Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Teddy bears' picnic

Our road had it's first street party on Saturday and there was a cake competition. I wasn't planning to enter as we only got back from holiday on the Saturday before but Jason kept telling me I should and on Wednesday night I had a flash of inspiration as to what I could do and went for it.

I made a teddy bears' picnic on cupcakes, so each cupcake made up a part of the whole "picture'. I decided to colour theme it red, white and blue as I had these colours already (and added a purple rug and green grass) and overall it came out really well. The only thing to let me down were the cupcakes themselves.

I haven't made enough cupcakes to find a recipe I like so I opted for one from a cupcake book I was given and it was far too dry. I slightly overcooked the outer cupcakes which didn't help so the ones the competition judges tasted were far from the best. Shame to say I didn't win but rightly so, if I'm honest. Something to work on for next year's cake!

I started with the fondant bears and then made the strawberry cake, plates and cups. The cups were very hard and next time (!) I will try adding some Tylose/CMC powder to strengthen the fondant and make it easier to work with when modelling the paste. I decided the plates needed some food on so I made a little jam sandwich by rolling two thin layers of beige fondant and one layer red then sandwiching them together and cutting out triangles. I made a banana, orange and apple and used a little bit of red liquid food colouring with a paint brush to add some colour to the apple and some shading to the banana. I also filled the tea cups with some silver sparkly Barbie writing icing.
I made a big purple picnic mat which I embossed with a flower pattern mat and then cut out circles for each of the cupcakes. I piped grass on the outer cupcakes using my grass piping nozzle (note to self: when using up "old" buttercream make sure it doesn't have lemon zest in as it doesn't go through the nozzle!) and then finished off the whole scene with some toadstools, flowers and obligatory lustre dust and sparkle!

PS. Can you tell that the red teddy was my favourite?

© 2011 Nicola Noble

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