Last week as I said was cake week, so I couldn't go too long without mentioning this one. An order for my best friend's co-worker, the brief was...Hawaii! This was to be a 50th birthday cake so it had to be special. I hadn't done a cake like this before so I was looking forward to the challenge, especially as she'd asked for a hula girl and I don't have a lot of experience in making figures but I had to give it a go, and I'm really happy with how she turned out!
The cake itself is a classic Victoria sponge mix sandwiched with vanilla buttercream. The design she'd asked for was a beach/ocean scene, hula girl, palm tree and flowers etc. The beach was easy, it just had to be crushed biscuits (malted milks to be exact), although the only problem with this is that it is of course difficult to get any kind of decoration to actually stick to biscuit so everything has to be held in place with cocktail sticks.
The ocean was made with blue vanilla buttercream and also plain buttercream for the tips of the waves. Marbleling them together leaving the white bit at the top really helped in making them look realistic.
Now for the hard bit, the hula girl. I've always used fondant before, but it takes ages to dry and if too big, sags under the weight. So this time I used Wilton gumpase, it was brilliant! I was even able to use Sugarflair food colouring paste to create all the colours I needed. I did use fondant for her hair and coconut bra but everything else was made from coloured gum paste. For an extra girly touch I added eyelashes with an icing pen. The palm tree was also gumpase, I had to leave the 'trunk overnight at an angle so that it would set in a palm tree fashion :D. The leaves were made by using a leaf cutter, I then rolled it out a bit more to make it longer and let them dry on colouring paste tubs and fixed them on the trunk with royal icing. As it was a for a 50th birthday I made a pink fondant "50" in a curly font and placed it in the middle of the ocean.
For the last bit of decoration I made what felt like a million gumpaste flowers, as they were meant to be Hawaiian flowers I made them white with pink edged (done with petal dust), blue, pink, purple and orange, all with a yellow royal icing middle. I made these with my cherry blossom mould I used on my brother's wedding cake, this meant I could do them super fast without having to worry bout sculpting each one. I laid these round the bottom of the cake and also some smaller ones on the figures for extra detail.
Stepping back I was really happy with this cake, as I said with the biscuit - it was a bit difficult to make the flowers stick to it, but I can't think of a better way of making realistic sand. Delivering it was pretty scary, she hula'd all the way there! But as she was stuck down with a cocktail stick she wasn't going anywhere! And now summer has finally come, who doesn't love a beach cake?
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