Advance your modelling skills with this fabulous cake – perfect for shopaholics! With a creative past of interior design, upholstery and window dressing, Laura was always looking for her next creative challenge. Her hobby of baking fast became her full focus and a way of outlaying her artistic flair, alongside being a full time mother of two daughters. Laura challenges herself daily with new and unusual cake designs using unique and exciting techniques. Her passion for modelling, airbrushing and painting continues to grow and now she is a tutor for both Squires Kitchen and The Cake Makery, she gets to share her skills with others. Laura was extremely chuffed to be crowned Kirsty Allsopp’s Cake Champion on Channel 4 recently.
- 2kg white fondant
- 350g grey fondant
- 250g black gum paste
- 100g brown gum paste
- 5g peach gum paste
- 80g blue modelling paste
- 25g flesh modelling paste
- Fondant: dark green, mocha brown
- Petal dust colours: black, rose
- Peach gel food colour
- Milk chocolate modelling chocolate
- White modelling chocolate
- Wafer paper in various colours
- Rolling pin
- 2 x 12” dowels
- 2 x white paper
- Airbrush colours: blue, black
- Cocktail sticks
- Cake scraper/flexi smoother
- Pizza cutter
- 1m 15mm black ribbon
- Paintbrushes: no.1, no.2
- Artist palette
- 10” round drum
- Round cake boards: 4”, 6”
- Cutters: square, oblong, circle
- White florist tape
- Dresden tool
- Ball tool
- Craft/X-acto knife
- Sugar Shapers
Bake one 3x6” round Victoria sponge and one 3x4” round sponge. Fill and stack with buttercream. Crumb coat and chill in the fridge. Cover both cakes in white fondant. Smooth down the sides with your palms and trim off the excess with the pizza cutter. Smooth the edges using the flexi smoother to create a flawless finish and a straight edge.
Rip the top edge of the white paper all the way across. Lay the paper over the edge of the cake and begin airbrushing with the blue colour. Aim the colour onto the paper so the cake just catches the mist of the colour. Continue spraying both cakes by moving the paper over to create a cloud sky effect.
Roll out 350g of grey fondant and cover the cake board. Cut off any and smooth over the top. Take a small oblong cutter and press into the fondant half bond until covered. Add a little of the black airbrush colour into the cap and spray a thin layer to highlight the brick printing. Spread buttercream into the centre of the board, dowel the cakes and place in the centre of the board.
Now to make the legs... Make a large ball of brown gum paste and roll into a long cone, tapering one end for the boot. Squeeze the end of the paste to create a pointy foot. Pinch the top edge of the boot with your thumb and finger to create a flat top. Insert a glued skewer into the centre of the boot and then insert into a polystyrene dummy. Repeat with the other boot and insert a cocktail stick halfway into the boot and set aside.
Model the large ball of blue gum paste into a thick cone. Take the knife and cut down the centre of the paste leaving a small part on the top. Smooth each section to make the legs. Fold one over the other and glue into place.
Make dents at the top of the jeans with the dresden tool to create a waist and texture. Insert a skewer from the boot into the front crossed leg, brush on a little glue and allow to dry. Inset a cocktail stick into the second leg at the back and add a little glue to set into place. Create indent texture to the legs and give the jeans pockets using the dresden tool.
Now to make the body... With a small ball of black gum paste, use your finger to roll over the middle to create a slight waist. Pinch the top sides of the paste to create shoulders. Flatten the top to create a bust line. Flair out the paste at the bottom with your thumb and finger to create an over exaggerated hip line. Glue the base and push onto the skewer to sit on top of the jeans. Roll a small ball of flesh paste into a tube and push onto the exposed skewer. Fix with glue to make the neck and allow to dry.
For the arms, take a ball of flesh paste and cut evenly in half. Take one half and roll into a ball. Push a glued cocktail stick into the centre and roll the paste on a surface until it covers the stick. Shape and taper the end to create a hand and cut the other end at an angle with the craft/X-acto knife. Using another cocktail stick, push into the shoulder of the black top with the exposed stick pointing upward. Glue the stick, slide the arm on and hold for a few seconds. Repeat the same process for the remaining arm.
Now for the face... Mix a tiny amount of peach paste into the white modelling chocolate. Roll into a ball and make an indentation over halfway up with the side of your little finger. Take a tiny piece of modelling chocolate and roll it on the palm of your hand to make a tapered triangle. Lay it in the centre of the face and blend the sides with a Sugar Shaper so there are no visible joins. Use the ball tool to create eye sockets by gently pressing into the paste.
Roll a small ball of chocolate paste and cut in half. Place each half onto the face where the cheeks should be. Blend in with a Sugar Shaper. Use the craft/X-acto knife to create a mouth by inserting it into the face, just below the nose. Pull it downwards to open the mouth and create a smile.
Repeat Step 9 with a smaller piece of modelling chocolate, divided into two and placed where the eyebrows should be. Blend all in to hide any joins. Fill the mouth with a tiny piece of white fondant. Smooth with a Sugar Shaper.
Make the eyebrows with two thin pieces of milk chocolate modelling paste. Roll two tiny pieces of black gum paste into a tapered shape, bend slightly and glue to the eyelids. Sit the head onto the neck and tilt slightly.
Cut two strips of black gum paste and stick around the top of both arms for the sleeves. Roll out a longer strip of peach gum paste, gather it together and lay it around the neck, gluing the back together to make a cute scarf.
Take some milk modelling chocolate and roll into long sausage shapes between the palms of your hands. Attach the strands to the head starting from the back. Make your way around the front positioning the hair around the face. Take a small oblong piece of black gum paste and cut a triangle out of the middle to make sunglasses. Round off the edges with your fingers. Roll two thin strips of black gum paste to make the sunglasses arms. Position onto the top of the hair and glue. Attach the model to the top of the cake.
Now for the shopping bags... Cut a strip of wafer paper and fold it over to create a hollow box. Dampen the paper where they meet and trim off any excess. Fold down the middle of both sides. Take a white strip of florist tape and twist to create a sturdy rope.
Wet the ends of the rope, insert into the top of the bag and press the bag together until stuck. Make 12 more bags in different shapes, sizes and colours using the same technique. Paint the lips with the peach gel food colour and the no.1 paintbrush. Load up the arms with the bags alternating the sizes.
Now for the shops... Draw an outline of the shop on a piece of card and cut out. Lay the template onto thinly rolled black gum paste. Grease the craft/X-acto knife with Trex and cut around the templates. Roll out white fondant and cut out large squares for the shop windows. Stick them to the shop template.
Cut a thin strip of white fondant and use the circle cutter to create shaped edges for the top of the shops. To make the shop doors, roll out coloured fondant into an oblong, cut using the pizza cutter and attach to the shop. Roll a long thin sausage of paste and glue above the window and door. Cut a strip of wafer paper the same length as the long thin sausage and fold diagonally at each end.
Glue all the shops in place around both tiers of cake. Mix up a little black petal dust with vodka and begin to paint a few details on the shop front doors and windows.
To make the topiary bushes, insert half a cocktail stick into a ball of brown paste. Roll the cocktail stick on a surface to spread the paste to cover it. Roll a ball of green paste and glue to the top of the cocktail stick. Make the topiary pot with a small ball of modelling chocolate, rolling between your thumb and finger. Flatten the top and bottom. Join the rest of the topiary plant together. Tweezer the green paste to add texture and repeat to make all six plants. Attach to the cake.
Wrap the black ribbon around the cake board and secure at the back with a pin.
For more information on Laura and her cakes, visit her Facebook page.
Photography by Christine Jordan Photography