I think anyone who loves cake has looked at one that was professionally made, and said to themselves 'Gee - I wish I could do something like that!'
Ok, so maybe you didn't say 'Gee' - but the point is, there is a curiosity about fancy cakes that has spread world wide. The internet makes it very easy to type in what design of cake you are looking for, along with countless "how-to" videos and blogs. For some people born with an artistic side, attempting to duplicate one of these fondant masterpieces can sometimes be a piece of cake. (ha ha) For those people that are less talented in the artsy department, they need to rely on videos and images to show them the way.
As a self-proclaimed cake decorator, I have had my share of successes and failures, and I know how difficult it can be to end up with a product you would actually show in public. When I asked some of my fellow cake lovers (who are artistically challenged) what they would want to read on a blog about cake, they said "start from the beginning!" and "show me the way!"
That sounded like a reasonable request.
I know how annoying is it to compare your own work to a fancy cake photo, only to be left disappointed with the final result. For this lesson, we are going to avoid any comparisons and will to do this pre-internet way. The written way. Now go put on your apron and proceed to step one.
Step 1: Go to the kitchen and bake a 9" round cake. Find a recipe, any recipe, and bake the cake.
Step 2: Let the cake cool (ALL THE WAY - don't get ahead of yourself or all hell will break loose)
Step 3: get some icing from the store, pref. vanilla. Any kind will do, but chocolate will be messy.
Step 4: use a knife, or dental floss wrapped around your fingers, and cut that cake in half. simple.
Step 5: flip the cake over, so the bottom becomes the top and you have a flat surface to work with.
Step 6: put something in between the layers: fruit, more icing, chocolate bars, icing & chocolate bars...
Step 7: brush off any crumbs with your hands, then cover the whole cake in icing. just slop it on.
Step 8: take a piece of cardboard, cut into a square that is as tall as your cake. Wipe the excess icing off with the cardboard, first from the top, then from around the side.
Step 9: put your cake in the fridge for 1-2 hours. This is the crumb coat. LET THIS HARDEN.
Step 10: take cake out. repeat step six (minus the brushing of the crumbs because there shouldn't be any)
Step 11: get a ball of fondant the size of a grapefruit. Dye it whatever colour you want. Wear rubber gloves.
Step 12: roll out the fondant on a counter, using icing sugar or flour so it doesn't stick.1/4" thick. flip often.
Step 13: pick up your giant piece of rolled out fondant and plop it onto the centre of your cake. use your hands to flatten the top and then come around the sides, stretching the fondant wherever it is folding.
Step 14: trim off the excess fondant that will be hanging off the bottom, and discard.
Step 15: take some more fondant, whatever colour you want, and roll it into little gumball sized balls.
Step 16: put balls around the bottom of the cake so you hide any bumps, and at the same time, it looks fancy.
Step 17: use a shaped cookie cutter and cut out some shapes in more colours of fondant.
Step 18: mix icing sugar with some water, and use this to attach the shapes to the cake, anywhere you want.
Step 19: DON'T PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE - fondant sweats in the fridge, and this can be all sorts of trouble.
It should look something like this:
Well - at least you tried and that's what really counts! Now sit back, drink wine and move onto the next step..
Step 20: email Tanya@LeGateauBakeShop.com and let her worry about it. That's what she's there for. Le Gateau Bake Shop will make sure your cake looks like the photo, and no one says you have to tell anyone that it didn't come from your kitchen ;)