The 2015 Sydney Royal Easter Show has come and gone but I thought I would do a post on how my entry came together. Unfortunately I was wrapped up in the moment and didn’t take any photos as I was making it, but below is a picture of my finished cake.
The category was “Sydney Royal Easter Show Novelty Cake” and it had to represent the general spirit of the Show or recognisable sections of it.
When coming up with the design I searched for pictures on the internet of all the things I could think of related to the Easter Show including rides, sideshow alley, show bags, animal judging,wood chopping etc to use as references.
The cake had to travel a couple of hours so I decided on a mix of 3D sugar work and bas-relief. I had in my mind I wanted a roller coaster on the top and I wanted to incorporate the laughing clowns and animals and the design grew from there. I drew up the design and started working out what I needed.
The next step was to carve the tiers and cover them in fondant. As there was a lot going on I divided the sides of the cake into thirds so it effectively had 3 faces as below:
I wanted the base of the top tier to reflect side show alley and have a tent-like feel so I cut out red angled pieces for the roof line of the tents and made a pleated like effect by overlapping red rectangles along the bottom. I tried to pick the iconic sideshow alley games like the laughing clowns and the ducks/shooting gallery.
The cake has a lot of bas relief work on the side and I used the same basic technique for most of it:
- I either drew/freehanded or found a picture and cut around it to get the outline to use as a template.
- Rolled the fondant with tylose added fairly thickly, placed the template on top and cut around it using a scalpel/craft knife.
- I removed the template and using my fingers gently rounded the edges of the piece and lifted it off the board using a palette knife added a little water to the back with a paintbrush stuck it on the cake.
- I used a cake decorating tool to mark in lines of clothing or other features.
- In some instances there were some parts in the foreground and some in the background. This was achieved by either layering the pieces e.g. the clowns or making the background pieces thinner e.g. the wood choppers’ arms.
- I used the bas-relief method above using the same template to ensure consistent sized clowns.
- I gave the face a little shape with modelling tools including making a depression for the open mouth.
- Foodsafe pens were used to mark in the details on the face.
- I drew a wavy template and used it to cut out 1 light blue and 1 mid blue strip. I then offset these so the bump of one was in the depression of the other.
- I cut out a duck template and cut out multiple ducks and stuck them on top of the waves.
- I wanted to make a display like they have on the back wall of the showbag stalls where they show the bag and the contents.
- I cut a rectangle for the bags with a small horizontal rectangle for the handle slot.
- The lollies and chocolate bars were made by pinching the ends of pieces of fondant with some plastic tweezers.
- The lollipop was made by twisting 2 sausages (1 red and 1 yellow) together and then rolling them around to make a circle and adding a thin sausage for the stick.
- For the hay I used an sugar gun to extrude thin stands. To make it more realistic I used a couple of different shades of straw colours and mixed them just a little so it was kind of marbled before extruding it.
- The bales were blocks of modelling paste covered in the strands with a strand wrapped around as the twine. I used scissors to snip at the fondant on the ends.
- I used a scourer to give the wool texture. I freehanded the horns by rolling sausages and thinning one end.
- The girl and 3D animals were modelled freehand, the girls face and arms were modelling chocolate and the rest of her body fondant with tylose added.
- I used the bas-relief method described above for the logs and wood choppers.
- The bark texture was made by scratching the fondant with a knife.
- The crowd was made using small circles of different coloured fondant.
- The judges and rabbit’s bodies weren’t rolled flat like the other pieces but were modelled freehand on a board then stuck on the cake and lines marked in for the folds of fabric in the clothing and for hair etc.