Saturday, June 30, 2012

Making a ruffle cake

When my friend asked me to make his wedding cake, he wasn't completely sure what he wanted it to look like.  He did know he wanted texture so I suggested a ruffle cake; I'd seen them on Pinterest and knew that in theory they should be relatively easy to make. I planned to do a test run on a small scale at some point before it was time to put his cake together.  That didn't happen...the days evaporated and suddenly it was just time to make it happen. 

Fortunately it really was a simple process.  It took some time to apply the ruffles to all three layers but it was a nice surprise to try a new technique and not have that dark moment when I wonder if it isn't going to come together.

The list of materials is short:
  • Fondant 
  • Gumpaste
  • Edible tylose glue, a tylose powder/water mix (water can be substituted)
  • Flower pad/sponge
  • Wooden dowel (a toothpick or wooden skewer can be substituted)
  • Scalloped cookie cutter
If I hadn't had the tylose powder, I know water would have worked for my "glue"--it may have slowed me down a bit because the tylose/water mixture gets tacky quickly and provides a quick hold.

First I covered all three cake layers with fondant, then made a 50/50 mix of gumpaste and fondant for the ruffles so that they would hold their shape and not just droop off the cake.  I put that mixture into a ziploc bag to keep it from setting up too quickly. 

Then I rolled out smallish pieces of the fondant/gumpaste mixture and cut along the top of it with a scalloped cookie cutter (this was an old cookie cutter that never really held it's shape for me so I just cut it open to use the whole length of it).  I moved the fondant strip to the flower pad and used the wooden dowel to thin and flare the strip for the ruffles by rolling it back and forth along just the edges. 

I applied each strip with the tylose glue, sticking the bottom half of the strip to the cake and pulling the top part up and back a little bit.  This has to be done top to bottom on the cake rather than the other way around.  The great part about this technique is that there really isn't a wrong way to do it; I just kept layering the strips until I got to the bottom of the cake.

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