Moulded Flowers and Fruits
AUSSIE CAKES CAKES by RACHEL WILLIAMS To see other Children's Birthday Cake books click here New softcover book with gorgeous full-colour photos and step-by-step instructions. 126 pages published 2009 Are you tired of plain old chocolate cake? Would you like to bake a real surprise? Enjoy more than 40 Australian-inspired baking and decorating ideas perfect for kids' parties and grown-up celebrations. These creative recipes are easy fun and cheap to make. And while you're waiting for the cake to cool brush up on your Aussie trivia with fats and figures about our wonderful culture Designs to delight everyone including Aussie icons like the Hills Hoist the meat pie and the Akubra. Aussie animal link here
MOULDED FLOWERS AND FRUITS
FLOWERS, leaves, fruits and vegetables can be moulded from fondant or modelling paste.
Almond paste can also be used, but the texture isn't as fine as fondant or modelling paste and it doesn't take the colour as well.
You can knead the colouring into the fondant or paste drop by drop, or you can paint the colours with a fine brush when quite dry.
Very dark colours, such as a deep red on roses, must he painted on when the flowers are dry.
Fruits, also, should be given their colourings when they're dry. Use a piece of clove for the stalks of the fruit.
After painting bananas yellow, leave until dry and give them a few, brown strokes.
To get the rough-skinned look on oranges and lemons, roll them into shape on a grater.
If you make apricots and plums, mark the indentation with the edge of a teaspoon.
And to give plums their "bloom", brush over with icing sugar when they're dry.
Keep your fingers dusted with icing sugar or cornflour when moulding the fondant or paste.
Mould tiny pieces into six petals for each flower, pinch to a point at the tip.
Arrange the petals and press centres together with the end of a wooden skewer.
Colour tiny pieces of the paste a deeper yellow (or paint when flowers are finished) and form a cup for each.
Brush back of each cup lightly with water and gently press on to the flower centre. Allow to dry and then brush the edge of each cup with orange colouring.'
Take out some of the paste for the stamens. Knead in yellow colouring and then form into thin rolls.
Roll out remaining paste thinly on a board lightly dusted with icing sugar or cornflour. Cut into circles the size you want the lilies to be.
Place a yellow stamen on a round and roll into a lily shape. Press bottom of lily to anchor stamen and trim off any excess paste with scissors. Gently pull the top of the petal to give a slight turn back point.
Take pieces of paste and mould into five round, flat petals for each flower.
Pinch each one at the base and join into a flower shape by pressing the bases of all with your fingers.
Cut off any surplus paste from the back with a pair of sharp scissors. Place each flower on a board and open up the petals with the end of a skewer. Pipe a spot of royal icing in the centre of each.
First mould the large flat petal, giving it a slightly fluted edge. Make a smaller petal the same shape. Dab a little water on the back and press gently over the large petal.
For the centre of each, roll out pieces of the paste thinly, fold in halves lightly and moisten back with a little water. Press in centre and leave until dry. Use green royal icing for the calyx of each flower.
Take small pieces of paste and shape five petals for each flower, hollowing them slightly in the centre and curling the edges back.
Put together, overlapping each petal. Pinch bases together and cut off excess paste with sharp scissors.
When dry, paint the centre of each flower yellow.
Make the centres first. Take small pieces of fondant and press out as thinly as possible into crescent shapes.
Roll each, keeping the centre of the roll lower than the outside. Now press out two pieces of paste thinly and shape into petals. Place one on either side of the centre.
Mould five more petals and overlap around the last two. Remember to press the paste out thinly and always make the outside petals of the rose the largest.
Take a small piece of fondant and roll it in the palms of your hands until smooth. Now shape into a curved petal.
Make another four (each flower has five petals). When dry, tint each petal, leaving the base white.
Join petals together, one overlapping the other, and fix with a little royal icing. Pipe a cluster of dots in the centre and paint them black.
Roll out pieces of fondant into strips 3/4in wide and 2 1/2in long. Cut each into 1/4in wide petals.
Shape small pieces of fondant into balls and paint yellow. Roll each petal strip around a yellow centre and arrange the petals to form a flower.
Flatten out centre and then pipe a few tiny dots on top. Tint them golden-yellow.
Roll out fondant and cut into leaf shapes. The long type of leaf shown in the picture has been shaped on one side into a raised curve to give a natural effect.
If you want to mark veins in a leaf, use a sharp knife.
Net Motifs for Cakes
Net and design should be fixed around a bottle ready for piping.
THESE motifs make attractive decorations for tops, sides or corners of cakes.
Use silk dress net for these motifs, or you can use cotton net, but it should first be stiffened with egg-white.
You can get a good shape for a corner design by stretching the net around a bottle.
First choose your design and trace it on to waxed paper or greaseproof paper. If using greaseproof paper, trace the design on it and then grease lightly with melted white vegetable shortening.
Grease the bottle lightly with melted white vegetable shortening and place the design on the bottle, smoothing out any creases. ( Design should be around exactly half the bottle).
Leave until firm and then stretch the net firmly over it. Secure with transparent adhesive tape.
Pipe over the design with a No. 0 or No. 1 writer. Build up the long lines three times and shorter lines twice. The open part of the design can be filled in with dots or lattice or left as it is.
When quite dry, trim off adhesive tape with a razor blade, warm the bottle for a second and lift off the net.
Carefully trim the edges with sharp scissors and pipe once over the reverse side of the design. Let that dry and fix to the cake corners with a little royal icing.
Triangular, oval, leaf, shield and heart shapes all make effective corner decorations if you can't find a design to suit.
Outline the shape you've chosen and place on a board. Pin the net firmly over it with drawing pins and pipe the outline, building up two or three times. Fill in with dots.
If you'd like it filled in with lattice, pipe this first and then do the outline. Very carefully place over a rolling pin to dry.
Lattice and Medallions
Lattice designs can be piped over the backs of greased patty tins or tablespoons.
Raised lattice, done with the fine writing pipes, makes an attractive decoration for the top and sides of a cake.
You can have various shapes by piping the lattice over tablespoons, or round or oval patty tins, or over special icing nails.
Lightly grease the spoon or tin with melted white vegetable shortening, put aside to
Pipe evenly spaced lines over the surface and leave until dry. Now pipe more lines to make the lattice. While still soft, trim off any long ends.
Finish with a piped decorative edging and leave at least 24 hours to dry thoroughly.
During the piping, if a line of icing breaks, remove and
pipe a new line, otherwise the weak spot will break when medallion is removed from tin.
When the icing is quite firm, remove the medallion by warming the underside of the tin or spoon very slightly.
This gentle heat melts the shortening and the medallion comes off easily. Attach to cake with a little royal icing.
If medallions are to decorate sides of cake, fix with royal icing but support with pins until the icing has stuck them to the cake.
These are two or more threads of icing hanging under each other around the sides of a cake.
To begin, take a writing pipe and touch the cake. Lift away but continue pressing the bag so that a thread of icing will hang freely.
When thread has dropped to the required length, bring pipe up to form a loop and touch side of the cake to
Build up these festoons three or four times, letting each layer dry before piping the next.
Always finish the joins of the festoons with a decoration of some sort-a dot, a small star, silver cachou or a small rose.