Happy New Year, everyone! It's good to be back in the saddle. A little break from work always stirs the creative juices and my holiday vacation was no exception.
What was different about this year was being greeted by the "bomb cyclone" - SUPER FUN! Now, while my little corner of the world was not nearly as cold as my hometown (lookin' at you, New York), it was still pretty darn chilly...ya know, for Florida...
Personally, I enjoyed the 30 degree weather and cloudy skies; it was a welcome reprieve for my delicate Irish complexion. But most everyone else seemed to be real down in the dumps. So it got me thinking: if I'm going to make a cake this week, let's make something delightfully springy. The result: the fun, yet refined, Honeybee Cake!
This four tier beauty was inspired by a number of things besides the weather. I'm obsessed with Fancy Sprinkles and I knew I wanted to use some of them in this cake. I also wanted to practice my sugar flowers so I spent a lot of time flipping through my Maggie Austin Cake book. I love Maggie Austin's work and often look to her designs to spark ideas.
Designing a cake is an interesting process; sometimes I know exactly what I want something to look like and it's just a matter of bringing it to life. Other times, like with this cake, I knew there were some elements I wanted to include but I didn't really have a plan for them--I just sort of started working and figured I'd see where I ended up.
If you're wondering how long this took me to make, it was approximately four days. The sugar flowers, while beautiful and rewarding to make, take a very long time. This is primarily due to the drying time required in-between layering on petals, as well as dusting the flowers with color after they've been shaped. The little honeybees and dragonflies also took quite a bit of time since they come out of the mold two at at time; I think there are roughly 50 of them on the cake. I placed more of the honeybees at the top than the bottom because I wanted it to appear as though they originated from the golden bottom tier and were flitting about the cake to reach the flowers on top (for pollinating reasons, of course).
For materials, I made my own gum paste (it's just confectioners' sugar, water, and tylose powder - easy peasy), and I always use Satin Ice fondant. It's very pliable but strong, and has a beautiful finish. It's really popular, and is easily found online (hooray for Amazon Prime!).
I also used Roxy and Rich petal dusts; they're actually edible! I used Peach and Strawberry on the blooms, and Chestnut, Moss Green, and Grass Green on the leaves. Often times petal and luster dusts are non-toxic but not edible/FDA approved and so they need to be removed from the cake prior to consumption. The more you know!
To make the bees and dragonflies, I used this mold from First Impressions Molds.
This week, I'll tackle some more sugar flowers and also experiment with wafer paper, a medium I've never used before so I'm super excited! Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook, under the handle @samanthamayfaircakes to see step-by-step updates, and live stories.
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Until we meet again :)