Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never even heard of ‘March Madness’. Sure, it makes sense that the traffic in Auckland has picked up now that everyone’s back at work/school/uni – not that it’s the only city in New Zealand… But since the sale of our little house went unconditional a week and a half ago, I’ve been running around like the Mad Hatter! With boxes to pack and rooms to clean, the wheels on the month of March this year are turning quicker than I can keep up with.
On top of that, I’ve had an upset stomach over the past couple of weeks. Despite my Gut Health Diet of Doom still going strong, I’ve had some serious discomfort. Too many good bugs from the coconut kefir? Tummy bug? Or something even more sinister? I’m hoping to figure it out with the help of my doc this week.
So before I keel over and disappear in waist-deep cardboard and bubble wrap (and with me any chance of a blog post going out this month), I want to share this sweet wee cake that I did last year for the annual in-laws birthday trifecta. I’ve been meaning to share it for a fair while (#storyofmylife) so it’s perfect for this mad month.
Like many plans, I had hoped this cake would be more extravagant: two-tiered, silver leaf, outlined lace motifs… then reality and busyness kicked in and I only had time for one tier with less décor. But no matter – it ended up as dessert at a small family dinner in celebration of two rather than three birthdays. And my lovely MIL liked it, so mission accomplished!
Mmmhmm I do love the dainty and simple look of wafer paper flowers. As well as being quick and clean to make, they last for ages (I still have this one, found in a cupboard during our packing!). I followed Jessica Harris’ instructions in her amazing Craftsy class ‘Simply Modern Cake Design‘ to create this little bloom using circles of wafer paper and a textured gum paste centre painted with Rolkem Silver dust.
Here are the other cakey details for this creation:
- Because it was so long ago I don’t actually recall the exact flavour of the cake… I think it was probably ginger with dark chocolate ganache filling …I think?! I do know for sure that I used dark choc ganache to mask the cake/underneath the fondant to try and get a clean top edge.
- To cover the cake I used blue Bakel’s Pettinice fondant – such a great product! You can check it out at the Pettinice site here, which includes information on where to buy it and a bunch of fantastic cake decorating tutorials and advice from top Kiwi cake decorators.
- Straight after covering the cake with fondant, I used tulle fabric to give the textured effect. To do this I placed small sections of tulle onto the cake surface and lightly rolled over it with a small silicone rolling pin. I guess I was kind of going for a ‘tablecloth’, fabric look along with the lace-effect flowers.
- To add a bit of sparkle and highlight the texture, I brushed Rolkem Blue Sparkle powder over the entire cake. So sparkly!
- For those lacey flowers I used this fab set of lace stencils from Evil Cake Genius that I got for FREE with my Seamless Filigree stencil (which you can see used in this post). These were great for such a small cake, where I arranged the stencils as I wanted around the cake to create my own design, even using some of them to cover imperfections in the icing!! Below are a couple of photos of how I followed the ECG’s superb instructions to use the stencils: tulle fabric is pinned over each stencil and kept in place with double-sided masking tape, then stiff royal icing is spread over the stencil image. Then un-pin and voilà! More good advice from the ECG: when stenciling with white icing onto a coloured fondant it’s important to add white food colouring to the royal icing, otherwise it will show up slightly transparent and you’ll see the colour come through.
Yes, you can see some of the pin marks from the stenciling, but that’s because you’re a fabulously talented, detail-seeking cake decorator – no-one else will notice 😉
- And finally, that stunning wafer flower was secured with a small glob of blue fondant.
Now as proud as I am of this little lady, she’s not perfect – and through no fault of her own! I am in fact guilty of knocking her over … twice! (You can see the dents in the bird’s eye view below). Oh well, maybe one day I’ll be less clumsy… and pigs will grow little sugar wings and fly! My MIL loved it all the same 🙂
Have you tried any of these techniques? Stenciling? Adding fabric texture to fondant? Wafer paper flowers? I’d love to know how they worked out for you. 🙂