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The Daisy Cake

If you’ve been reading here any length of time at all, you know that I once spent 10 years as a professional cake decorator.  This was 20 years ago, but it’s one of those things that, once you know it (and do it for 12 – 16 hours a day, 6 days a week), you never forget how it’s done.   And as I mentioned when I showed the pictures of the Tractor Cake, while it’s a stressful occupation, cake decorating makes a wonderful hobby.

At any rate, word of the Tractor Cake got around, and another friend approached me to do a cake for a small graduation party she was having for her daughter.  This one was a little different – the young lady in question didn’t want fondant, as this was to be an “eating” cake.  LOL  What she wanted was a chocolate cake with mocha icing and aqua-colored gerber daisies.

I had no problem with the chocolate or mocha parts, but the daisies left me at a bit of a loss – they’re not exactly something you can pipe out of icing, especially the icing I was planning on using for this cake.  (The icing was Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Neoclassic Buttercream with the addition of melted bittersweet chocolate, instant coffee dissolved in a little hot water, and a couple of tablespoons of Kahlua.   You can find the basic recipe here, and while it says it is easier to use a hand mixer to make it, I prefer using my KitchenAid stand mixer.)  Nor did I think they would quite work with fondant, either – fondant is fairly soft, and while it will dry and become stiff, it never completely hardens.  It’s more like clay.

So I decided I’d use gum paste for the daisies, a medium I’d never worked in before.  I’m pleased to say that the flowers came out better than I could have hoped for – I made them Friday night, and they were completely dry by Saturday morning when it was time to decorate.  I’m also pleased to say the cake came out beautifully; I was a little dubious about the combination of brown and aqua, but it was really lovely.

Gerber Daisy Cake

Gerber Daisy Cake

Gerber Daisy Cake Detail

Gerber Daisy Cake Detail


10 comments

Michele says:

Holy Cow! You do fantastic work.
I bow to your cake decorating abilities.

Be says:

All that beauty and talent too! I will confess to eating a piece of this – to die for!

Sara says:

Gorgeous Jan! I’d a like a Paleo one please…

Seriously? I thought the flowers were produced professionally! Awesome job!

Gretchen says:

You MADE those daisies?! I’m absolutely stunned. They look almost plastic they’re so perfect. I’m so impressed I’m stunned.

Be says:

You can’t even tell how good the detail work is in these photos.

Joasia says:

The masterpiece!

Ohhhhhh! That turned out GORGEOUS! Can I recruit you to make a Hunger Games Cake in November for Princess Nagger? I’ll pay in wine… ;)

Lisa says:

Holy Cow indeed! Wow. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

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