Cake Talk Structure Tutorials

Sugar Sculpting – Valentine’s Day Cupid Cake- It’s a TALL story!

Sculpting Sugar Cupid Cake for Valentine Day

TALL FEATS AND SUGAR SCULPTING

We’re such a misunderstood bunch we Cake Makers (cue the violins)

People often call us bakers. To those of us who go the extra mile, ‘baking’ is just the tip of the iceberg! We’d like to emphasise the ‘ARTIST’ in ‘Cake Artist’, although frankly there is a whole lot more than artistry involved.

All the planning, preparation and logistics involved can be a real bind. And don’t forget the stressful cake journeys, the ‘How the hec am I going to lift it?’ conversations and the late nights! LATE NIGHTS! (I can tell, you’re heart is bleeding already!)

But for those Muggles amongst you who have no sympathy, My Cheeky Cupid Cake threw it all at me so I’ve laid him bare for you.

MY CHEEKY CUPID

Cupid Cake Sculpture Rosie Cake Diva Valentine Day

Cheeky Cupid presented to Macclesfield Town Hall by Oak Furnitureland

In truth, I nearly DID lay him bare! I initially sketched him in the altogether, you know, cos that’s the done thing with statues. It’s proper arty! But I just didn’t know where to put his ‘extra bits and pieces’.

And once I started doing my homework and studying statues in more detail I realised that Sculptors throughout history must have had the same dilemma as me. See for yourself –  on most naked sculptures odd bits of cloth seemed to find their way awkwardly draped across body parts. Sometimes they look a bit weird. So instead I bit the bullet and dressed my little Cupid, much to the relief of my kids!

You can see how I made him in detail below, but first he needed a column to sit on. So this is my TALL story! (3ft tall to be precise). 😉

CUPID’S COLUMN

The client, Oak Furnitureland, likes tall cakes. They make a statement and create the wow factor they are after. But ‘tall’ has its challenges. Two cakes don’t sit on top of each other without support, let alone seven. And seven fruitcakes at that. Much heavier than the preferred cakes for sculpting and stacking and also not as structurally stable. I needed to prepare each cake so that it was uniform and level before stacking.

Who wants to waste fruitcake? Not me! So the last thing I wanted to do was level the cakes by trimming off the crown. Have a look at my post of deep and even baking to see how to bake your cakes as level as possible:  How to Bake Level Cakes

Who wants to waste fruitcake? Not me! So the last thing I wanted to do was level the cakes by trimming off the crown. Have a look at my post of deep and even baking to see how to bake your cakes as level as possible:  How to Bake Level Cakes

But even the most evenly baked cake needs some levelling and I really didn’t want to cut into mine. Because of all the fruit and nuts you simply cannot make as clean a cut as you can with, say, a Madeira cake. Fruitcake carving is a mucky business! So instead I used marzipan to create a false edge. By turning each cake upside down I could apply and smooth the marzipan so that when I turned it upright again I had a lovely straight edged cake to cover. RESULT 🙂

STRUCTURE

Structurally I needed to make sure that each cake was not carrying the weight above it. This column was going to be heavy, and needed to be transported and I simply couldn’t take any chances.

If you are planning on making a cake that needs structural support, I do a thorough step by step in my latest Craftsy Class. Currently you can use my link to get a 50% discount: Craftsy Class Discount (Expires May 2017)

Castle Cake

How to make a Castle Cake – My Craftsy Class

Treehouse cake Fairy

The column structure was based on the techniques used in my class.

SCULPTING CUPID

Well this was a challenge. Proper grown-up sculpting and with a massive time pressure too.

But I can’t dive straight in. I have to sketch some ideas because I have to work out how on earth I’m going to make it.

I created the bow and arrow in pastillage early on as I want them to be rock solid when I add them to the sculpture.

The base needed covering so I got to marbling. I’ll do that properly in another post. (I promise!)

And then I start with a base of Rice Krispie Treat and Chocolate Ganache for Cupid’s body.

The wings were made out of gum paste (flower paste) and built onto a base of edible rice paper.

I coloured the gum paste with a little caramel to make it easier to paint.

And after all the detail goes on…

MY LITTLE BOY!


And now for the NIGHTMARE… HOW DO WE LIFT IT?

Yeah- somehow I’ve got to move the whole show to the client over an hour away.

I can’t just transport it in a cake box. We have to have some solid structure to grab hold of. And it’s heavy. And unbalanced. RIDICULOUSLY unbalanced. And for this I want a medal.

No – seriously I WANT A MEDAL.

Because I have transported big cakes. I’ve moved 7ft people cakes. I’ve moved 2 metre elephant cakes. But there is something about this ridiculously unbalanced 7 tier column that just wants to sway any-which-way in the back of a vehicle.

So here was my cunning plan.

I fixed a blank plate to the central structure with pre drilled holes to house 4 lengths of rope. The rope was pink, which is totally irrelevant of course. But somehow it pleased me.

So Cupid’s Column was anchored to 4 points of the vehicle and didn’t wobble wobble on the way.

Frankly – I have awarded myself a medal for that alone, but add to that the fact that it was raining. (I know that Cake Makers will feel my pain here)

Transporting Big Cakes with Rosie Cake Diva

Travelling with a stupid shaped cake. I WANT A MEDAL!

But the blank plate also allowed me to cover the cake with plastic without touching the cake and so my happy ending is complete and Cupid lives to play havoc on Valentine’s Day.

The cake will be eaten on 17th February in aid of the Mayor’s Charity.

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