Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thomas new and improved

I just finished another Thomas the Train themed cake.  I have lost count how many I've made to-date, but I'm sure there are more to come!  What made this one interesting was the fact that the birthday boy was really into train details, so instead of focusing on modeling trains out of fondant, we agreed with the mom that we'd just use the boy's favourite wooden cars and instead I would focus on the background.

The design:  These were the details I knew I had to incorporate into this 6 and 10" cake (French Vanilla and Red Velvet).  I had to have a bridge, a junction (I had to google to make sure I understood what this meant!), a waterfall, a tunnel, and signs.  The challenge?  Designing it in my mind.  Where to place what and how.  The result? Fantastic :)

The Bridge
The Bridge:  I made it from Rice Krispies - and this time, I did not cut the sides smooth since the actual rice krispies helped give the bridge the 'rocky' look it needed.  The bridge smelled so good afterward because it is actually chocolate fondant! (not just brown coloured fondant)

I did not place the top tier directly on top of the bottom tier.  That is, I thought instead of having the waterfall (scroll down) go all the way from the top to the bottom, I would just have it stop on the bottom tier, into a pond.  To make space, then, I took a chance and placed the top tier on the side of the 10" cake; I say I chanced it because this meant the weight of a 6" cake was placed on one side of the 10" cake as opposed to the middle of the bigger cake.

The Waterfall
 Another "feature" requested was for a waterfall.  There are many ways to do this but this time I opted with just regular buttercream icing as a base (to give some texture) and then mixed some gel with blue colouring to give the shiny effect.  In hindsight, I would have also applied a thin layer of airbrushed brown tint on the sides to give it a mountain look.

Other Details:  the base of the railroads:  I wanted it to look like gravel, but was not sure if oreo cookie crumbs were fine with some of the parties little kids - soy allergies - so I used Graham Cracker Crumbs to be safe.  To do this, you put a thin coat of buttercream icing on the surface first, and then put the crumbs on top.  The challenge about this process is that if you want to place anything on top of the 'sand', as in this case, know that your pieces (in my case, the railroad tracks) will not be 'glued' tightly onto the cake.

View from the Top

The Finished Product


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