Based in Saint-Bruno de Montarville, Montreal, Gilles Leblanc, from Les Gâteaux de Gilles, rediscovered the pleasure of baking and decorating cake about three years ago. There was always that passion within him and he remembers decorating cakes with marzipan and royal icing about 40 years ago.
From silversmith, to marble work, and even designer, now retired, Gilles rediscovered his passion of sculpting and modelling, through cake. He shows us, from scratch, how to stack, carve, cover and detail this fabulous little Fiat 500.
- Cake and chocolate ganache
- Template of a car (all sides)
- Cake board
- Styrofoam with some black cardboard
- White, black, red and grey fondant
- Rolling pin
- White chocolate
- Silver dust
- Circle cutters of different sizes
- Fondant smoother
- Flower cutter
- Paring knife
- X-acto knife
- X-acto blade
- Shaping tool
- Paint brush
- Hot glue gun
The first step in making this car is to find pictures of the car from different viewpoints. If you search the Internet using the term ‘blueprint’, you will find the images which show the point of view from the top, side, front and rear. These images are helpful to understand proportion and details for the car. Enlarge the photos and print the pictures off to the size of cake you would like to do. These images will be used as templates.
Take the top view of the car, place on top of your cake board and cut around it to make the base for your cake.
Take a piece of Styrofoam to make a spacer to raise the cake board. This piece needs to be smaller than the cake board itself to allow space for the wheels and to create that elevated effect. Cover the side of this Styrofoam with black cardboard.
Next, put the cake together. It is good to use firm cake to carve, something like Madeira cake. If your cake is too light and fluffy it will crumble and it will not hold its shape. Fill and stack your cake layers to the desired height of your car, using your template as a guide.
Next, using the templates, cut away cake to match the shape of the car. Don’t worry about being exact, as you will be covering with ganache. Just make sure there is no cake sticking outside of your templates.
Cover the cake with a coat of ganache. Make sure you are generous and that it is well covered. You will be smoothing, removing and adding ganache later, so do not worry if it looks untidy at this point. Leave your cake in the refrigerator for an hour or so, until the ganache has hardened.
While you wait, take a plastic place mat and cut up some further templates for the windows of the car. To get an idea of proportions, print extra images of the car and use them as a guide. Cut pieces of your plastic mat to make smoothers to help recreate the grooves and shape of the car so, when covering with fondant, it is easier and stands out. You can cut out a circular shaper to help make the rounded edges of the car too. There is one main groove in this car that can be defined using the scrapers you have made. You can now clearly see the indentation from the front to the back just under the side window.
Wearing rubber gloves, use the heat of your hand to smooth out the final coat of ganache. Then put the cake back in the refrigerator to set.
Brush the ganache with a damp brush to make sure the fondant will adhere better to the ganache. Next, cover it with fondant and make sure that all the air pockets are out by lifting and smoothing. Use smoothers to set the fondant in place.
Using your modelling tool, define the middle line of the car to accentuate it. This will start to give shape to your cake.
Using your window template, place on the cake and apply a little pressure to mark the windows. Be careful not to apply too much pressure and make sure that the pressure applied is equal for all windows.
Use your modelling tool to accentuate the remaining lines for the doors and for the car.
Using a glue gun, attach the Styrofoam base to the bottom of your cake board. At this point, you need to be very careful to make sure you place the cake in the middle of the base to ensure there is enough space for the wheels. Put the cake back in the refrigerator to set again.
Making the wheel. Use a circle cutter that matches the diameter of the wheel on your template. Cut out the wheels using black fondant that has added Tylose. Next, press a flower cutter into the wheel to make the spoke. Finish with another circle cutter the size of the flower cutter to define the tyre. It is good to prepare the wheels in advance and let them dry. To add detail to your wheels, you can apply a coat of edible silver paint that can be made by mixing silver dust and vodka.
Once your wheels have dried, use one to measure and score the fondant to where the wheel is going to be placed. Taking a paring knife, cut the shape of the wheel out of the cake. Lift the cake gently to do this step. Next, cut the cake board and the rest of the cake underneath and remove the pieces. You might need to adjust the deepness of the cut to allow the wheel to fit properly.
Use melted white chocolate to attach the wheels to the cake.
Roll a thin layer of black fondant and cut out black windows using your window templates.
Attach your windows using edible glue or water. The windows will fit into the indented places of fondant. You can use your modelling tool to redefine the edges of the windows as shown.
Using the other end of your modelling tool, start to shape the wheel arches by pulling the fondant out and shaping it with your fingers.
How to add details to your cake. Add a small red logo by cutting out a small circle of red fondant with an icing tip. Use a little water to attach.
Roll out some light grey fondant and attach, as shown, with a little water. Use your modelling tool to smooth and set these lines.
Cut out the lights for the car using a knife or shaped cutters. The front lights are white fondant circles mounted on grey fondant. The rear lights are made out of red fondant mounted onto grey fondant. Attach these with water.
Using silver dust, mixed with some vodka, apply details to the car with a very thin brush.
To make the mirrors, use some black fondant rolled into a small oval ball. Then with a sharp blade, cut the ball in two pieces and attach to the car with a little water. Paint the inside of the mirror with silver.
You can add any further detailing that you want. For this cake, you can add a coloured stripe so that it looks similar to the Gucci model of the Fiat 500.