate mud-cake and filled with dark chocolate ganache.

Materials

0.5 metres of 1 metre wide net

Glue gun

14″ cake board

2 x 9″ set up boards

Super Pearl Dust (Sweet Inspirations)

Hot Pink Twinkle dust (Global Sugar Art)

Clay gun

1.2 kg white sugar-paste

300g pink sugar-paste

Quilting mold

silver edible balls

Tylose powder

Make the 9″ round Dark Chocolate Mud Cake

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).
For more information on how to make ganache and cover your cake with it, please click here.
Assembling the cake
Cut the cake in half and fill with ganache.
Attach cake to set up board with edible glue or some Royal Icing.
Cover the top and the sides of the cake with ganache and smooth the surfaces.
Cover in white sugar-paste.
Press a quilting mold to the sides of the cake to make quilting effect or measure and indent with the side of a ruler.
Brush the top and sides of the cake with Super Pearl dust.
Use the other end of a paint brush to make holes for the silver balls and use some edible glue to attach them.
Add any lettering at this stage.

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.

To make the tutu

Cut the net into 2 strips each 15 cms wide.

Join the strips with pins to make a 2 metre length then machine stitch along one long edge with the largest stitch on your machine.

Pull one of the threads to gather the fabric into the tightest circle possible and sew in place.

Place tutu onto a 14″ cake board and glue down with a glue gun.

Use a  9″ set up board to sit on top and glue this on with a glue gun. Place a 5 kilo bag of flour (or something heavy) on top till set.

Trim your tutu so that it sticks out about 1 cm from the edge of your cake board.

Place your cake (which should be on a matching 9″ set up board) on top using your glue gun or PVA glue to stick it down.

Ballet Shoe template
Ballet Shoe template

To make the Ballet Shoes

Print out the shoe template onto thin card so that the sole measures 14 cm in length and cut them out.

Use the templates to cut out 2 soles and two toes in pink sugar-paste and remember as we work through the rest of the instructions that you are aiming to make a left and right shoe.

Use edible glue to attach the uppers to the soles. I turned a little of the edge of the upper under the sole but I think it might have looked better just to join them edge to edge.

Fill the shoes with cotton wool to keep their shape (the cotton wool stuck a little to some glued edges so I would recommend scrunched cling film instead).

Leave shoes overnight to harden.

Next day remove packing and add the stitched band around the top of the shoe by cutting and glueing a narrow strip of pink sugar-paste around the top edge of each shoe and use a cocktail stick to make the little holes.

Making the shoes
Making the shoes

Use the clay gun to make the little bows and glue them in place with edible glue.

Dust the shoes inside and out with pink twinkle dust and attach to cake with edible glue. I also used a cocktail stick to anchor the toe of the angled shoe to the cake as the cake was travelling by car to the birthday girl.

Cut out 4 long strips of pink sugar-paste to make the ribbon ties and dust them on both sides before glueing them to the shoes.

Brush more pink dust over the shoes where needed.

Ballet shoes cake topper
Ballet shoes cake topper
Ballet shoes cake bow
Ballet shoes cake bow

Use a ribbon in the same shade as the tutu, around the base of the cake and make a bow for the front.

Ballet shoes cake top
Ballet shoes cake top
Ballerina Shoes Cake
Ballerina Shoes Cake

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

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.

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.

How to make Ganache and cover your cake with it

I love using ganache to cover cakes and wedding cakes as it tastes incredibly delicious and it’s so much easier to get nice, straight sides and edges compared to buttercream. Ganache is also wonderful to use under sugar-paste for the same reasons. Living as I do on the Gold Coast, Australia, ganache is the obvious choice as it withstands most of our really hot weather MUCH better than buttercream.
Chocolate and cream are the only two ingredients in ganache and are used in a 2:1 ratio for dark and semi-sweet chocolate and the 3:1 ratio for milk chocolate. The wedding cake in the picture above was covered in white chocolate ganache using the ratio 3:1 i.e. 3 parts white chocolate to 1 part cream.
In extremely warm weather it is sometimes necessary to increase the amount of chocolate in the mixture to prevent it melting.
To torte and cover a 9″ round cake with dark chocolate ganache
Ingredients:
1.2 kg dark chocolate
600ml pure cream
To torte and cover a 9″ round cake with white chocolate ganache
Ingredients:
1.3 kg
450ml pure cream
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.
Step 1Make the Ganache: (Same method for white and dark chocolate ganache). 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).
Proccess the chocolate to the size of coffee granules
Proccess the chocolate to the size of coffee granules
 Ganache nice and smooth

