Friday, July 20, 2012

Handbag cake - complete

I have completed my first 3D cake! And in this photo it looks quite good...but let me tell you, there were some issues along the way! And as usual, I get so caught up in the process that I forget to take photos along the way, so I only have one "progress" photo and this is of the pink fondant icing I had rolled out.
I didn't have too much trouble colouring this fondant, using Americolor "Deep Pink" and unlike the "Fuchsia" that I've used for other things, this didn't seem to fade as it dried. But I have to say that I'm not happy with this icing that I have been using. I meant to buy 3kg of white fondant, but accidentally ordered White Chocolate fondant! And I also used a different brand, this is Cake Art plastic icing and I have to say that I find it really hard to knead and roll out. I get so frustrated with it, and it ends up all over me!!
On the other hand, I use Bakels Pettinice fondant in black and it is just so nice to work with!

So here are some of the troubles that I had:
  • The shape of the cake was just plain tricky, and I was lazy and I didn't ganache the cake, I just used regular icing. So when I laid the fondant on it, it was quite lumpy. Although my fiancĂ© said that the lumps gave it a more 'real' look, like there was stuff in the bag.
  • Smoothing the icing on the edges, the joins, was tricky. I think that instead of just laying one bit of icing over another, I should have squeezed the joins together and cut off the excess. That's what I did on the top of the sides, and it smoothed out a lot better.
  • The criss-crossing - I only had a little ruler, and I have to admit I rushed it, so the crosses didn't match up as I would have liked them. I also may have rushed with the stitching tool a little bit.
  • I used gold shimmer dust on the zip, and I think it looks good, but I had tried to mix it in with some water to make it more like paint, and that didn't happen. I also realised that I hadn't cleaned my paint brush from last time!
  • The handles that I had painstakingly pre-made broke!! One broke when I was trying to move it out of the way. And the other broke after I had put it on the cake! It just fell off and left black marks on the icing!! Grrr!!
  • And then there was the weight of the didn't seem too bad until the day after I iced it, when I opened the box to find it leaning back (thankfully in the right direction, so the decorations were still on the front). How annoying! But once again, fiancĂ© to the rescue: He propped it up with an empty "Rock Star" energy drink can!! 
Thankfully it all worked out in the end. The cake survived until Jessie's birthday, and everyone who ate it said it was nice. Although the cutting of it was kind of confusing!!

But what I learnt from this cake was:
  • Be very careful with the pre-made fondant stuff - maybe use some string or just hold things until you're sure that they're stuck
  • Think about the shape of the cake and the weight, where it might lean and all of that
  • Take your time with the decorations. Think things through and don't be so lazy.
  • Think about all the tools you'll need before you start - so you don't get frustrated with the getting up to get more things so many times!
  • When someone asks if you want help, just accept it!!
  • Next handbag cake will be more of a clutch style :)

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