Toot!Toot! It's Thomas.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Here's a decorated cake to share with you today.

I thought I'd also show you some of the "tools" I regularly use.

The best investment ever has to be my pastry mat. It's non-stick so I can roll the fondant icing out without having to dust with exra icing sugar, and the non-slip backing holds it in place. Easy to clean and rolls up for storage, gee, I could make a living spruiking these things! Apart from a few cutters, and proper piping tips and bags, the rest of my "equipment" is non-specialist - just bits from around the kitchen. I also use a lot of toothpicks (to colour icing), skewers (for all sorts of job) and empty egg cartons and baking paper (to help prop up icing bits that are drying).

As for icing, I've found that the Orchard white icing that can be bought at the supermarket (just over $4 (aussie) for 500g) is actually more economical and much easier to work with than the "professional" icings that I've tried. (I usually end up using about 2 1/2 to 3 boxes of icing, more for larger cakes). I don't skimp on colouring though, I only use Wilton gel colours because I find them far superior to the others I've tried. (I have not been paid to plug any of these, just so you know. You can pay me retroactively if you'd like *wink*)

Now that you've seen the tools, here's a quick "behind-the-scenes" of how I put this Thomas the Tank Engine cake together.

The body is put together using two "sheet" style cakes (lamington pan sized), one loaf cake trimmed, and one small round cake for the head. The caboose is made up of trimmings from the loaf cake and one sheet cake. I didn't notice this at the time but I should have carved the loaf cake lower because I gave Thomas a bit of a "humpback" appearance. I used ganache for filling and for "glue".

Cover the whole thing with ganache, let set, then cover with a layer of ready-to-roll fondant icing tinted to suit. Unfortunately,  I was rushing this cake a bit so the end result had a few "cracks" and marks, but the overall effect is still distracting enough that most folks would (hopefully) not notice the imperfections too much.

Add on features and evrything else using more coloured fondant icing.

He looks a bit like a scary toothless old man at this stage!(Please don't be offended if you are toothless, or an old man, I don't think all toothless old men are scary)

Very pleased with how I did the wheels. See how they are only "half-wheels"? But reflected they are whole!

I know it's not an extremely detailed post, but I hope that it's given you a bit of a glimpse into how I go about making a novelty cake. In my net-travels, I found this site that gives you a step-by-step on how to cover a Thomas cake using buttercream.

Have a great weekend :)


3 hungry tummies said...

U have to make a cake for my next birthday :)

whisk-kid said...

That is so cool! What was the occasion? I bet whoever it was for went absolutely crazy!

grace said...

how cool to see the process through pictures--i doubt i ever would've figured out how you made such a random and unique shape on my own. :)

s said...

my son loves Thomas and hes besides himself seeing this...u are so talented..i cant imagine ever making something so perfect!

pierre said...

that's a beauty bravo !!! thomas is not very popular in france but still I would bite in your cake !! Pierre

shaz said...

3 hungry tummies - just say when :)

whisk-kid - it was for a little friend's third birthday and he was super-excited!

grace - I didn't take enough step-by-step pics because I was rushing a bit, but hopefully it's clear enough to give a little idea.

s- thank you Sheba, I think you're being a bit hard on yourself, I'm sure you'd be able to do it.

pierre - thank you :)

A cupcake or two said...

That is such a cute cake. So much detail. You are very creative.

Barbara said...

He's so cool! I love him. And you did such a super job.
I've seen the cakes put together (on Food Network) so I sort of knew the principle, but can state with absolute certainty: I cannot make cakes like this! said...

This is just amazing Shaz how you decorated it. Thanks for in a way, demystifying the process for me. I always thought there was a bit of magic involved. :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Awww just gorgeous Shaz-simply gorgeous! I thought you were going to say that you made this at a professional cake decorating class! :o Superb job and what a lucky kid :) Oh and where do you get the pastry mats from? Have you tried Corella colour powders? They're amazingly good (but the range is limited).

Heavenly Housewife said...

Wow, that is just amazing. I am in awe of your talent :D. I am sure you made someone very happy with this cake.
*kisses* HH

Joanne said...

Oh my this is every kid's dream cake! Or at least it would have been mine. Actually I might STILL want this for my birthday! I'm so impressed.

shaz said...

A cupcake or two - thank you :)

Barbara _ Come now, never say never! - a little bit of magic, a WHOLE lot of sugar

Lorraine - I got it from a cake decorating store called Cupid's. They're based in Newcastle but do mail-orders. However, I've seen the mats in some homeware stores, or try the kitchen warehouse type places. Never used the Corella powders before, will have to try some.

HH - thank you darling.