“It is always exciting to receive a brief for a special celebration, and Create and Craft’s Birthday was no exception. I was asked if I would be willing and available to create a special cake for the Create and Craft birthday week. It has been a busy week as we have had a four day Bank Holiday Easter Weekend, combined with my live appearance on Saturday Kitchen and the National Tea Day festival on 21st April to coincide with Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday, where I hosted live demonstrations. But how could I refuse?” – Mich Turner
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CREATE AND CRAFT!
For me, this has been an opportunity to design a fun, colourful, striking cake to showcase sugarcraft techniques that can both inspire and wow the viewers and crafters. I have chosen to include hand moulding, hand piping and decoupage with the clever use of bright colours and ribbons that will stand out well on TV.
Whether you are a beginner to sugar crafting or a consummate professional looking for more inspiration, the techniques I have incorporated are interchangeable with papercrafting, scrapbooking and jewellery making. I received the brief, which highlighted the carnival/ fairground theme with the use of bright, bold colours, rainbow pearls and candy twists.
The Concept of the Cake
From this, I started with the overall scale of the cake that would create an impressive ‘WOW’ factor impact on the screen. I didn’t want to go too big or else the camera would have to pull back too far to view the entire cake and the detail would be lost, so I chose to construct my cake with 4 deep tiers. These comprise of 3 round upper tiers set on a square base tier and a lined board that immediately make the cake less formal, so more birthday than a wedding.
I chose to cover each tier and the base board in a different colour sugar paste within the mood board palette to create interest and a rainbow vibrancy of colour on the screen.
The tiers are decorated with different but complementing designs, using decoupage hearts and flowers with delicately coloured hand piped pearls.
For the top decoration, I made a large iced heart with hand piped pearls and tied with yellow double satin and fuchsia pink and lime green organza ribbons.
My Iconic Candy Stripe Piping
I chose to hand pipe the top yellow iced tier in my iconic Candy Stripe design using pink, orange and lime green. This design has become synonymous with Little Venice Cake Company since I first introduced it on a 3-tier wedding cake for a Bride’s Magazine photoshoot back in 2000! It always looks impressive, but to give the cake a less formal feel I finished the stripe around the base with hand rolled yellow pearls, using the same sugar paste I had covered the tier with.
Decoupage Pastillage Hearts
The decoupage hearts on the second tier have been rolled very thinly from coloured pastillage and fixed in a single border design around the cake. Once in position, I hand piped random sized pearls in shades of white, yellow, pink, green and orange. I reserved some of these hearts and positioned them on the corners of the base tier to carry the theme through.
Candy Twist Lollies
The candy twist lollies on the third extra-deep tier use clever techniques of twisting and rolling coloured petal paste together, before rolling it up and inserting a coloured straw. I inserted these into the base of the cake, secured with royal icing, and then used a cocktail stick to support the top ‘wheels’ in position until the icing dried and set.