Sunday, January 30, 2011

2011 Birthday Cake

Yes, I cheated a little. ;)

I used the same cake that I had the gum paste stiletto on (in my previous post) and after removing the stiletto, made it a two tier cake that I brought to my joint birthday party.  The bottom tier is a 10" round in butter cake with Kahlua icing.

The 6" cake was was chocolate with chocolate buttercream, covered in red fondant, and I tried a new technique/ medium called SugarVeil.  I used the SugarVeil icing colored black to create the fishnet effect that I draped over the cake.  SugarVeil icing is related to royal icing but goes through a 'flexible' stage when it is dry on the surface but can be manipulated like fabric.  I got some as a gift from my parents for my birthday-- thanks Mom and Dad! :)

I also added some isomalt gem stones to the top tier and finished it with a fondant bow in black and cheetah.

Happy Birthday to me! :)

A Walk on the Wild Side-- Gum Paste Stiletto Cake

So you should recognize the gum paste stiletto from my post earlier this month. :)

I had to strike a compromise, because while I was dying to use it on a cake, I didn't want to do anything to damage it since I'll be teaching a class on making that particular stiletto along with another one.  So I didn't want to destroy my prototype.

So I made a cake that I could sit it on to take some pictures, and then carefully removed it. :)

The cake was covered in ivory fondant and then textured and hand dusted and painted to reflect the cheetah pattern on the stiletto.  I finished it with some black fondant ribbons and a black magic gum paste rose.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Advanced Royal Icing Class

This past weekend I took another Nicholas Lodge class-- Advanced Royal Icing Techniques. :)  I decided to treat myself since my birthday is on Friday.

The class covered figure piping (which I hadn't really tried before), as well as color flow techniques, pressure piping, string work with and without bridges, and some Lambeth style borders.   In the above picture, the doves were piped on waxed paper separately, and the ribbon side design was transferred onto the cake and created using a color flow approach.

Here is an example of figure piping-- this cupid was all piped with royal icing tips 1 and 2:

As a contrast, the cupid on the right side of this picture was cut out of gum paste and then over-piped with a little royal icing for added detail.

Here's some stringwork with a piped bridge and lace points, with an embroidery side design.

And here are some pressure piped letters painted silver and then attached to the cake:

We did one more dummy cake in class featuring a color flow swan and some Lambeth style borders:

The swan has some 'real' feathers in there for added detail. :)

I was a little rushed at the end of class so you can see that my scroll under the scroll border started floating down as I went along.... but I like the top border.

The class was great fun and definitely inspired me to work more with royal icing... and to reopen my Lambeth book and try a few things. :)

Meanwhile, I'm going to be teaching my first sugar class in March!!  I'll be teaching gum paste stilettos March 5-6 at International Sugar Art Collection's Studio B in Norcross, GA.  Details will be posted soon at

So in the meantime, I've been refining my shoe techniques and preparing course notes-- I'm really excited for the class and really want it to go well!

That's all for now.  Hopefully I'll still have enough time to make a snazzy birthday cake this weekend... :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We've been featured!

A few of my cakes have been featured on Cake Mom!

You can see the post here:

If you haven't checked out Cake Mom, she has a lovely blog with tons of great giveaways!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Space Shuttle Cake

For one of my lab mate's birthdays, I made this space shuttle cake.   He's German-- hence the little German flag on the wing. ;)

I made the shuttle completely out of gum paste, with painted accents and some detailing using food color pens.  The stars are gum paste painted gold, and then there are 3mm gold dragees to complete the look.

Happy Birthday, Sebastian! :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Make a Gum Paste Stiletto, 2011 Version :)

Step 1:  Get snowed in for 3 days.  Seriously, I haven't left my home since Sunday afternoon.  Might leave tomorrow but I'm not totally convinced...

Step 2:  Get inspired.  My birthday's coming up in a couple weeks so I thought I might need a fabulous stiletto for a fabulous cake.

Here we go...

Start with tip 2A circles.  Cut these out from 1/8" thick gum paste.

Carefully thread them onto 18 gauge wire and start letting them set up.

While you're waiting for those to set up, check out your adorable dog:
This is Lola.  She's a real dog... not made of gum paste. :) 

I digress.  Must be cabin fever... Anyway, mold the rest of your heel:

And shape your sole and let that set up a bit:

I form my soles using some combination of tape, cardboard, foam, and a little shaper I made out of some useless fondant a while back.  It's held up well.  I've also done it using parchment paper taped to a book and a countertop-- just make sure the slope is nice and gradual.  Sorry, I'm an engineer... I look at things like slope. ;) 

Next step, attach the heel carefully once its set up enough, and add the sole lining.  On this shoe I also added a platform under the toe.

Next steps, I wrapped the side of the shoe (around the platform) and added the back.  For pieces like the back, I like to use two different colors of gum paste layered together, and you can either roll it out by hand or put it through a pasta roller.

Next, I added the toe piece and supported it with some paper towel while it set up.

Next I added the loop on the back of the heel and painted the lining gold before adding any more straps.

Then comes the really fun part.
Precariously balance the next straps to let them set up.  These are also two toned (red on the bottom and ivory on top).   Right now the shoe kinda looks like it came out of surgery... but she'll be okay.

Once those straps were set, I added the center (vertical) strap and let it set a bit.  This strap has 3 pieces-- a center red piece with the zipper on it, and then the outside red piece with the stitching.

Finally I added the zipper pull and the ankle strap.

That completes the structure, and the rest was just dusting and painting! Oh, and a lot of gold dragees...

One by one... one little dragee at a time...

Ahh, victory!  Then to the photoshoot table... such as it is.

This shoe is based on a pair that I actually own.  I don't find too many occasions to wear them, but I love the design.  

Don't forget to paint the bottom of the heel black... I almost did. ;) 
So there you have my snow day(s) project.  Hope you like it as much as I do!  :)

You might see it again on a cake in a couple weeks...