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With this project from Ceri Griffiths’ you will learn how to decorate your beautiful rainbow cake with a simple and effective technique.
Take 500g of white sugar paste/fondant and knead it well until soft. Add 4-6g of Tylose power/CMC (the amount will depend on the brands you are using) and then continue to knead, once you are happy that the Tylose/CMC is evenly mixed through the paste, place it in an airtight bag for approx half an hour to mature. This will be the adjusted paste that you will be using for the moulded pieces.
Cover the cake with a thin layer of sugar paste/fondant, covering the top and sides separately in two different colours. Cover your cake drum with an even layer of sugar paste/fondant, approx 2mm in depth. Attach your covered cake to the centre of the drum using either small bulbs of buttercream or a smear of ganache.
Your cake will require approx 3.5 pieces of paste moulded from the Continuous Quilting mould to completely cover the sides. Prepare your mould by rubbing a tiny amount of white vegetable fat onto the surface of the mould for easy release.
Weigh out 175g of adjusted paste and then roll it out on an icing sugar dusted surface to approx the size of the quilting mould. Lay it on the mould to check the size, paying attention to the corners which may become rounded.
Place the rolled out piece of adjusted paste over the cavity in the mould ensuring that it reaches into each of the corners. Starting in the middle press the adjusted paste firmly into the mould to anchor the paste in place.
When you get to the edges of the cavity in the mould, use your fingers to work the adjusted paste into each of the edges. Next, using the pad of your thumb, swipe away the excess adjusted paste whilst supporting the main body of the paste.
Now that the excess has been removed you will have a ragged edge. Work your way around the edge of the cavity, neatening the ragged edge by gently working it back into the main body of the moulded piece.
Flip the entire mould over onto a piece of kitchen towel and carefully peel the mould back from the quilted piece. Leave the moulded piece on the kitchen towel and lightly cover with a piece of clingfilm to firm slightly whilst you make the remaining quilted pieces. Measure the overall height of your cake as this will dictate the height you will cut each of the quilted pieces.
Lay your quilted pieces next to each other on a clean work surface to ensure they will all interlink once attached to the cake. Using either a pizza cutting wheel or small sharp knife, trim away the bottom to create a straight edge; this is best done by cutting along the detail marks in the mould. Using your measurement for the height of the cake, trim the top edge. If your cake height falls between marks on the quilted mould, it is better to have the final moulded piece slightly taller as it can always be trimmed back when on the cake.
Brush the side of your cake with a little cooled boiled water (you could also use bottled water or edible glue for this). The cake only needs a small amount to adhere the fresh adjusted paste - too much water may soften the covering, which will then cause the moulded pieces to pull away from the cake.
Carefully pick up your first piece of quilting in the order in which they were laid out for cutting and gently press it to the sticky surface of the cake. Once in position use a slightly damp paintbrush to moisten any edges that need more moisture to secure them.
Continue attaching the moulded pieces around your cake taking care to match up the edges and making sure there are no visible seams. Before attaching the last piece, hold it up to the cake to roughly judge the length. Using a small sharp knife, trim the excess adjusted paste away following the edges of the quilted end. You can then attach this to the side of the cake and manipulate it to give you a flawless join.
Check around your cake to make sure all joins are making contact and that none of the undercoating of the cake can be seen. Carefully trim the top edge with a small sharp knife.
Using a small round paintbrush, moisten the points of the quilted diamonds. Using pointy-nose tweezers, gently push a 4mm sugar pearl or dragee into the adjusted paste. Work in sections around the cake.
Prepare your rope mould by rubbing a tiny amount of white vegetable fat into the largest of the ropes in the mould. Roll out a thin sausage of adjusted paste and lay it down the centre of the mould cavity.
Dust your fingertips with cornflour to prevent sticking and then walk them along the sausage of adjusted paste pushing and manipulating the paste down into the mould. The adjusted paste will naturally move ahead of your fingers as you work.
Once your mould is filled you may need to carefully trim the excess with a modelling tool or small knife. If using a knife, be very careful not to cut into the mould. Once the adjusted paste is level with the mould, flip the mould over and carefully peel back to reveal the rope. You will require approx 3.5 lengths of rope.
Using a small round paintbrush and a little water, attach the rope around the top edge of the cake. Trim the final piece at an angle so that it fits seamlessly to create an invisible join; the rope should form a perfect seamless circular edge to your cake.
Prepare your Happy Birthday plaque mould by rubbing in a small amount of white vegetable fat; this will help your adjusted paste release from the finer details within the mould. Once done, take a small ball of paste and manipulate it into roughly the shape of the cavity in the mould.
Working from the centre, press the paste down into the mould to capture the detailed inscriptions. Work towards the shaped edges, and once you reach the edges, use the pad of your thumb to gently remove any excess adjusted paste. Rolling over the back of the moulded piece with a small rolling pin will help fully embed the adjusted paste into the mould. Flip the mould over onto a piece of kitchen towel and carefully peel back the mould. Leave your inscription plaque to firm while you continue to work on the cake.
Prepare your rose medley mould by rubbing a small amount of white vegetable fat into it. Roll a small sausage of white adjusted paste, tapering it at its ends. Check the size against the mould. Lay the tapered piece of paste into the mould.
Working from the centre of the mould outwards, press in the adjusted paste. Tidy the edges as you work the paste. Remove the paste from the mould and place the pieces on kitchen towel to firm. You will require nine large rose pieces and two of the smallest rose pieces. Using pink dust food colour and a dry small soft brush, dust the centres of the roses.
Mix a small amount of lemon extract with the pink dust colour and then paint the outer edge of the Happy Birthday plaque. Repeat on the letters of the inscription. Be aware that the painted area will stay sticky for a while, so avoid touching any painted areas when attaching the plaque to the cake later.
Using a little water or edible glue attach a small rose piece at each end of the inscription plaque. Gently press them down to ensure full contact. Using the same method, attach the large rose pieces evenly around the base of the cake.
Attach a small bulb of paste to the top of the cake where you wish to place the inscription. Attach the plaque to it, tilted at an angle. The cake can then be finished with any topper that complements the overall design. This uses a floral display from the Katy Sue Design FlowerPro range.