29 September 2011

Cake Experiment: Final Attempt

Experiment Status- Mostly Successful

I decided to work on layers, fondant and decorating with the third (and probably final) practice cake.

I made a full batch of fondant this time, so that I would have enough to allow for rolling it out a little more thickly and I wouldn't be concerned about running short. The process of making the fondant went more smoothly now that I had a little experience. My only issue was being a little over generous with the confectioner's sugar on the counter... the dough got a bit tough this time.

Kneading the Dough

Dough Ball

The dyeing process was a little easier on my hands with the addition of dish washing gloves... no skin stained purple from the black dye. I do think the lack of contact with the heat from my hands helped to keep the dough from getting sticky as I worked with it. This time around, I used the lighter blue dye and just a hint of the black. The darker color is still off, but closer. The lighter color came even closer to the inspiration piece. I've been surprised by how little dye it actually takes to achieve rich color.

Light Dye

Dark Dye

I placed the cake layers in the freezer for several hours before icing them. That, combined with the advice on the Wilton cake leveler packaging, helped me to achieve a nice smooth base coat for the fondant. The cake looked good enough to eat already!

Icing in Progress

Icing Complete

Knowing that the diamond pattern is going to be my biggest challenge with the final cake, I opted to decorate this practice cake with a harlequin pattern. I used the icing spatula as a guide for cutting the squares that became the diamonds. Next time I'll use a proper ruler and a pizza cutter. In the practice cake I layered the lighter diamonds on top of the darker base. In the actual cake, I believe it will work best of I piece the diamonds together. It will allow me a little better control in keeping the diamond shapes even. I won't continue the diamonds on to the top of the final cake. Most of the top of the diamond layer will be covered by the top layer and I do not like how the diamonds had to be stretched to continue the pattern.

Solid Fondant

Adding the Diamonds

There will be dots on the top layer of the final cake and straight ribbons around the base of each layer. I decided to practice those techniques on this cake, too. It created a very fun pattern. All in all, I think the final result is a huge improvement over the first practice cake and could be considered a success.

The Final Result

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