Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apache Belle Cake

Nobody in our family has any sort of birthday or celebration any time soon, and I needed to put my creative outlet to use, so I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions on what sort of cake to make. For fun, for something, for whatever. I got a few suggestions and requests, and I ended up with a client! An old friend's daughter (who babysat for us before going away to college) just turned 19 and was getting a weekend visit from her parents. They wanted a cake that had gold (non-metallic), black, and feathers. I jumped at the opportunity to make something completely different and grown-up for once, and drew out a sketch after perusing Pinterest and Google for inspiration. 
The birthday girl is on her school's dance team, and it turns out that black and gold (and white) are the colors of their uniforms, so I incorporated the triangle-diamond pattern the girls wear on their wrist cuffs into the cake. 

Then I made some test feathers with gumpaste (and a little fondant mixed in). I consulted my client on which look she liked best before starting to make all of them. 
She liked the one on the left. So I made more. 

Katie made some fondant stuff with me as I worked on the feathers. I like it when my kids want to join me. 

A few days before the cake was due, I baked the cake (chocolate chip vanilla cake, which was delicious and I still have the trimmings in my freezer to eat when I need cake). 

I had a bit of trouble covering these cakes. I couldn't get the fondant smooth enough, so I had to uncover it and re-cover it two or three times. It was so frustrating! 
But I learned that the icing must be super smooth and solid before the fondant even looks at the cake (yes, it has eyes). 
So once I fixed that problem, everything went much more smoothly. 

Once I was happy with their fondant cover, my favorite part began: decorating. I made the wrist cuff pattern with fondant that I cut and let dry for a little while before sticking on each diamond. 
And I used a thorougly washed Play Doh extruder to make the ropes that surround each diamond. It worked great!

Lastly, I stacked the small cake onto the large one and arranged the feathers around the cake. The pattern on the feathers was made with yellow petal dust and black food writer. 

Here are a few more views of the final product. 

Since it had to take a trip, I made a spare top feather just in case and placed the cake snugly in a box for transport. 
I am happy to say it made the trip and was very well-received and got eaten up! I really do enjoy knowing that people like the cakes I make, and this cake was fun because it is different from my usual kiddie cakes and challenging enough to teach me new skills. 

Now that that's done, I do have another cake-related project planned, but it's not needed for another month, so in the meantime, I have been working on this, which is not edible but will make an awesomely fun Christmas or birthday gift for my son. Any guesses what it might be?