(Excerpted from Pure Artistry: Extraordinary Vegan and Gluten Free Cakes © 2016 by Emily Lael Aumiller of Lael Cakes. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.)
This cake showcases painted gold details along with sculpted marzipan peaches and sugarpaste/fondant blossoms and leaves.
I painted the ornate gold patterns using a stencil first and then embellished them freehand; you may use any color that fits your design. For this technique, I’ve found that mixing powder dyes with vodka works best because you can control the consistency of the liquid.
Fondant cakes usually work best for painting. If you are working on an iced cake, make sure your final coat of icing is smooth and the cake is chilled before painting.
Commonly, cake stencils come in the width and height of a large cake tier. To avoid the obstacle of applying such a large stencil, and also to have a say in the design, I generally trim out my favorite parts of the stencil to use separately.
PAINTING AND STENCILING ADORNMENTS
When creating an ornate painted cake design, I’ll often start with a stencil for a base and then complete the details by hand, painting around what I’ve begun with the stencil. I find this helps not only to create balance within the placement but also balance within the design elements. Using a mixture of stenciling and hand painting creates fluidity within a fixed design.
- FDA-certified edible gold dust
- Fine-tipped paintbrushes
- In a small bowl, stir vodka into the gold dust until any lumps dissipate and a paintable liquid forms. You may need to add more liquid throughout the process if your paint becomes too thick.
- Gently hold the stencil against the cake. With the small brush, outline the shapes in the stencil, making sure not to move the stencil as you’re working.
- After you’ve painted stencil patterns where you desire, use the fine paintbrush to paint patterns and organic shapes freehand to fill in the spaces around the stenciled patterns. When painting freely, start off with simple lines and shapes. Then layer upon this until you’re satisfied with the design. The paint will dry quickly.
TO MAKE MARZIPAN PEACHES:
- Knead orange liquid dye into marzipan to produce a subtle orange color.
- Roll the marzipan into uniform balls in various sizes from small to large, with the largest being the size of an actual peach.
- Gently shape them into peaches, allowing some fingerprints to stay on the surface for a natural texture.
- Use a skewer to poke a hole from the top center and another from the bottom. This will give each peach a natural concave shape at both ends, help it dry, and provide a place to insert the flowering branch.
- Create a crease from the top of the peach down the center using a boning tool or knife.
- Once the peaches have dried, dry-dust them using a paintbrush and powder dye in darker hues of orange and coral to create natural-looking coloration, then finish off with a light dusting of cornstarch.
TO MAKE THE WIRED LEAVES see the step-by-step wired sugar leaves tutorial here.
TO MAKE THE PEACH BLOSSOMS:
- Follow the mexican hat blossoms how-to here: mexican hat flowers tutorial.
- Group sprigs of blossoms and leaves and wrap them with brown floral tape to create stems for the peaches.
- Insert the end of the arrangement into the top hole of a marzipan peach until secure.
- Insert toothpicks into the bottom of the peaches to secure them on the cake.
Available now on Amazon here, Pure Artistry: Extraordinary Vegan and Gluten Free Cakes by Emily Lael Aumiller, and in all good bookshops.
Keep up with more news, cake designs and classes from Emily on her Facebook page here: Lael Cakes.
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