Tag Archives: bold cakes

Madhatter!

Flashback - talksweettome.com

Originally posted February 16-17, 2008

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to attend the 2-day Madhatter course taught by Anna-Maria. There were four other very talented women in the class, and it was fun to talk to some other people who are passionate about cake decorating. It was great to hear some of their cake stories and share tips and tricks…it was a great weekend.

On Saturday we learned how to cut and ganache the bottom and top tiers. Usually if there is time it is best to also cover the bottom layer so that it is easier to put the stripes on during the second day, but we decided to wait until the ganache had some time to set and do it in the morning.

Sunday we covered the bottom tier, put on the stripes, covered the top tier and placed it on top of the bottom one, made the ribbon and bow, and placed the balls around the base of the cake. Everyone used very different colors, so it was great to see all of them together at the end.

All madhatter cakes - Talk Sweet to Me
For most of Saturday night I had color combinations swirling around in my head. Orange and green? Tangerine and aquamarine? Magenta and bright green? In the end, I was inspired by fabric on the shirt of a woman who was on the bus with me on Saturday night. Since the Madhatter has such bold lines, I figured that bold colors were best for it. I chose bright red, orange, and a dark coral color with black and white accents.

Madhatter cake - Talk Sweet to Me
I was very happy with most of the craftsmanship (or craftswomanship!) on my cake. The top tier ended up giving me a bit of trouble though. It wasn’t cut quite right (I didn’t take off enough of a wedge for the first cut), so I ended up having to stick some extra pieces of icing underneath the base of the top tier to hold it up at the correct angle. The good thing about cake is that there is usually a way to fix the problems that arise…you just have to learn those tricks, though it is of course best to avoid having to use them in the first place! The covering of the top tier was less than ideal as I pushed down a little bit too hard when I was smoothing the darn thing and it got squished on the side. But there is something to learn with every cake, and hopefully I will improve next time.

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Full On and Flat Out – Madhatter and More

Flashback - talksweettome.com

Originally posted February 6, 2008

Today was pretty full-on. In a very good way.

After completing a Spotty Present Box cake, I finished the gerbera daisies that were started last week. The first layer has to dry before the second layer of petals is put on, and after cutting out and preparing the second layer it must immediately be placed on top of the first layer so that it will form to the shape of the first dried layer. After letting the new layer dry for a little while, I dipped them in the colors (orange, yellow, and magenta today). The middle was made by rolling a small ball of white icing, pressing it with a grid-type fabric to make the pattern on top, and then dipping it into the yellow solution and placing it right onto the flower while it was still wet.

Spotty Present Box Cake - Talk Sweet to Me

Gerbera daisy sugar flower - Talk Sweet To Me

FYI: Did you know that each petal on a daisy is actually a tiny flower in itself? And that the middle is also made up of many very small flowers? The one “flower” that we see is actually a whole bunch of flowers – hundreds for the price of one! My apologies, this is the biology nerd in me trying to get out. I think it is totally fascinating. Back to the cakes…

But first, morning tea. Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combinations to soothe my (very unfortunately) raging sweet tooth. So you can imagine my utter astonishment when someone said that they had never experienced this before. I brought in some Reese’s Peanut Butter cups from the candy store near my apartment that happens to sell American candy at over twice the price one would pay for the same thing at home. But it was worth every penny (and every calorie, too)!

After replenishing our energy, I talked with Handi about how to construct tiered cakes and helped cover a large base tier for a 4-tier cake he was working on. I also helped put the other layers together…quite exciting to work with multiple tiers!

Putting apricot gel on the ganached layer:

Apricot gel - Talk Sweet to Me
Handi and I knead the icing :

Preparing icing - Talk Sweet To Me

Handi picks up the icing…

Picking up icing - Talk Sweet To Me

…and places it on the cake:

Handi places icing - Talk Sweet To Me

We work quickly to secure the edges and smooth the icing:

Covering layer with Handi - Talk Sweet To Me

The board is covered at the same time, and edges trimmed off:

Covering board - Talk Sweet To Me

Here I am placing the top tier, complete with a cheesy smile and a dusting of cornflour:

Placing top layer snowflake cake - Talk Sweet To Me

I place the silver balls as per Handi’s instructions – “Randomly, but not random.” Controlled chaos, I guess…

Working snowflake cake - Talk Sweet To Me

Handi worked some more magic, and the cake was complete!

Snowflake Cake by Planet Cake

The next cake was by far the highlight of my week. I’ve wanted to work on a Madhatter cake for quite some time now, so it was fantastic to finally get a chance to do it! Plus, it would give me a bit of a head start when I did the Madhatter course the next weekend.

Here is the drawing that I worked from – a one-tier, striped Madhatter cake.

Madhatter cake drawing - Talk Sweet To Me

I started out covering the cake with white icing for the base layer. It is best to let it dry a bit before proceeding with the stripes.

Covering Madhatter - Talk Sweet To Me

Then it was time to put on the stripes!

Starting stripes for madhatter - Talk Sweet To Me

Adding stripes to madhatter - Talk Sweet To Me

Finished madhatter stripes - Talk Sweet To Me

Then just a bit of finishing – the bow, the balls around the base, covering the board, and piping the message.

Madhatter Cake - Talk Sweet to Me

With all of that fit into one day at Planet Cake, it was a long one. Putting the stripes on the Madhatter cake took quite a long time, but I had a blast doing it. So I didn’t actually leave until 8pm, right when it started pouring down rain, but that was partly due to the break I took to look at Margie’s stunning photos from her recent travels in the USA through Utah, Colorado, California, and some other places out West. It was fun to see, but made me miss home. Sniff, sniff.

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Inspiration Cakes: BOLD!

Bold - textures and patterns - Talk Sweet to Me - talksweettome.com

Over the years, I’ve torn countless inspiration cakes out of magazines, newspapers, and wherever else I can find them.  Some photos have faded over time, and although not all of them still have the information on them, I promise to do my best to provide credits for the cakes you see on TSTM. These folks all deserve to be recognized for their amazing hard work and beautiful designs! Enjoy!

INSPIRATION CAKES copy

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