Monday, 5 September 2011

Barbie Cake Part 3 - The Decorating

So this is the third and final part of my Barbie Cake series. Today I'll be giving you some tips on how to actually decorate a barbie cake, and how to use fondant. One thing I'll say is that I mis-measured, and so my barbie dress ended up too big for the cake base, so I ended up with two separate cakes, but I did tie them in together. But before I begin, don't forget to check out my giveaway! Sit back and have a cocktail, this is going to be one long post! 

Ok, so as you saw in parts one and two, I made the marshmallow fondant and rice krispie base ahead of time, just to make life easier. Decorating day required me to make a batch of buttercream icing. Now, in the past couple of years, I've switched my recipe for something a bit different if I'm actually decorating. Often if I'm just making cupcakes for the family or something like that, I'll use the Betty Crocker Buttercream Recipe. Actually, taste wise my hubby prefers it. However, the Wilton Buttercream Recipe is a much better recipe for decorating, because of the consistency. It really does whatever you want it to, and sticks in place. I think it's because of the Crisco. I know, it's gross to think of putting vegetable shortening in your icing, but it just works, and I think it tastes just as good personally. That being said, on to the decorating.

I made the icing purple, because I figured if I did the whole thing pink, it would look like a hot pink mess... toooo much. After baking and cooling an 11" cake, I iced both the cake and the rice krispies with what's called a "crumb layer" of icing. This basically means a very thin layer of icing that you let set for a while. This serves a few purposes. First, it means that when you're doing your properly icing your cake, it puts a barrier between messy looking crumbs and your icing. Second, it gives the fondant or piped icing something to stick to.  

At this point I'll explain the dress first, then the cake later on. So I've often been asked how to make the dress look like it has waves in it. The secret? Big hunks of fondant rolled into a sort of cylinder shape, but rolled really thin at one end. I made five of them, just because.  

I wanted to make sure I spread them out at least somewhat evenly, so I made small marks with a knife on the icing, and then stuck them on with a bit of a firm hand. 

Next was the cover. To make this, first knead the fondant you will be using for a few minutes to make sure it's good and malleable. What I do is measure the cake from one end to the other, bottom to top to bottom, and then make sure my rolled out fondant gives me a few extra inches. BUT: make sure you roll it out on icing sugar, and that you lift the fondant very frequently to re-spread the icing sugar. I do this, but I tend to always just take it a bit to far without lifting, and I end up ripping my fondant off the table. I think this has happened to me just about every time I've made a cake... Argh!!!

Once the fondant is the right size, lift it up and try to centre it over the cake, or in this case rice krispies. One tip I heard when I first started really helped me out. My instinct would have been to try to smooth down the fondant over cake, but instead, you should be sort of pushing up and making the fondant cup around the cake, not spreading it down, because it will stretch and tear. You'll see what I mean once you do it. When shapes are not following the natural progression of the fondant, like the waves, always lift the fondant a little and cup it in, forcing it to fit the shape properly. It will do this as long as you don't stretch it out, even if it seems unnatural. If there are large surfaces that need smoothing, you can use a fondant smoother, I usually do, they do a great job!

Trim the fondant, but not too close to the cake, because then it will peak through. Then you can dip your finger in a little water and smooth out the rough edges. 

I decided to have a bit of a flowery theme here, just because I have some flower shaped fondant cutters. So I decorated the base with 5 leaves. Then I added a couple of flowers to the base to tie it all in. Some people won't like this, but I've found the best way to make fondant stick on fondant is by rubbing the tiniest amount of vodka on the back. Sorry peeps, it just is. I do mean tiny though. Nothing that would hurt anyone.

For the actual Barbie top, which you can find in most good decorating stores, that part is a little challenging. What I did was cut out two of the same shape that connected at the shoulders. Then I stuck them together and smushed them. Another blogger, I'm really sorry but I don't remember who, gave the tip that a little Crisco will smooth out imperfections in fondant, so I used that to make the shoulders a little smoother. I was sure I took pics of this process, but apparently not. I tied it all together by using some of the darker fondant to make a twisted looking waste type thing (that's the technical term, I think) and then put a flower on the chest to finish it off.

As for the actual cake, I used a technique that I love, in which you pipe little star shaped flowers onto the cake, and it makes everything look a little bit fluffy. I've done other cakes like this and generally find them less stressful than fondant, like this superman cake I made for a good friend some time ago.

So what I did was put some more icing on the top of the cake, and smoothed it out as much as possible with a knife made for icing cakes. Then I piped the icing on the sides.

Again, wanting to tie in the two cakes, I decided to print out a pic of a crown, which I used to trace onto some rolled out fondant and cut around it.

Instead of the circles on top of the crown pic, I added small flowers to match the dress, and stuck it on the buttercream. I used a pic to trace where I wanted to pipe the words out, and then piped it on. I added two fondant hearts because Katie is two years old, and then I just topped it with some crown candles.

I also had a fondant crown for the Barbie, but that seems to be missing too.. Me thinks I forgot to download a couple of pics of the ol' camera, but this post is getting way to long, so I think I'll stop here. Hope this will help some novice cake decorators out, I had lots of fun sharing. Now back to the Mediterranean Diet!!!!!

Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. Superb! As I have found one of most impressive designed Cake from this source. The existing Barbie conceptive cake is really looking one of elegant feature to impress someone. I am truly surprised to see this one. Thanks for sharing.