Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Cinderella Story Cake

My niece's birthday is like Christmas to me. I prepare months in advance, and obsess over making her the perfect cake. For the past two years, she's had a new obsession just in time for her birthdays. Last year, it was Dora the Explorer, and this year, the little princess is all about Cinderella. Needless to say, this theme was a little more up my alley than Dora the Explorer, and boy, was I excited!

I had a blast last year pushing myself to the limit in making her cake. Her birthday gives me an opportunity to try new things I normally wouldn't. The cake turned out great, and I had so much fun making it. That was one year ago, and it was my first of many extensively decorated cakes. One year later, many other cakes later, and after about 8 months of pastry school, there was definitely a lot of pressure and expectations!

When I first started thinking about this cake, my initial thoughts were to replicate the castle. I wanted to make landscape, the forest, the river that flows from it, and of course, every painstaking detail on each and every turret. I started watching the movie, browsing pictures from my own trip to Disney world, the obsession had begun. 

The more I got into it, the more ideas I got, and that just wasn't going to be enough. Just one scene, one Cinderella wouldn't cut it. I wanted more, I wanted it ALL! I wanted the whole story on my cake. And that's when it came to me. Not just the castle, no! I wanted a rotating cake. I wanted each side of the cake to tell a part of the story. 

There are some pretty great advantages to dating an electrical engineer. "Make it spin you say? No problem," says the engineer. "I'll simply make a custom made metal detector that controls the motor. It'll detect four pennies under the cake, stop at each side for exactly five seconds, and keep on moving."
...
Pretty fancy... right? But for those of us that these explanations go whoosh right over our heads, here's a video to show how it works.



That's cool and all, but I know what you're all here to see! So without further delay, a Cinderella Story Cake.



Once upon a time, in her stepmother's ch√Ęteau, Cinderella spent her days scrubbing floors, and being a servant to her stepsisters. This teeny tiny Cinderella was made out of fondant, and was quite the pain! It was just so small that it was really hard to work with. I painted on her face using gel food colors. Surrounding her, I painted on Lucifer's little kitty paw prints, using black food coloring as well. 


Regardless of her daunting chores, Cinderella remained positive, kind and gentle. She always had her little friends the mice and birds to look out for her. As she washed and ironed, scrubbed and polished, upstairs in her room, the mice and birds worked away to make Cinderella a beautiful dress for the ball. 

Teeny tiny birdies

I used a whole lot of impression mats on this side of the cake (one of the many tools I stocked up on during my recent trip to NYC). I love them! They really are super useful, and it's a shame there aren't very many here in Montreal. Making the brick walls, the wood flooring and the wall papers was such a cinch! 




The dress made by the mice is probably one of my most favorite pieces. I built it over a paper cone, using very thin layers of fondant, folding it over and over to give that ruffled and flowing look. 

Out in the garden after Cinderella's step-sisters tear up her dress, her fairy godmother appears! The godmother was also made with fondant, built over a paper cone. The pumpkin vines were made using flower wires, covered with fondant leaves, and topped with a fondant pumpkin. 




The second side of the cake was all about painting. Painting on fondant is so much fun, relaxing and gives it exactly the look I was looking for. All the trees on the cake were painted using food coloring. 


On the third side, at the beautiful castle, the clock strikes midnight as Cinderella runs down the stairs. 




Here Cinderella is sporting that beautiful sparkling blue gown. And as she runs down the stairs, she loses one of her slippers... silly girl!



In the end, everything turns out for the best as this mini fondant Duke fits the glass slipper on Cinderella's dainty little foot on the last side of the cake.




Wedding bells ring, Cinderella gets married and rides off in a beautiful carriage with the prince. 



And they lived happily ever after.


The End.


Here's a video that pretty much sums things up :)