Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Because BLW isn't just for lentil-weavers. Some of us like to piddle about with bits of felt and sticky-backed plastic as well.

Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby jvnt » 07 Jul 2012, 10:39

Can any of you point me towards some jungle themed cake ideas? We're looking at a party venue that is jungle-y so I'd like to do something that vaguely fits in with that. I'm not very experienced though.
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby MissKitty » 07 Jul 2012, 19:45

I have a 70th birthday cake to do for 2 weeks today. It's to be a sheep. I have a very small amount of time, and the cake has to travel, by car, with my mom, for 2 hours to reach its destination - so has to be robust enough to do that and not need any doctoring at the other end. In a way I'm grateful for this because it forces the simplicity that the lack of time I have to do it demands!

It's not Shaun the Sheep - which a Google for sheep cakes throws up so many variations of it's untrue. This lady sends family members cards and gifts with sheep on them, for reasons best known to herself. So sheep sprang to mind when I asked her son and daughter-in-law what theme it should have.

My initial plan is to do a round cake (9"), plain white iced, then craft a cutesy sheep face in relief to stick on it, some cute ears, add some legs etc. To effect wool I can use spirals of sugarpaste, stuck all over. Or I could use marshmallows - but that's a bit kiddy. I thought about swirls (cupcake style) of royal icing, to make a kind of 'crust' of wool, but if I don't have RSI before the cake, I'll have it after!!! (me and lotsa piping don't mix - as I found when I baked then swirled 72 cupcakes the day before my wedding :( ).

What colour should I do the face and legs? Should I make it cartoony or a little more realistic? Either way, should the sheep be a girly and have big eyelashes?! Any other ideas for how best to approach this one?!

PS, after my recent experiences well documented elsewhere, I won't be adding any sugarpaste Ticks to this cake...
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby Kanga » 07 Jul 2012, 19:46

Pic up of dd's cake from today! :)
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby blackberrycrimble » 07 Jul 2012, 20:38

Kanga wrote:Pic up of dd's cake from today! :)


Lovely! And I'd have known who it was even without the book in shot ;-)

MissKitty wrote:To effect wool I can use spirals of sugarpaste, stuck all over.


I'd probably tend towards this option.

MissKitty wrote:Should I make it cartoony or a little more realistic? Either way, should the sheep be a girly and have big eyelashes?! Any other ideas for how best to approach this one?!


The cartoony/realistic thing is all about your individual style, I think. I can't really do cartoony very well, so tend to lean towards realistic/symbolic, but if done well, cartoony can be really effective for this sort of thing. Animals are really difficult either way I think.

jvnt wrote:Can any of you point me towards some jungle themed cake ideas? We're looking at a party venue that is jungle-y so I'd like to do something that vaguely fits in with that. I'm not very experienced though.


The best jungle-y cake I've seen recently is FOZzy's no.1 zebra with other animals that is on the flickr group. Or, you could do jungly grass maybe?
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby Fozza » 07 Jul 2012, 23:06

bananacustard wrote:
jvnt wrote:Can any of you point me towards some jungle themed cake ideas? We're looking at a party venue that is jungle-y so I'd like to do something that vaguely fits in with that. I'm not very experienced though.


The best jungle-y cake I've seen recently is FOZzy's no.1 zebra with other animals that is on the flickr group. Or, you could do jungly grass maybe?

thanks x that is what i was going to say! that could be made any shape. There are tutorials for the elephant on you tube. The other animals were copied from pictures...if you want more details/close up pics, let me know. jungle leaves I used a leaf cutter and cut triangles out the edges. A good one I saw was triple layer...zebra, giraffe and tiger fur. So cool.

I would do a sheeP with lumps of sugar paste dotted all over, covered in a smooth layer . I would suggest buttercream but white is impossible!
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby jvnt » 07 Jul 2012, 23:30

bananacustard wrote:
jvnt wrote:Can any of you point me towards some jungle themed cake ideas? We're looking at a party venue that is jungle-y so I'd like to do something that vaguely fits in with that. I'm not very experienced though.


The best jungle-y cake I've seen recently is FOZzy's no.1 zebra with other animals that is on the flickr group. Or, you could do jungly grass maybe?


Oooh, how can I see the flickr group?
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby Fozza » 08 Jul 2012, 07:28

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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby jvnt » 08 Jul 2012, 08:40

They're great, Fozzy I love that jungle cake and all the gruffalos (gruffaloes, gruffali?) but I'm almost sure I can't make something 3D. I think I need a practice. Sigh practice cake eating, ahem making, it's a hard life :-D
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby Jelly Belly » 08 Jul 2012, 10:38

I think for the sheep I'd lean towards Fozzy's bumpy cake covered with sugarpaste. I think a batch of mini muffins would work to give a nice even 'fluff' all over the cake. Then it can be covered with buttercream and hardened in the fridge and smoothed before adding your sugar paste to give a really smooth appearance. But then, as BC noted, my particular style is more cartoonish than realistic. I also don't like loads of sugar paste. For a more rustic wool I would be looking at putting marzipan on the cake and using royal icing then swirling with a palette knife as the icing would set well ready for transport.

For the eyelashes etc I'd let the style of sheep the lady you are making for sends out guide me - do you have an examples of her cards handy?
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby weasley » 08 Jul 2012, 18:38

FOZzy wrote:
bananacustard wrote:
jvnt wrote:Can any of you point me towards some jungle themed cake ideas? We're looking at a party venue that is jungle-y so I'd like to do something that vaguely fits in with that. I'm not very experienced though.


