Hope everyones January is going Ok?
This week I worked on a cake which had a theme RIGHT up my street, so much so it was staring through my keyhole. Usually I get WAY excited about these kinds of orders because its not everyday someone asks for stuff that I'm really into, BUT the excitedness was overruled by the sheer terror of actually pulling it off. I had never carved such a shape from a block of cake before, and I had never covered a shape like that in icing, so as excited as I was, I was mainly bricking it.
The theme.....a skull cake.
Luckily the customer who bought it had complete faith in me, it wasn't her first cake, she had previously ordered the very first 3 tier Waybuloo cake I made.
But nevertheless I still wasn't confident I could do it.
I baked all my 8" cakes and stacked them up with buttercream filling at the customers request. Then what? I looked at this high stack of cakes and thought where the hell do I start to get a sphere shape from this without cutting the bits off that I need. Its going to end up like a wonky football with eyes. Luckily my baking mascot was right there to help staring at me from on top of the microwave.
You know when you go shopping and there's a sale on? and you know you don't really need the item but somehow you think one day it just MIGHT come in handy. That's what happened when I bought my mascot. I was walking around Tesco after Halloween and spotted 3 lonely looking skulls on the shelf, being drawn to skulls anyway I wandered over to take a look, £1.25 each...Bargain! He was supposed to light up and appeared broken but I gave him a loving home, and named him Ed. (Yeah...I named him. Even my KitchenAids have names!) Due to my cake cupboard not having enough room for him, he currently lives randomly on top of my microwave....or any available surface when he gets in the way. As he watches over all my cake decorating with a tooth grin he has earned the title of baking mascot.
Now was Ed's time to shine! He got lifted from the microwave and placed next to my stack of cakes, then on top of the cakes, then back to the side again...this was so difficult! But I picked up my knife and started to carve. I finally had the shape of his head and managed to keep the cheekbones intact. After faffing around, for a LONG time lightly shaving part off here and there I had my basic skull shape.
After that I slightly padded out the eyes and chin with fondant, put on his underwear (buttercream layer!) and popped him into the fridge for a while. Every time I opened the fridge he sat there on the top shelf staring at me with his sunken buttercream eyesockets :) hee hee
Then I pulled him out and gave him his basic fondant layer.
With my hands and sugar craft tools I sculpted in his teeth, nostrils, and defined the bone structure. Wow, all the hard part was over with, I carved and I covered! Time to get EXCITED!
I don't have an airbrush, so I used the next best thing, a paintbrush and watered down colourings! I mixed the colour I wanted and started to paint dark areas where the crevasses were deep to give more depth, and then lightened the colour as it came out.
After he dried (and I faffed around painting a little more!) I covered the board and made a wood floor pattern.
Whilst that set a little, I set to work making an eyeball, complete with optical nerve. Yummy.
I made a centipede from fondant hanging out of one eye socket, a spider on the board, and plenty of drippy blood. I thought it would be cool to have the skull crying blood tears, and I ALMOST cut part of the skull at the back to insert an exposed brain, but I thought that maybe going too far! LOL
Aptly named Ed after my fantastic mascot model for the day I'm quite proud of him, and honoured to call him Ed :) lol
Juicy Optical Nerve!
He sat in his box awaiting the reveal. Danielle took a peek and thankfully loved it! The birthday boy was waiting in the car because he didn't want to ruin the surprise, but curiosity got the better of him on the way home and he sneaked a peek! Thankfully he loved it too, so much so he was taking pictures of it and sending it to his mates and he also has it as his profile picture! Very cool :)
Thank-you Danielle again for another awesome order, I loved making Ed! :)