I am interrupting the Vanilla Cake Series to share a quick post about the Valentine’s Day cake I made for my family:
Being the only girl living in a home full of Nerf-gun-wielding boys, I welcome the chance to bring anything pretty and feminine into my world. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity what with the flowers and hearts and chocolate-induced gastrointestinal distress we all have come to expect!
My inspiration for this cake was hearts and hugs and all things LOVE. I like my figurines to have character, and that little bear just exudes bliss!
I used both Satin Ice and Fondarific on this cake. Satin Ice is my go-to fondant as I can buy it locally and thus avoid shipping costs. While Satin Ice has its advantages, its workability is limited as it tends to dry out rather quickly which can result in cracks and elephant skin if not worked speedily enough.
Fondarific, on the other hand, is marketed as having unlimited workability. Intrigued, I ordered some online a few months ago. Despite being seemingly very smooth and workable, it stuck to my fondant mat which resulted in tearing (and swearing). I ended up having to alter my cake design to hide the flaws (which brought about more swearing).
With a half a tub of Fondarific left over after that profanity-charged cake, I decided to give it another go and use up the remainder on my Valentine’s Day cake. I kept that first experience in mind, however, and coated my fondant mat with a little powdered sugar to avoid any sticking. It worked like a charm. No sticking or swearing this time!
I recently read about a technique on Erica O’Brien’s blog involving a shortening-fondant mixture called Gunge and got to try it out on this cake! Similar to spackle in terms of application, gunge allows you to repair minor fondant flaws (like scratches and elephant skin) and make them virtually imperceptible. I tested it out on a small area on this cake with great success! You can find a link to Erica’s post about gunge here.
Figurine, Appliqués, and Lettering:
The bear and top lettering were made from Satin Ice gumpaste that was colored to match Fondarific’s white (which is really off-white or ivory). The heart appliqués are a mix of both brands of fondant and Satin Ice gumpaste. The lettering and ribbon at the cake’s base are fondant. The XOXO border was a last-minute addition as I felt the pale-pink ribbon looked rather plain on its own. The cake itself is a vanilla cake (recipe coming up in the next instalment of the Vanilla Cake series), and is covered and filled with Swiss meringue buttercream (full tutorial and recipe can be found here).
Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day!