I made a cake for my hubbys Nanas 80th birthday (see the anemone cake in photos).. thank goodness it was for just family, because I would have had a bigger biotch fit if it were for a client. All went well with the entire process until it came to the fragile butterflies. I will begin by stating that I made the butterflies from fondant mixed with tylose powder, and colored with americolor gel in black. I have made figurines from this combination before and they held up well.. but nothing as fragile and fine as the butterflies. I cut them on the Friday night, a combination of small ones for the cupcakes and one large 3" one for the side of the cake. I even made a body for the large one and gave it little antenna (spelling??) using stamens.. it really looked divine I attached it on the side of the cake on the Saturday night, the cake was for later in the afternoon on the Sunday. Well... through the night my mothers heating system switched on and low and behold I woke with the noise of it humming away.. not to mention the fact the room I was sleeping in became very stuffy and hot. I raced out of bed to check on my cake which was sitting in the kitchen safely in it's box. The butterflies lower wing had snapped off .. not a bad disaster.. and fixable.. glued back on with sugar glue and all was ok. About to walk out the door after fluffing around getting myself and my daughter ready for the party.. and NOOOOOO.. the top and half of the bottom wing fell off!! I then had a massive snarly biotch fit, gathered myself and went to work fixing it. I attached a smaller less beautiful butterfly over the areas that could not be removed and then added some small flowers that were intended for the cupcakes.. It came out looking like a small blossom branch and looks kind of ok.. but definitely not as intended. Im left feeling tormented and like a failure because the cake looks a little unbalanced and almost cluttered with that silly looking branch.
What did I do wrong? Would gumpaste have held up stronger and not snapped? Did I not make the butterfly in advance enough - maybe I should have had the large butterfly drying for at least a full week? To make matters worse.. the buttercream went uber soft on my cupcakes because of the warm day and lack of air conditioning in the function room.
Sorry for the long moaning session.. any help would be appreciated
hmmm honestly i only use tylose + fondant and no more than a day or two before (just because i never feel i need to) and i don't usually get cracks etc.
how was the butterfly placed? was a lot of it supported on the cake? i find larger items need to be placed someone soft so it can mold to the place on the cake and get as much of it directly adhered...otherwise it may crack.
You may have hit the nail on the head.. I only had the belly of the butterfly glued against the cake. It may have been unbalanced due to the weight of the wings verses the amount of body that was stuck against the cake
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I hate it when things like that happen.
Have you tried the gelatin butterflies yet? They're amazing and they hold up great, are irredescent and can be made way way way in advance. I made butterflies and bows in a gelatin class about 4 months ago and they're all still in tip top shape. They're super light so no breakage. The ladies I took the class from did this book http://www.cakeconnection.com/gelatin_art.php
and they also have these gelatin pattern sheets you can use. Anyway...just a thought for the future.
OMG Sillywabbitz.. those gelatin decorations are beautiful. Well.. you have just given me a new project.. oh, and something else to spend my money on.. oh my.. my husband will be cursing me once more Seriously though.. thank you so much for this advice.. they look amazing!
You're welcome. I bought all the supplies but haven't had a chance to make any. I'm a hobby baker and bake by project. I figure I'll make more butterflies in the spring. FYI, they don't taste very good.
lol.. I dont think dried out fondant/tylose butterflies taste that great either though.. nor does gumpaste for that matter I contemplated buying the pretty fake ones off ebay.. they are gorgeous.. but plastic - definitely not edible. But the thought of fake ones really take the shine off the whole process.. I think it is the magic and amazement of the 'edible' component of our art which is so rewarding and exciting... plastic just does not have the same 'wow' factor for me. Even if we don't end up eating it all.. because it tastes like cardboard.. or plastic
i hear ya cutie.
how did i learn? by having a gorgeous bow crack for the same reason. ><
How frustrating! Especially after all that work! I usually use actual gumpaste for that fine of figures. I enjoyed looking through your photos!