A little look into the creation of Sharkie

Sharkie was the first structured carved cake that I have ever made. I managed to take some “process shots”, this is not in depth but gives a rough idea of how I achieved Sharkie. I learnt a lot and now I think I’m addicted to 3D cakes. Thanks to my friends Nina and Karin for all you help!

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How to make a gumpaste Macaron – tutorial

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Roll out some gumpaste approx 8mm thick

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Cover with plastic wrap before cutting out the circle shapes, this gives a lovely smooth edge (I first saw this tip used by Lesley from the Royal Bakery https://www.facebook.com/theroyalbakery )

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Cut two circles using the above method

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There, you have two lovely little Mac shells…

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Using your choice of tool, score a line in the middle of your mac shells as shown

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Now to create the “feet” of your macs, I used this icing tip (sorry not sure of its name) but it has little sharp points perfect for making the marks I want

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Make little marks the whole way around, now your little mac shell is starting to look pretty real. Do this to both shells.

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Roll out some white gumpaste, using the same circle cutter cut out the Mac “filling”, don’t use the plastic wrap method for this as we want the edges to be sharp rather than smooth.

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Choose some petal dust that is a shade darker than your gumpaste

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Lightly dust the Mac “feet”

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There we go, four cute little Macaron shells, patiently waiting for their filling… using a bit of edible glue, adhere two shells around the filling…note the filling may stick out a teeny bit from the shells, just use your fingers to shape the filling and the shells until they fit nice and flush, and now you have some sweet little Macs!

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Ahhh Bless!

How to create a simple pleated tier – Tutorial

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This is a short tutorial that gives some insight into how I make a simple pleated tier. By no means am I implying that this particular pleat design was created by me, I have seen it done many times but I have also been asked a lot of questions regarding how I achieved it, in particular the folding of the pleat underneath the cake. I hope the below helps you to achieve a pleat you are happy with.

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This particular pleated design is for a tier that is going to have another tier above it. The design does not cover the entire top of the cake. Prior to making the pleats I score or mark the size of the above tier into the top of the cake. This is the guide for how far on top of the cake the pleats are to sit. This cake has been covered in a thin fondant base, this is absolutely not necessary, on all of my pleated cakes I do a very thing fondant base in the same colour, this gives a really tidy finish when the thin pleated effect is adhered, I also find the pleats stick to the fondant a lot easier. In addition to that, if you have any gaps in your pleats (which does not apply so much to this particular design, then they wont show due the base layer being the same colour)

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The key to creating the pleats that fold under the cake is to elevate the cake on a very sturdy bowl. The cake remains there during the whole process and the pleats are adhered to the cake and folded under the cake base. It is important that once the pleats are completed to carefully place the cake onto a cake board (or if that is not ready yet just place it onto a flat surface that is lined with baking paper. This will ensure the pleats at the bottom dry in the perfect way rather than drying while the cake is elevated and then being placed onto a flat surface, this may cause the bottom pleats to crush or break. In addition, ensure pressure is applied when placing your completed cake onto a cake board or lower tier and use a level to make sure the cake is sitting flush, so that the pleats don’t cause the cake to be lop-sided.

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Brush entire cake with edible glue, shortening or water. If it dries while your working you may need to reapply.

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Also a few cm’s under the cake

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Roll out a very thing piece of fondant. Measure the height of your cake and add a few cm’s to the length. Enough to fold over the top of the cake and enough for a wee bit to fold underneath.

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Lay fondant over 3 paper straws (Dowels or skewers also work). Use your fingers to smooth over the straws and create grooves in between the straws.

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Pinch the tops of the straws together at the top, this is creating the pleats.

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Remove the straws, then gather the opposite ends together as pictured.

 

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Using the guideline marked the top of the cake, adhere the first pleat to the top of the cake.

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Trim the bottom of the pleat so it over hangs a little bit.

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Fold the pleat under the cake and apply pressure to the cake base.

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Every pleat will be different but it will now resemble something like this.

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Apply a small amount of edible glue or water to the seam where the next pleat will overlap.

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All of the following pleats are created in the same fashion as the first one. The only difference is that they a small “hem” is created on the edge that will over lap the prior pleat.

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Turn the “hemmed” side over, lay over the straws and create the pleat.

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Adhere the next pleat. See how I am applying pressure to the top of the pleat, almost squishing it down where it meets the guideline.

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Do the same at the base of the cake.

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Continue making pleats the whole way around the cake until it reaches the first pleat.

 

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Wasn’t that easy??

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Abstract Painted Cake – Creative Process

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Start with a blank canvas, a plain fondant covered cake. Allow a decent drying time so that your fondant is relatively hard, I let this dry for 24 hours. You will also need a good amount of  time to allow the paint to dry once it is completed, this will depend on different circumstance such as your climate and how thick you have painted. This cake was left for another 24 hours near a dehumidifier and was perfectly dry by the next day. (There is a lot of moisture where I live) I had applied quite a generous layer of paint.

Start with a blank canvas, a plain fondant covered cake. Allow a decent drying time so that your fondant is relatively hard, I let this dry for 24 hours. You will also need a good amount of time to allow the paint to dry once it is completed, this will depend on different circumstances such as your climate and how thick you have painted. This cake was left for another 24 hours near a dehumidifier and was perfectly dry by the next day.  I had applied quite a generous layer of paint to the cake.

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Here are the colours I chose for my design. A mixture of gel colours and petal dusts that I have watered down with Vodka.

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This is the brush I used, you could use wider or thinner brushes to achieve different styles.

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I started by dabbing different colours onto different sections of the cake, I did this just to get an idea of what they would look like and to ensure I liked the colours I was working with. You could skip this step, or you could do this on a separate piece of fondant if you don’t want to do it straight onto your cake. Have a glass of water on hand to rinse your brush in between colours, and a paper towel to wipe your bush on. Otherwise you could use a different brush for each colour, personally I love how some of the colours mix a bit on the one brush.

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Applying more gel to the brush I started to use big strokes to apply more colour to the cake.

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Painting on more colour sections

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and more….

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This is where I started painting on a lighter shade, using my brush and white gel (mixed with vodka) I painted over random parts where I thought it would look good to have a lighter section.

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Once the entire side was covered in colour I then just rotated the cake, painting lighter patches here and there….

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Just painting, getting lost in my happy place…..

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Not knowing where to stop, but having too much fun….

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Then in a large circular motion, I painted the top of the cake.

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And…went back and added some more blue… I could have kept going but had to stop myself before the cake got too wet and the moisture started to melt the fondant AND before I painted too much that it all become one brown blur. By this stage I was really happy with how it was looking, so I put it aside to dry. The same process was used to create the smaller top tier of my cake deign.

 

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I started a blog….

Hello! So after much procrastination and lots of encouragement I have started a blog… here I can share more in depth information about my cake decorating adventures, and fun stuff like tutorials and recipes, I hope you will all join me and follow me on my cake decorating journey xoxo Jess
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