I had an absolute blast making this cake for a friend of a friend. She came to me with some design elements in mind, and this is what we came up with for the final product.
I'm fairly confidant using fondant to sculpt decorational elements, but there's always a bit of terror lurking in the back of my mind when it comes to covering cakes in fondant. It's tricky. Everything matters. Is it too humid? You're screwed. Is it too dry? You're screwed. Is your cake not quite cool enough? Screwed!
Lucky for me, I was either well enough prepared or the gods favoured me last weekend, because the fondant on this cake cooperated beautifully. Nary a crack nor tear in sight. Thank you, fondant gods.
My favourite part about baking and decorating cakes is making, using, and "taste testing" the buttercream. Ah buttercream, the glue that holds it all together. Literally!
I don't use any one particular buttercream recipe. I do know that the kind of buttercream I make is "American" as opposed to "Swiss", which involves meringue and heating sugar and a lot of whisking and temperature-taking that quite frankly I'm not up for. My buttercream is essentially creamed unsalted butter, icing sugar, and a bit of milk or cream. Easy peasy.
The cake recipe I'm currently flirting with belongs to the talented Kara of Kara's Couture Cakes. It's not too sweet (which is good, because the buttercream is very sweet) and it's quite dense, which I personally prefer to a fluffy, airy cake - both for textural reasons and because I'm terrified that if I use a lighter cake it will be crushed under the weight of the fondant and buttercream. I don't know if my fears are justified but I'm not willing to find out at this point.
Here's a few photos of the cake coming together:
Fondant is awesome because getting it to stick to itself is super easy. Just brush the surface with a bit of water and presto, you have fondant glue! It's so much easier than it looks, I'm almost ashamed to admit it.
My favourite detail of the entire cake was the elephant. Putting this guy together was a bit of a pain but I love how he turned out, balancing all jaunty-like on his ball. I gave him a little tail, too:
My husband also enjoyed the wee elephant, or as he called it, the "pachyderm". Except that he kept saying it in French, and Québécois French at that, so "pachyderme", but it sounded like "pakederrrrrmmmm" because Québécois French is amazing.
And there, we've all learned something. Thanks for reading!
About the Author
Hi, I'm Adriana! I'm a compulsive baker of goods, an artist, a chorister, and a lover of the 90’s. I've hiked across Spain and can catch my own fish for dinner.