Friday, December 23, 2011
When it comes to cake designs, I usually get a lot of notice before a birthday. In this case, Tristan gave me a week. One...week. I thought he would want Link or Mario or some other video game character, but he had been playing a lot of Kingdom Hearts 2 lately and decided he wanted a cake in the shape of the Keyblade (Mickey is holding it in the photo below). Okay...at least it's better than his brother who wanted the actual Keyblade for his birthday ("But Mom...it's only $500!").
Looking at the Keyblade (Mickey is holding), I knew I would need fondant - and lots of it. Maybe even some chocolate. I also knew I would need to make sure I had enough of my silver and gold Pearl Dust. I then thought maybe I should just forgo baking a cake and use Twinkies instead, lining them end to end...nah.
Thank heaven there weren't too many details - although did you notice the chain at the end with the Mickey silhouette? That's the first thing I noticed since I had to figure out how to make it :)
I started by sketching out the design. I folded a piece of paper into thirds and drew it out. It was easier for me to keep the scale right with the paper folded.
It really is a simple design if you're drawing it. I have to admit all the corners and crevices intimidated me.
The cake is cut out of a 13 x 9" cake. It looks like a big cake, but it really only uses about half of the actual cake. These instructions assume you already have your cake baked. So if you don't, go ahead. I'll wait :)
I used the whole top strip of cake shown in the picture above and part of the second strip. The bottom left corner piece was used to make the handle and the bottom center piece was used to make the blade. The rest of the cake can be put aside for you to munch on as you assemble the Keyblade Cake.
For the handle, the square cake piece needs to be rounded out on one side and the center cut out (creating a large "D" shape).
From the inner cut-out section of the handle, the center is cut out to be used. The side pieces can be discarded (eaten).
The pieces (except the blade) were then lined up on my "cake board".
The "cake board" was made from a sheet of wrapping paper covered in clear contact paper and sitting on a large airbake cookie sheet. I like this idea because it can be wiped clean after use, rolled up and stored for later use. (I also highly recommend the cookie sheet for keeping the bottoms of your cookies from burning!)
The inner handle was then removed (to make icing easier) and the rest of the cake was iced with vanilla using a large size 789 Wilton icing tip. This is a huge, wide icing tip that makes icing cakes SO much easier! I can pipe the icing on in huge strips and then smooth it out.
Then the icing was smoothed down. If you plan to use the marshmallow fondant like I did, you don't have to worry about getting the icing really smooth.
I covered the whole sword with marshmallow fondant (the whole project took half a recipe). Small round cylinders made of fondant were placed vertically at the tips of the handle before they were covered with fondant. This created the protruding edges. At the top center of the handle, an extra piece of fondant was placed beneath the top layer to jut out the top handle more.
I then iced and wrapped the inner handle (the piece that was previously removed for icing) with marshmallow fondant, cut it down to size and put the piece in place. Strips of fondant were added to cover the ugly seams and more details were added (ridges in the handle).
The "blade" part of the keyblade was one of the more challenging parts of the cake. I decided to make it "just good enough". I apologize for not having many pictures of this part of the process.
I had originally carved the blade piece just as my sketch dictated. But I later removed the rounded tips and used fondant for those pieces because the cake would just crumble and fall apart with so small a detail.
With the carved piece of cake, I molded two round cylinders from fondant and placed them at two tips of the blade. I then lightly iced the sides and edges and wrapped it in fondant. I chose to wrap the sides in fondant and then cut out a more detailed top piece of fondant to just place on top.
With the final touch of the keyblade in place, I started painting.
I tried making a shimmery gold/yellow paint from yellow food coloring, almond extract and gold pearl dust but in the final product, the gold shimmer just doesn't come through very much. The "silver color" was a mixture of silver pearl dust, almond extract and a smidgen of black food coloring gel. Once the silver areas were done, I made a stronger black to paint the inner handle.
For the top chain hook, I rolled marshmallow fondant into a rope and created a "corkscrew" to go into the end of the cake, attached a "clasp" to the corkscrew, and then attached the base of the "clasp" to a chain link.
For the Mickey Mouse head, I rolled out marshmallow fondant to about 1/4 inch thick, lightly pressed a 2" biscuit cutter into the fondant for the main part of the head and a smaller circle (I used a bottle cap from a sprinkles jar) for the ears. Just lightly press the circles into the fondant. Don't push all the way through. Then cut out the Mickey Mouse head.
Once I cut it out, I thought something was off. Then I realized that Mickey's ears were supposed to be full circles just barely attached to his head so I molded the fondant ears to make them more full circles. It looked less like a bear head then.
The hole in the top was created using a size 12 round decorating tip.
For the chain, marshmallow fondant was rolled into ropes and formed into the rectangular chain links. I went ahead and closed the links at this time even though they weren't linked together. All the chain pieces were painted yellow gold.
Once the paint had dried, I cut a hole into the end of the cake, inserted the corkscrew chain piece, cut one end of each chain link and began connecting the pieces ending with the Mickey Mouse head.
With the chain completed, the cake was finished!