My first term of cake decorating classes ended just before Easter, and our final project was a covered fruit cake with flowers. I don’t especially enjoy making sugar flowers purely because of the time involved. For someone with back and pelvis injuries like me, it is never easy to sit for long periods working on something like this. This saddens me a little, because at the end of it all, I really rather liked my cake.
The flowers we made in this project are dog roses, eriostemon, and basic blooms. They were coloured using petal dust and finely grated artist’s pastels (non-toxic). The great thing with the pastels is the ease with which you can mix your own colours. The leaves are rose and ivy. I was never very sure about the colours I was choosing, but they seem to harmonise well. It felt a great shame to have to break them off the cake before cutting it.
At around the same time my brother came home to Perth for a visit from the UK, where he lives, and we were able to celebrate his 50th birthday with him. This is the cake I created. I feel I am truly getting the hang of covering fruit cakes smoothly now.
And finally, I made another cake for a colleague leaving our office. He is a devoted fan of a local Australian Rules Football team called the Fremantle Dockers, and so I decided to make a little team guernsey to sit on the cake. I made a template for the guernsey in Photoshop, with each block of colour being a separate black shape. Then it was just a matter of cutting out the shapes and sitting each piece on the purple background guernsey shape.
While trying to use some plastic letters to lightly imprint the covered board, so that I might use the imprints as a piping guide, I pressed too hard and left a rather deep imprint. I am increasingly finding that the greatest area of creativity in cake decorating lies in covering up your mistakes! The solution here was to press all of the letters in, and fill in the imprints with the mauve royal icing I was going to pipe with. I actually rather liked the effect in the end!