What?s the best medium for figures on a birthday cake?
Posted: 11 December 2007 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I am baking and decorating a little boy’s birthday cake with a fish/underwater theme.  I’m debating how to do the fish.  I’m considering painting/drawing with white and colored chocolate but am also considering using a white chocolate plastic to mold figures.  I’ve made figures with marzipan and fondant in the past, but they never came out quite right.  Does anyone have any special tricks, I had a lot of problems with it cracking??  Also, I think the mother wants to use buttercream which means the cake will have to stay refrigerated which means I can’t really use fondant for modelling.

Thanks everyone!
Marissa

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Posted: 11 December 2007 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Have you seen these kinds of molds? You can make marzipan figures.

(Just a random thought, I’ve never actually done this.)

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Posted: 11 December 2007 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hector made a child’s cake recently with shells made from molded buttercream.  I think he used candy molds.  I’m sure he would be happy to explain how he did it.  There is a picture of it on the main blog.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 02:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thank you both for the great ideas!

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Posted: 12 December 2007 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Maybe gum paste?  Colette Peters seems to use it a lot on her cakes.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I was going to recommend gum paste as well…realize that no one would want it eat it…it dries very hard.  If you want your guests to eat the decorations…don’t use gumpaste…but if they are “just for show” then I think gum paste is your best bet

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Posted: 13 December 2007 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Here is the link to Hector’s cake I mentioned:

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/a-DORA-ble.html

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Posted: 13 December 2007 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Have you ever tried the flow method of using Royal icing? This way you can custom color your royal to fit the design. You put wax paper over a graphic (fish) outline with the royal icing then using royal icing with a BIT more water added you flow into the outlines. Let it harden and put it onto the cake on top of a sugar cube, affixing with a dab of royal, if using a buttercream frosting. They come beautifuly! I’ve even added a touch of the silver dust mixed w/alcohol to give a motorcycle some chrome!

Kathi

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Posted: 01 January 2008 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I would definitely go with the chocolate plastique.  If you make it yourself, you need to watch the ratio of corn syrup to chocolate (too much and the plastique is “greasy” and you will need to blot it with paper towels, which will stick and make a mess), too little and it is crumbly.  If you make white plastique, you can use candy colors to color it (paste or gel colors won’t work) and model/work it much as you do gum paste.  The advantage is you can put the figures in the fridge to firm up!  You could also make 3-D fish for the top, in addition to flat ones for around the sides.

Well wrapped, the plastique will last for months.

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Posted: 02 January 2008 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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You can also pipe buttercream shapes onto plastic freezer bags and freeze until firm - then peel off and place on the cake.

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Posted: 09 March 2008 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Marissa, I’m sure you’ve long since made the cake that prompted your question. But I’m new to the forum and thought I would post another answer in case it helps others, now or in the future. I did a cake recently for a three-year old birthday girl who is mad for everything to do with the sea. Her mum wanted something as low as possible in sugar, so I used Rose’s banana cake (p 69) in a single 12” layer with sour cream ganache for the ocean floor. The ocean is Rose’s mousseline bc tinted blue.

I got my inspiration for the decorations from another source, a book originally out of Australia, I believe: The Essential Guide to Cake Decorating. The seaweed is fruit leather cut into lengths and twisted. To make them stay twisted, I had to pin the strips to pieces of bread and tuck them in my food dryer for a while! But the fish and little stars were simplicity itself. I got some licorice allsorts, the square kind with three layers, from the bulk section of my grocery store. Peeled off the coloured sections from the licorice, rolled them out a little thinner and cut out the shapes I needed. I happened to have a small fish cutter but did the “starfish” by hand.

The cake was a big hit at Kelina’s daycare with her pals and all their parents. That’s the part I love the best, those times when you’re fortunate enough to add some extra joy to people’s celebrations! Picture attached…I hope. btw, the rest of the decorations are smarties, whole for stones and crushed for sand, and a few shells I made in white chocolate.

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