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Learn to break 3 rules and let go while making a fondant cake | Baking

I was so excited to get started on my second fondant cake, but I knew flowers and polka dots would not cut it for my six-year-old son. His birthday party theme was rock climbing (see earlier invitation and loot bag posts) so I knew this cake had to be more creative. I love breaking rules and once I came up with a general idea of what I was going to do I was excited to get started.

By: Janet

Materials:

RockClimbingCake3

MAKING THE CAKE

STEP 1: MAKING THE CAKE
Bake your cakes (I baked two layers of round 8” and two of 6”), let cool. Place your bottom layer of the tiers on the cake boards you purchased, then cover it with butter cream icing. Place the second tier directly on top of the first and repeat icing. Don’t worry about the cake crumbs in the icing, they will disappear with the second coating. The first coat is called a “Crumb Coat.”  Place in fridge until icing is hard, then smooth with your fondant smoother and repeat the icing and cooling process once more. You should now have one 8” and one 6” double-tiered cake.

STEP 2 
While cakes are cooling you can make all of the coloured fondant. I used yellow, blue, brown, black, skin tone, white and grey.

RULE BREAKER 1: Don’t mix the black thoroughly into the fondant when making your rock colour! I left it streaky giving it a more marble rock-type look.

STEP 3 
Place down your matte (this was a new purchase for me this time around and I found it extremely useful for both measuring how big to roll out the fondant and for lifting the fondant up to place on my cake). Measure the tier you want to cover (both sides and the diameter), add an extra inch for safety and this is the diameter you want to roll your fondant out with your fondant rolling pin (again this was a new purchase for me and it was so much easier to use than my regular rolling pin. Because of its length it made a nice smooth surface to work with).

RockClimbingCake2STEP 4
Carefully ease the fondant off of the mat and onto your pin and lift onto your cake. Smooth the top out with your fondant smoother.

RULE BREAKER 2: Don’t smooth down the edges. Instead let these fall and ripple naturally to the bottom edge of the cake. This will give your rock a more organic look.

STEP 5
Trim off the excess fondant from the base of the cakes and set aside for use later.

RULE BREAKER 3: Don’t place the tiers centered on top of each other.
Instead place them off center again making the cake more organic in shape.

STEP 6
Smooth any rough edges on the top tier as they meet the bottom tier. Roll the excess fondant into uneven balls. Squish even further to misshapen and place around the base of the bottom tier.

STEP 7
Smooth any rough edges on the top tier as they meet the bottom tier. Roll the excess fondant into uneven balls. Mold them further into rock shapes and place around the base of the bottom tier.

STEP 8: MAKING THE BOY
This was a bit of a cheat too, as my friend Deirdre took pity on me (because I was cutting it so close to the wire) and made him for me! What she did tell me was that it took her an hour from start to finish and she used images she Googled for inspiration! Working with fondant to create a person is similar to working with plasticine. Keep in mind that you will be placing it on the face edge of the cake so keep him smooth on the cake-facing side so it adheres easily. Roll out a long thin piece of white fondant to make the rope, and lay over your cake, curling the ends on each side of the cake before you apply the boy. Once the boy is completely dry, slightly wet the back edge and apply to the cake, hold in place for a couple of minutes.

STEP 9: APPLY THE ROCK HOLDS
Use small bits of coloured fondant and squish them into rock hold shapes, wet one side and apply to cake. Make sure to apply two under the feet of your boy to add extra stability. Then take a toothpick and punch three small holes per rock hold (this makes them look much more realistic). I also added toothpick embellishments to the grey rocks I had applied earlier to my base.

STEP 10: MAKING THE LETTERS
Choose the colours you want to make your letters out of and add quite a bit of Gum-tex to them (note these will not be edible once made, the Gum-tex  does not taste great). I then doodled my son’s name on a piece of paper which I cut out with scissors. I rolled out my fondant to about .125-.25″ thick and placed my cut-out letters on top. I used a sharp knife to cut. Make sure to cut out two of each letter. I then wet the backs of each letter and placed them on top of each other with toothpicks set strategically between coming out of the bottom (sometimes two or three depending on the width and heaviness of the letter). Once dry, stick them in the top of the cake and voila, a cake that breaks hearts and rules!

RULE BREAKER 3: To make your letters DO let the fondant completely dry out!
By adding the Gum-tex  it speeded up the drying process allowing my letters to become rock hard.

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