Cake as canvas: some cakes I’ve stamped recently

I am a leetle bit obsessed with the stamping on cakes thing. You might recall a while back that this was my first go.

This is the first of my most recent experiments.

The beautiful stamp set comes from Yellow Owl Workshop.

It worked okay but wasn’t as crisp as I would have liked. That said the smudgy edges grew on me and put me in mind, in the end, of the lazy hazy blurriness of a long, hot summer.

This one was for my dad’s birthday – he’s a dead-keen sailor. And we both agree that Moby Dick is probably the best novel we’ve ever read.

I had the stamp custom carved for this project by my friend and stamp-carver extraordinare Holly from Two Cheese Please. She did this beautiful olive one for me a while back. She’s outdone herself with my whale I think.

You know the most time-consuming bit of this? Making the cakes to ice.

Oh yeah, except for this one which is actually a delicious book.

My 7 year old was horrified when she saw me taking these photos. “You can’t give away our secrets” she said. We had a long talk about which secrets are worth keeping.

PS: The cake under Moby Dick was a genuinely edible fruit cake made to a time-honoured and treasured family recipe. By my mother. I wanted to ice a book for him.

Cake as canvas: part 2

I’m excited about this cake as canvas thing. This time I took the edible ink pens out of the hands of my children and had a go myself.

First I coloured my fondant. I used food colouring gel (that I bought from here a couple of years ago to make vibrantly-coloured playdough). The gel is powerful stuff. You truly only need a little bit.

For example, to colour a whole packet of fondant to the gorgeous peachy hue you see in the photos, I used just quarter of a teaspoon of orange colouring. It’s a bit like salt: just add a little at a time, because you can always add more but once your dish is reminiscent of the Dead Sea (or icing is a searingly bright orange), there’s no going back.

I am obsessed with words and letters and I wanted to create a cake that was celebratory but also looked kind of like a page of typing. Do you think I succeeded?

It took patience (something I’m not usually blessed with abundant amounts of) to decorate this as I had to ink each letter individually. It was worth it though.

I’ve interrogated individual parties to no avail, but it looks to me like a baby betty finger might have had a little poke at the “O” in the bottom right corner (as we’re looking at it). Makes me giggle.

Once I finished the cake and stood back and looked at it I knew it reminded me of something but couldn’t quite put my finger on what. Until this afternoon when I took a black and white shot and it suddenly dawned.

I do sense an “SPQR” cake in my future. Which is probably not only a better idea but also a little less permanent than the SPQR tattoo I considered getting a few years ago shortly after we got back from Rome.

So many possibilities with stamps and fondant: whole tracts of text (nerdy: love it), personal messages, colourful alphabets. Lots more cake as canvas and food as canvas ideas coming up.

Cake as canvas.

You might remember these biscuits Sophia decorated with edible-ink pens for Easter. Well, they got me thinking about what other food we could draw on.

After taking some product shots a few weeks ago, I couldn’t bring myself to either eat (plain sponges with royal icing atop – not appetising) or just turf the cake. So I left it on the bench for a bit. I’d just like to say it is truly frightening how long royal icing lasts. I think the cake beneath could basically liquefy  (ewww) and the royal icing shell would still be going strong.

Before that happened though (ewww, ewww, ewww) I gave Sophia the edible-ink pens and her cake-y canvas and let her draw away.

The random silver and pink cachous and little red heart are hiding the holes where I inserted cake bunting skewers.

And check out the sting on this bee.

Vicious. Floats like a butterfly though.

More foods as canvas coming up…