This month I've focussed on my first commissioned cake - a 21st birthday cake for the son of a lovely (and very trusting!) friend of mine. According to my friend, a personalised kayaker heading down a fearful waterfall is the epitome of her son's experience as a professional sportsman. And so I learnt how to make the figurine - my first sugarpaste model ever - and the other decorations from this image that I was given to base the design on:
Admittedly, I did a practice figurine first and improved on my technique and colours, especially the arms. Moral of the story: wait until it dries! Drying each part separately before attaching to the torso was really important, as was waiting until the arms were solidly connected to the body before trying to position the oar. This waiting for drying saved many tears the second time round... The pebbles were two colours of sugarpaste rolled together for a marbled effect, and the river/fall was done in a similar way. The little trees went through a garlic press - I tried so many things to get a good effect until I stumbled on that tool!
The cake itself was my go-to chocolate cake recipe, filled with mango marshmallow buttercream made using a double quantity of this recipe plus mango puree, coated in dark chocolate ganache, and covered in chocolate fondant. Whew! It was a huge milestone for me, and not perfect (especially the fondant, as is evident in some of those photos). But it provided lots of learning and good practice for another scheme I have coming up... stay tuned for details!