Tuesday, January 28, 2014
This post is a baby lesson in dummy cakes and how to repair them. I really liked this cake when I made it, but about a year later it had a little accident. I was storing/displaying it on a silver cake stand on top of a refrigerator. Next to the refrigerator was a cooling rack on wheels. One day I moved the rack and the stand was apparently being held by the rack because it the cake went flying across the room! My first hint is to put little pieces of shelf liner under each each foot or the entire stand. Every time you open the fridge, the cake stands moves a little bit so avoid the problem with shelf liner!
I use to cover cake dummies with piping gel to attach the fondant securely. My cake friend Kimberly told me to use Crisco to attach the fondant. When you are done with the display cake, you can soak it in hot water and reuse the styrofoam dummy! That is tip two! Since I had used Crisco, when the cake hit the ground, the fondant completely came off the top tier. Totally gone! Naked! There was also a big hunk out of the deer tier.
The cake was in good shape before the accident, so instead of trashing it, I decided to do some fixing! I recovered the top tier and then added the ruffles. I think I have to make an entire ruffle cake soon! I was going to leave it, but then I felt like I needed more height so I added the topper. Just some gumpaste and a bit of floral wire.
For the deer tier, I measured the thickness of the fondant still on the cake and rolled some fresh fondant. I cut a nice straight line for the bottom and then pressed it up against the cake. Basically this made an impression on the fresh fondant so I knew where to cut the patch piece. It then fit right in. I just blended it with my finger and it really wasn't noticeable. I added a few ruffles to hide some imperfections as well as some gumpaste flowers, pinecones and berries for a more wintery feel. Hide those boo boos with flowers!
Next tip, when adding flowers or something to a very hard display cake, you can add a good size piece of fresh fondant and attach it with gum glue or water. This will give you something to poke in to and hold your new additions. It this isn't feasible, because you can't hide the big piece of fondant, use a drill with a small bit to pre drill holes. You may have to use a really small bit first and work up to a bigger size. That will give you a nice hole to poke flowers into.
I am glad that I loved on the cake instead of trashing it because I think I like it better now. Maybe I was just tired of it :) My last tip is for dusting old cakes. If the cake is very dusty, take it outside and use a hair dryer on cool, an airbrush, or just a clean large paint brush and dust off the big part of the dust. If you just have a little dust left, use a clean paper towel soaked with PGA or vodka and wipe it down. If this doesn't get it clean enough, use a very clean dish rag that is wet but rung out well. Wipe off all the dirt or discoloration that you can't this way. It will make the cake gooey because of the water, but it will dry out and your display will look much better!