Friday, November 2, 2012

Fancy a spot of tea?


When a customer sent me a picture of an intricately detailed, gold trimmed, fine porcelain teacup and asked if it would be possible to replicate it in gumpaste, I had a mini-freakout! haha I sent her a couple of alternatives (my painting skills are not the best, and the picture she sent to me was very small) and she really liked this teacup by Creative Cake Designs.  I was so relieved! Due to time constraints I told her that I wouldn't be able to carve the sloped sides and she was happy with that.

The week before this cake was due, she told me that her original party theme for her mother's 60th was a formal tea party, but the cost to hire the tea sets was in the region of $700-$800.  Her family decided instead to go to Op Shops and buy odd tea sets cheaply instead, and this changed the theme slightly to be a little more in the way of a Mad Hatter tea party.  What a brilliant idea!  And so much easier to execute in a cake too. 

I started the teacup about 2 weeks ahead of time just to be sure that it set properly.  What I ended up doing was rolling some gumpaste very thinly then cutting a long, wide, rectangular strip, generously dusting the inside of a teacup, pressed the gumpaste to the inside shape and then trimmed the top edge.  I pressed the join together until it was barely noticeable, checked that it could still come out of the teacup easily and then let it set for a few days.  When it could hold its own shape, I let it dry upside down.  I used a similar technique for the saucer.  

I based the cake design loosely on the one that she liked but made the cake a little bigger by adding a top tier and also added a few small embellishments.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  As a surprise, I made the cake layers inside alternating layers of pink and green (pandan and rose flavours for a bit of a Malaysian twist for her guests who don't like chocolate).  Her feedback the next day was: 
'Thanks for the awesome cake was a sell out!  ... All 50 ladies said the cake was fab.  The multicoloured cake was just awesome!  Many thanks I'm sure would have taken you ages. ... Have a good wkn'


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