Mehndi

Decorating By karateka Updated 7 Jul 2008 , 5:29pm by karateka

karateka Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 2:02pm
post #1 of 16

I might be getting a wedding cake order to duplicate Duff's "Mehndi Blue". I don't have a problem with piping, but am wondering what the best way to transfer the pattern is?

http://charmcitycakes.com/noflash/index.cfm?rd=cakes2&cat=1&id=407

Also, I doubt I can enlarge this pic enough to print out the patterns. Anybody got any clues? I didn't really go over with her that the EXACT pattern might be difficult to get. Should I specify in the contract it will be "similar" to Duff's cake?

15 replies
Kitchen_Witch Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 2:19pm
post #2 of 16

I would most definately say the final design will be similiar, with your own take on it. Mehndi designs are really popular right now and you can find patters available for free or a small fee by searching online. Catherine Cartwright-Jones (a henna expert and all around very cool lady) has a page of free designs and all the info you could want on mehndi here http://www.hennapage.com/henna/what/gallery/index.html

I'm a bit of a henna junkie on occasion. :p

Doug Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 2:29pm
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

Should I specify in the contract it will be "similar" to Duff's cake?




definitely!!!!!!!!!

never, ever say you will duplicate someone else's cake, and most especially that you will duplicate exactly. Can you even do that with your own cakes?

with thanks to all who posted their contracts/contract clauses, I adapted the following clause in my contract from all those posts:

REPLICATION OF SUPPLIED CAKE DESIGN
<bakery name>'s cakes are individually designed. Exact replication of a supplied pattern, design, style, decoration or another artistâs work is not possible and cannot and will not be guaranteed. <bakery name> will work with the client to provide a similar product representing <bakery name>'s interpretation of the desired style, color, etc.

---

and as for that cake from Duff and gang --

Isn't it one they showed Mary Smith working on? I've never seen her or any of the others use a pattern, they just pipe freehand while looking at a drawing or photo.

karateka Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 2:41pm
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Quote:

Isn't it one they showed Mary Smith working on? I've never seen her or any of the others use a pattern, they just pipe freehand while looking at a drawing or photo.




Yeah.....if I do that I'm afraid it'll end up looking like something a 2 yr old doodled.

Although.....something that intricate would be a massive pain to "transfer" to the surface of buttercream. Even if I managed to project it onto the side of the cake, working on the tiny details would involve me blocking the projection at some point. So I guess I will have to freehand a good deal of it.

Do you mind if I copy your turn of phrase to add to my contract? Provided she really does decide on me, that is.

Doug Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 2:59pm
post #5 of 16

anything I post I consider to automatically be in

"public domain"

meaning --

free game for anyone to use.

-----

if you do on fondant instead of BC -then could transfer pattern eaiser....

old sewing trick that works for all kinds of things, including this.

take sheet of paper with a pattern drawn on it

then using a pattern wheel (a small wheel w/ sharp points) trace the pattern to create as series of small holes in the paper. --- in absence of sewing wheel, use toothpick or large diameter sewing needle (size used for canvas) or small finish nail. the smaller the hole, the more closely you can space them and the more tightly/accurately follow the pattern.

lay paper on the surface of what you want the pattern on.

using a poof (any kind of fine mesh bag you can put a powder into -- like the ones used in doing gumpaste) tap all over the paper. The powder will go through the holes and then when you lift the paper off -- viola -- there's the pattern to follow --- biggest trick here is to pick color that will contrast well with the surface the pattern is on. so, for light colored fondant, cocoa powder works well, and PS for dark fondant. (ever done that doily trick where you put it down on top of cake and then dust w/ PS and when you lift off you get the image of the doily? -- this is the anal retentive fussy budgety beyond the max version!)

staten93 Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 3:33pm
post #6 of 16

Really good mehndi is done free hand anyhow. No two patterns are exactly alike. When my brother-in-law got married they had both a Christian and Indian ceremony since his wife is Punjabi Indian. Junik had the Lady Sangheet and we all got our hands and feet done for the Indian ceremony. I have a lot of pictures of what we all had done to give you some ideas to go from. PM me if you would like some pictures and I can send them to you. Like everyone said just let them know that it will be similiar. Maybe you will come up with a design they like even better. I can't wait to see what you do. Good Luck. thumbs_up.gif

SugarBakers05 Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 3:35pm
post #7 of 16

I have to do a cake design similar to this, what would you suggest i pipe the design in? My cake will be buttercream, but is the piping in chocolate, or a dark chocolate B/C ?

