A birthday cake for a little girl who is very fond of books. She's my son's schoolmate as well as my friend's daughter. We had a wonderful party at their place - the highlights were the dance floor and the karaoke singing which kept as awake till the early morning hours of Valentine's day. Some of the songs have still not left my lips...Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein...How I love music!!! Had a gala time... :)
I am a book-taught ametuer in cake decoration. Few of the techniques I use here might not be the proper proffesional way.
Things you will need...
A little patience, no special talent other than this is needed
White Icing/Sugar Paste or Fondant
Marzipan - 500gm
Sugar Modelling tool kit(if you don't have can adjust with few kitchen equipments and cocktail sticks)Paste food color
Marmalade(shredless) or any jam without bits
Paint Brushes(preferably sabel hair brushes) - few of the different sizes
Non stick icing sheet
Flower cutter - 3 different sizes
To marzipan a cake you need a glace which helps the marzipan to stick to the cake. I have used marmalade glace here. To make marmalade glace you will need...
Marmalede - 200 gm
Water - 45ml
Place marmalade and water in a saucepan and heat gently until the marmalade dissolves fully. Bring to boil. Take off heat and set it aside to cool.
Any jam without bits can be used. If using a jam with bits, strain after boiling.
Marzipaning the Cake:
Marzipaning is essential for a smooth, even, blemish free cake. To do this unwrap the cake and remove the lining paper. Place the cake on the cake board, lightly roll the cake with a rolling pin to flatten slightly. Brush the top and side with marmalade glace. Knead the marzipan to make it smooth. Sprikle the work surface with seived icing sugar. Roll out the marzipan to suit the shape of the cake. To transfer it on to the cake, roll the marzipan loosely around the rolling pin. Lift the rolling pin with the marzipan on it and place it on top of the cake positioning it correctly. Smooth it and trim off the extra lengths. Save the extras for later use. Some people don't like the taste of marzipan. In that case use sugarpaste instead. Check out the links I've given below for a clearer understanding.
To make the sofa:
To make the sofa arrange the wafer biscuits as shown in the figure(let your imagination run wild, personalise your sofa, love seat or even couch, to your liking). You might need to trim off the extra lengths of the wafers which makes the handles. Once you are happy with the look, stick them together with marmalade glace. I have used marzipan to stick the back rest. Employ marzipan wherever you find it difficult to stick with just marmalade glace. Make the side table with same techniques. Can cut the wafers to a size of ur liking. Use a sharp knife while cutting to prevent the chipped edges. Once assembled you need to cover it with marzipan to get a smooth finish for the sugarpaste decoration. Can do this by bushing maramalade glaze on the sofa, roll out the marzipan on a smooth dusted surface and cut it into desired shapes. I used a ruler to measure and cut it with the tool shown in figure. The tools are very handy, helps to attain better perfection and worth the price. I highly recommend them.
Colouring Sugar paste:
You can manage with just the primary colours red, blue, yellow and black. Other colors can be obtained by mixing these. It's better to buy brown since you need to knead way too much to obtain the color with red and green. I'm giving few combinations here. You might be knowing these combinations already, but just in case if you don't remember, here it is...
Red+Yellow= Orange, when a small tinge of both are used with white as the sugarpaste base you can get skin colour.
The sugarpaste I used here is storebought and comes white in colour. You can make sugarpaste at home(I've never tried, choosing the easier option since decorating itself is so time consuming). If you need the recipe for sugarpaste please feel free to ask. Coming to coloring, we need paste colors for this, powder colors can also be used eventhough pastes are more effective. Take as much as sugrapaste you need. With the help a cocktail stick transfer the color paste to the sugarpaste. Go slow starting with very less color since the paste colours are very concetrated. Knead until you get an even finish. Cover the sugarpaste with cling film until use to prevent drying out.(Kneading is the toughest part for me...phew...)
I used dark brown for sofa and covered the marzipaned sofa and side table with brown sugarpaste, following the same steps as we did for marzipan covering.
For the side piping in pink, color the sugarpaste with very little red and you can get pink. To get the piping threads use an icing gun(i don't have one) or if you are familiar with the idiyappam press(chakli maker, shown in figure) use that(it's very handy, I use it for all my sugarpaste attempts). Stick the piping along the sides. To stick, brush water lightly with a 0 brush. Cut out different shades of pink flowers with the flower cutter and decorate the sofa with it. Stick using water. If you dont have flower cutter make small balls of sugarpaste and flatten it with hand to get polka dots of different sizes. This would look equally good. To make the drawers I have cut out sugar paste oblongs and marked the edge design with the tool shown in figure.
The frills can be made by rolling cocktail sticks along one side of sugrapaste stripes. See figure.
Sugar paste Figure:
To get the skin colour add very little red and yellow to the white sugarpaste. For the hair I used the chakli press(icing gun) or can make this with the help of a seive. Press a small ball of sugarpaste through the seive, you can get fine strands. Mould the body parts as shown in figure. Assemble them on the sofa. Two tones of frills can be used for the skirt. For the eyes prick the face with cocktail stick tipped with black color. The tool used for mouth is shown in figure. Use water to stick the body parts together.
By the time i reached the flower cushion I was running short of time and missed out the clicks. If you are really keen on it, let me know, I can do it again and post the pictures for you. I am a last minute doer and usually finishes things in the nick of time.
Here are few links and refernces which might come handy.
I have tried to be as clear as possible. If you have any questions please feel free to ask, I'll be happy to help.