Ganache nice and smooth
Cutting cake into layers. Keep original layer of greaseproof paper on as long as possible to keep cake intact add a board or metal base to the top of the cake when cutting as you may accidentally put pressure on the top of the cake when cutting and dent your nice flat top.
Cut out a circle of non slip matting
This will stop your cake moving about on top of the turntable
Step 2Torte and level the 9″ cake: Place cake upside down on the cake board on a layer of ganache to act as a glue and to even out any irregularities. Add a mound of ganache in the middle of the board if your cake sunk or add a ring of ganache round the edge if you cake was high in the centre. If you are using the soft filling then pipe a ½” snake of Ganache around the outside edge of the cake to create a dam, pop the cake into the fridge for the dam to harden (about 5 min) remove from fridge, then fill with the filling. If using regular ganache to fill then apply with a cranked handled palette knife if you have one.
Top with the next layer of cake and repeat if needed. 
 
Step 3Crumb coat: (optional) Cover sides and top of cake quickly with a thin coat of ganache to stop crumbs getting into your final coat of ganache. This is useful especially if your cake is more crumbly than normal. Put in fridge for an hour or so to harden before continuing. 

Applying a quick crumb coat
A set square helps me get perpendicular sides
Crumb coat complete
Step 4Cover the top of the cake with Ganache: I like using the ‘double board’ method to get the top edge of the cake perfectly smooth. Top the cake with a 1/2” layer of Ganache, smooth it out then place a 9″ board on top which has been completely covered on both sides with cling film to keep the board clean and reusable and secured with sticky tape. Check with a small spirit level to see if it’s leveled, if not, gently press down around the cake until it is.
 
Step 5Cover the sides of the cake with Ganache: You want to always add more ganache than you need at the beginning because it is so much easier to just scrape off the excess and be done rather than to keep adding then scraping then adding then scraping…etc. As the 9” cake board is slightly larger than the cake (9” cake shrinks a little after cooling). I use the edge of the two boards as a guide to the thickness of the Ganache. Once you have added the Ganache along the sides, use a metal scraper or similar tool, to scrape the excess off a little at a time, layer by layer as you turn the turntable.
Step 6: Place the cake into the fridge for at least a ½ hour, remove, then carefully undo the cling and lift off the board then carefully peel the cling film from the top of the cake. You may need to smooth away the little imperfections or fill any air holes with a little bit of Ganache.
I went straight ahead and covered these 4 cakes with sugar-paste but I could have used a hot palette knife to smooth out any remaining imperfections if the cakes were not being covered,

Step 7: Let the cake sit overnight at room temperature for the Ganache to completely set. If you live in a hot climate like I do then best to put it in the fridge overnight. A wine fridge is best (as it is not so cold as your normal fridge in the kitchen) and has a built in humidifier. The cake will get quite hard and cold overnight and it is important that the cake gets back to room temp before covering with sugar-paste.( If you do not allow your cake to reach room temp, all the way through, the cake will sweat through your sugar-paste!) Before covering you can either brush or spray the cake with a little bit of water or vodka (it evaporates away anyways) or some type of syrup (apricot jam diluted with water). 

 
The above recipes make more ganache than is needed so that there is enough to allow for mistakes and for putting on extra and then scraping back off the excess. I also freeze any untouched ganache for my next cake.


Use these steps to make a gorgeous Pink Tiffany Wedding Cake

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