Doug Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 3:43pm
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarBakers05

I have to do a cake design similar to this, what would you suggest i pipe the design in? My cake will be buttercream, but is the piping in chocolate, or a dark chocolate B/C ?


which do you feel more comfortable with.

melted chocolate will have a nicer finish and allow very fine detail, but chocolate BC will be easier to work with some loss of detail.

SugarBakers05 Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 4:09pm
post #9 of 16

I'd love to know how to do it in chocolate, but don't know how. Do you add something to the chocolate, so it doesn't droop out of the piping bag? I'd really love to know, because I've asked around, but no one knows

karateka Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 4:18pm
post #10 of 16

Thanks Doug!

I will be doing the design on buttercream. The bride didn't want fondant, phooey. So I'm thinking your wonderful trick won't really work for me on this job.

Everyone cross their fingers for me, willya? I'm sure I can do it. Sometimes its the thought of getting started that scares me a little. But I've always wanted an intricate piping job. Watch her not hire me, now!

As for piping in chocolate, I've only ever once been able to pipe with chocolate. The other times it has hardened at the tip of my parchment bag, preventing the melted stuff from piping out. How does one combat that?

For this cake I was going to use black buttercream.

Doug Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 4:24pm
post #11 of 16

if you've watched ace of cakes -- they use parchment bags that have been rolled so it gives a very tiny hole - similar to a #1 tip, and if done correctly more like half that size.

thus the chocolate comes out in a very fine line.

also, you only work w/ a few tablespoons of chocolate in that bag at one time.

it's also very important to have a very steady hand and exactly the right pressure

having tried this once - i found my hands just aren't steady enough (getting old stinks) nor could I master the light touch of pressure needed.

everything I seen (books, shows, Jacques Torres especially) they always use parchment rolled to the fine tip and no metal tips.

Jenn2179 Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 4:42pm
post #12 of 16

Doug's right. You can get a much finer hole with just a parchment bag and not a tip.

karateka Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 4:56pm
post #13 of 16

I was using a parchment bag, with a really tiny hole snipped at the bottom. After piping for a few seconds, maybe up to a minute, the chocolate at the tip of the bag cooled off and hardened up a bit. Blocked the hole. Now, if I remember correctly, it wasn't real chocolate, but candy melts.

While it was coming out, I was loving it. Once it started cooling off it got to be a colossal pain in the rear.

Does that happen with real chocolate? And if so, how does one combat that? My only thought was to have several bags and rotate them, sitting the ones you aren't using on a heating pad to keep them warm. But I don't know enough about it to know that will work.

I really need the easiest thing here, so I will probably use buttercream. Seeing how I, too, am getting old. (you're right, it sucks.) 40 coming up this year, just before Christmas. icon_cry.gif

Doug Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 5:03pm
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

I was using a parchment bag, with a really tiny hole snipped at the bottom. After piping for a few seconds, maybe up to a minute, the chocolate at the tip of the bag cooled off and hardened up a bit. Blocked the hole. Now, if I remember correctly, it wasn't real chocolate, but candy melts.

While it was coming out, I was loving it. Once it started cooling off it got to be a colossal pain in the rear.

Does that happen with real chocolate? And if so, how does one combat that? My only thought was to have several bags and rotate them, sitting the ones you aren't using on a heating pad to keep them warm. But I don't know enough about it to know that will work.

I really need the easiest thing here, so I will probably use buttercream. Seeing how I, too, am getting old. (you're right, it sucks.) 40 coming up this year, just before Christmas. icon_cry.gif




young whipper snapper .... 40? HAH -- that was a decade and a half ago for me (double nickle this year!)

got hot hands like I do? melt that little plug just by holding palm of closed hand.

of course, if the chocolate is warm enough and you pipe fast enough, shouldn't have time to cool that much.

and yes bag to heating pad rotation will work -- just cover that heating pad in plastic wrap or paper towels so it stays clean.

CranberryClo Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 5:27pm
post #15 of 16

Karateka -

If you check out Michaels, JoAnn's, etc. you might be able to find clear stamps that are used in scrapbooking with mehndi inspired designs on them. I don't know if it would work or not, but you might be able to press that into a buttercream cake to give you a loose pattern to follow. (I also don't know if it's food safe, but that's another issue.)

I know they're out there - I just made 70 invitations for my hubby's 40th birthday. He's Indian and I couldn't find the right paper, so I created my own mehndi-design using different paisleys, scrolls, etc.

Just a thought, I don't know if the grooves are deep enough. But maybe worth a shot?

Christy

karateka Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 5:29pm
post #16 of 16

Christy-

Thanks! I hadn't thought of that. I've never seen them there, but I've also never looked, so I'll check that out.

Especially since I just got off the phone with the bride and she wants to hire me! YAY!!

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