The best jungle-y cake I've seen recently is FOZzy's no.1 zebra with other animals that is on the flickr group. Or, you could do jungly grass maybe?

thanks x that is what i was going to say! that could be made any shape. There are tutorials for the elephant on you tube. The other animals were copied from pictures...if you want more details/close up pics, let me know. jungle leaves I used a leaf cutter and cut triangles out the edges. A good one I saw was triple layer...zebra, giraffe and tiger fur. So cool.

I would do a sheeP with lumps of sugar paste dotted all over, covered in a smooth layer . I would suggest buttercream but white is impossible!


You could use cream cheese frosting. Mascarpone works well; basically cheese cake topping - yum!
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby Wilma » 08 Jul 2012, 19:03

I have a few questions that I hope it's ok to put here.

It's W's birthday on Tues but his party is on Friday so I'm going to do a cake for then. I thought I'd attempt a similar cake to the train cake in the Aussie Women's Weekly Cake book (if any of you know it). I don't have the recipe just seen it in my MIL's copy but I can't get it as she will be here (sorry long story). Long and short, I have an idea and need to work out how to do it.

Firstly, I was thinking of making 2 loaf cakes and was wondering about a recipe for this. On Skips thread I saw that you put a recipe for a choc brownie cake Bananacustard. Would this work for loaf tins too?
I'd cut one loaf cake into 3 to use as the carriages and ice them (probably with butter icing I'm afraid, I haven't sourced where to get icing from yet over here and all baking products are a little different) in different colours then stick either sweets or fruit on the top as the cargo. I guess use some round sweets or small biscuits for the wheels.
Then the other loaf cake I need to fashion into an engine and this is where I'm a bit stuck. I was wondering whether to just buy a swiss roll cake, cut out a section of the loaf cake and put it on top to mimic the round bit of the engine. I could then use the cut off bit of loaf cake to make the cab. Does that sounds feasible?

Sorry this has become a bit long! Has anyone else done a train cake like this before?
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby MissKitty » 08 Jul 2012, 19:11

Oooooh - lots of ideas for my sheepy cake :)

We decided I need to do a trial of the techniques sometime this week - I'm liking bumps and liking swirls, so a mini cake with such is in order. And dammit we'll have to do a taste test too...

Sugarpaste swirls are the easiest swirls to do (can even set hubby to hand rolling little snakey bits), but I kinda like the idea of royal icing swirls to get that wool effect. Was going to do a madeira sponge, so am not sure if marzipan then royal icing would work on that base? (The only sponge I've had marzipan on is battenberg - which would be wrong with a layer of icing on top.)

I did see a sheep idea on Choccywoccydoodah where the wool was achieved with stuck on white marshmallows. I liked that, but realised I could be there for a very long time and it might do my head in.

Oooh this is going to be fun... :) But at the same time I have a project plan to write for a BIG system implementation I'm PM for at work (grrrr), the usual parenting duties (yey!), a house that looks like a pigsty (booo!), and an assessment on the anatomy and health of the spine to make headway with for a course I'm on (Geek alert!)... does anyone else who doesn't do this for a living ever wonder why they get themselves into these things?!
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby blackberrycrimble » 08 Jul 2012, 19:23

Wilma, I don't see why the choc cake wouldn't work in a loaf tin. Line it well, I always use loose bottomed tins so not sure how easy it is to get out without and skip mentioned it was tricky. How big is your loaf tin? I have the recipe in lots of sizes. Your train plans sound doable to me, the only pitfall I can see is making sure the Swiss roll is about the right size. Oh and this is absolutely the right place for the qu!

Miss kitty, trials are goooooood. There is no reason not to marzipan a sponge cake apart from taste. I like marzipan so don't mind it on sponge cake but some people I guess might not. As an alternative you could use a layer of sugarpaste, then royal ice the swirls on top of that. You'd need to leave the sugarpaste to dry though, at least overnight.
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby Fozza » 08 Jul 2012, 19:31

Wilma... Oreos make great wheels, if you can get them. Or liqurice.
That sounds like a good plan. It all depends on the size of your loaf tin, a little but it is how I would do it. The Swiss roll (or rounded cake section) on the engine is essential, IMO. I have done a few vehicles but not a train yet. A Hot palate knife (dipped in hot boiling water) gives a smooth finish on butter icing and make twice as much as you think you will need!

Miss kitty...I'll make the sheep cake and you can do all that other boring stuff! Actually I have banned myself from doing anymore cake stuff for at least 6 weeks I am just too busy until we go away...boo!
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Re: Cake Craft discussions and questions thread

Postby Wilma » 08 Jul 2012, 19:37

Thanks for the advice BC. The tins are 9 1/2 inches (24cm) by 4 inches (10 cm) and I have 2 so would make enough mixture for 2 tins. Weird Ikea sizing! I could buy a loose bottomed square tin as I don't actually have one of those but not sure I have time. I have plenty of round ones but they're not the best for trying to make rectangular carriages!

Fozzy - thanks for the Oreo tip! They have an American section in the local department store food bit so I'm sure they'll have them! And thanks for the palate knife tip.

You guys are great!

I did a whale (and a tiny marzipan snail!) for W's birthday last year (turned out all right actually!) but had no idea about crumb layers for icing so it took me ages! And I only just made enough icing! This year I'm going to be more prepared!
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