Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Not an Advent post

I'm afraid I haven't even managed Sundays in Advent this year.  My Dad is doing an amazing job, though: rounding up all the sheep in the Bible and telling their stories through the mouth of a little girl named Emily.  So if you are starved of Advent reading material, drop by the Sheep Shelter.

Meanwhile, the reason that my writing efforts fizzled so quickly is that not one but two friends asked me to make cakes for them!  On the same weekend - eek!  Including techniques I had never tried before - aagh!  So I gulped and said yes...

Here's the "easy" one first.  My neighbours, who ordered this cake, helpfully supplied a hand-drawn template for the picture, which did make life simpler.  Then it was just a matter of carving the cake and laying out the fondant - which still takes no inconsiderable time.

Vroom!

And here's the one that took me all week and several tense moments:


Now if you consider that my previous modelling experience amounted to a few small animals, this increased the difficulty by just a few orders of magnitude.  Youtube provided a bit of technical advice and my artistic skills just about managed to stretch to the challenge.

Sorry for the fat legs, lady!
Headless mannequins
They're an 'armless pair, really

The hardest part by far was the fact that it was a couple, touching (how dare they!).  This put all the strain in the model on the arms, which made the final transfer onto the cake a breath-holding moment.  If I did it again I think I'd make the figures on a base, to keep the feet and legs rigid.


And you know your husband loves you when he does a late-night run to the supermarket for a bottle of vodka!  The painting was a last-minute decision, and apparently vodka is the best thing to dilute food colourings with (it evaporates more quickly than water, so is less likely to make the fondant soggy).  Of course I only needed a teaspoonful, so... any recommendations for what to do with the rest of the bottle?

No, drinking it while cake decorating is not a good idea!

3 comments:

Angel Oke said...

Absolutely stunning!!! You are so talented Martha :) wow! Xxx

Phoebe said...

Homemade vanilla extract? I've heard it's really easy to make, and all you really need is vanilla beans and alcohol.

Sally Eyre said...

Great cakes Martha. I must remember the vodka tip. Does it work for gel colours too? What about home made Limoncello a friend here swears by it. Easy too.