Sunday, February 20, 2011

Robots in the Sky....

So I finally had a chance to work on a robot!  Yeepeee!!! Almost a year ago I had wondered if I could work on a Gundum (it's a robot) for my husband.  I never got to it - it just seemed such a large project.  But about a couple of weeks ago a friend asked me if I could work on an Optimus Prime Cake for her husband's birthday.  I was ecstatic, challenged, super happy, stressed, and all the feelings in between.  Of course I said yes, but it took me a while to figure out how to carve this robot's head!

I've seen cake decorators use rice cripies in the past, on tv shows, but I have never needed to use these until now.  It was fun and challenging to carve this cake. 

I used a cupcake shaped cake as a starting point.  Then carved ever so slightly after hours of thinking through each cut in my head and sleep.  I work best with someone, so thank God my husband was there to help as we talked through the carving process.  I have to say that was the most challenging part!   

Then, off to figuring out how to add all the details of the shape with rice crispies.  It was relatively easy actually, as long as your rice crispies are warm.  Then it was just a matter of letting it sit and take shape. What I should have done was to put the rice crispies in the food processor first, though.  I knew that, but I started working on this cake VERY late, and by that stage my kids were in bed and I didn't want to What difference does that make?  Well, it will give your finished cake a smoother finish!  Your other options to avoid lumps and bumps is to use thicker fondant (which I dislike) or more buttercream (dislike also).               

 I took a look and thought, "not bad!"  Now it was time to take out all the fondant and think about how in the world am I going to cover this cake, with all its corners, holes, etc?  After much thinking, we decided it was best to go through each surface and angle, one at a time.  Yes, it took a lot of patience and accurate cutting!
After it was covered - the final touches.  I wanted it to be metallic - so, what could I do?  I used metallic silver and air brushed the entire thing...LOVED the effect!
Then the eyes and the glass windows - I used gel to give it a bit of a shinny look.
...and finally...a bit of engineering -- how do I make sure the neck provides enough support!?  I should have thought of this more before starting.  If I could go back, I would have placed a dowel through the ENTIRE cake, much like the way you build a stacked cake.  But I didn't make a hole on my cake boards and I didn't want to hammer the dowel down by now...also, I had completely covered the head by now.  Optimus Prime cannot have a hole on the top of his head!!! :)
So, I settled for second best.  I gave my friend the cake in 2 parts.  Head and Body.  And then just simply instructed her to place the head at the party.
All in all, I'm super happy with the learning process and the finished product.  Now Sandy's Sweets can say we do robots too ^_^


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