I just got a request today for a drunken pig carved cake. The cake is due saturday so I gotta figure this one out fast.
The idea is to have a drunken, passed out pig, lying down with a bottle of jack daniels next to him (for a cop's 30th b-day. LOL)
I can do carved cakes, Im not really worried about that, but I am pretty unexperienced with fondant. Ive never covered anything but round cakes with fondant. Is there any special technique for covering sculpted cakes that I should be aware of? Any advice? I really kind of feel like this cake is a bit beyond my skill level, but I really dont want to turn down a job. I was hoping you guys could help me.
So would you cover the whole creature in one shot? Cover head, body, limbs, etc separatly? If so how do you make it look seemless?
Im debating about trying out the sugar bottle thing for the jack daniels bottle. Ive never done anything like that before either, but I need a WOW piece for my portfolio and this is a great opportunity for me to do something different. Argh. Im stressing a little. Please, tell me, if this was your job, how would you go about it? I need suggestions badly.
Thanks guys! I know you'll help me pull through this challenge.
is the pig dressed in an cop's uniform? (just a thought on how to make it be smaller more manageable parts) (possibly shorts and an awful hawaiian shirt?)
pig -- if not dressed -- I'd do in one large sheet. Fondant is soft enough to stretch and mold.
can't help on sugar bottle
Oh gosh I wasnt going to attempt clothes. I dont think Im that ambitious. Ill just let him go nakey. I was thinking of maybe putting a wallet next to him with a badge falling out. I think that is enough to get the cop point across. lol.
So one big sheet, huh. The arms and legs too? You know what, I think I can do that. I think that would look the best too.
Now how about coloring it? Is there some technique I can use to give it some shading in some areas? Petal dust maybe?
Geez Ive been a decorator for two years but I still feel like such a beginner. I dont get to do this cool stuff at a grocery store. lol.
can dust, airbrush, paint -- any one or any combo.
Oh gosh that is CUTE!!!! I love the ears! is that gumpaste? how did you keep them standing up? just stick it in the cake? Did you carve the whole thing? If so what size cakes did you carve it from? How did you do the nose? A cupcake or something? That thing is darling, but I really want to do fondant. Ive got a look in my head that I just cant do with buttercream.I mean, I can always try it, and if it doesnt work plan B is always to just mix up some BC and work with it that way. Ive had to scratch the fondant idea before, but I want to try it first with this project. I just think it will give me the look I want. Thanks for sharing that photo!
Argh I dont have an airbrush at home. I wish.
It's actually easier to cover an oddly shaped cake than it is to cover a round, because the shape itself will help to hide any imperfections in the fondant. Roll it a tiny bit thicker than you would for a round cake, that way you'll have enough to smooth into the crevices.
Clothes wouldn't be hard either...it's not like you have to make actual clothes and dress the cake in them, you would just lay a piece over to be the shirt and trim it, then add a little strip for a collar, and so on...
Thanks for the tips! Ok another question.....do you carve all the details possible in the actual cake? or is it possible to use the fondant itself to make some details....for example...fat rolls? lol I guess I could leave some fondant a litle loose around the areas that I want the rolls and just play with it...or would that not work?
Clothes might actually be easier. That way, you can focus on separate pieces and really add visual interest to the pig/person/officer joke.
can even put rolls of fondant under fondant to make rolls of fat...
or pile on the BC and then the fondant and then smoosh it around to make fatty lumps and bumps.
Here are the directions I had PM'd someone in the past...
Hope it helps!
Directions for the Pig Roast Cake::
The "Table" is a 12 X 18 Sheetcake, iced in buttercream, then I took a large piece of fondant, cut it to the size of a tablecloth, and layed it flat on the counter, then I took blue painters tape, and very lightly masked off stripes. The I airbrushed the fondant red, and removed the blue tape right away. Then I waited a few minutes for the red to dry, after that I used more blue painters tape making more stripes, only this time going in the opposite direction. again be careful to lightly apply the tape, and airbrush again. Remove the tape right away, and let this dry for a few minutes, then carefull move your tablecloth and apply to the sheetcake.
The platter in which the pig sits is a piece of cardboard wrapped in tin foil. I used the largest of the oval pan set to trace this platter.
For the pig: ahead of time make ears snout, tail and eyes out of gumpaste. I used skewers in them and then stuck them in foam to let dry, while holding their shape. The head of the pig is a ball pan,carved out to make room for the apple, and the body is two 12" rounds, on their side, with a thin layer of buttercream to hold the layers together. Then I carved the cake and used scraps for the 4 legs. after carving, the entire thing got a crumb coat, and let sit overnight. then I used a star tip and iced the whole thing in buttercream. I took a picture of the pig after crumb coating, if you think that would help you, let me know and I'd be happy to send it to you.
If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask! I'm happy to share!
can even put rolls of fondant under fondant to make rolls of fat...
That's what I was going to suggest. I think rolls of fondant underneath would give the most noticeable effect.
My sculpted cakes so far have been things I can't describe here , but I've noticed that it works to press your hands into the cake to add details like ribs.
Thanks guys! I dont think I would have thought of using rolls of fondant under fondant. Thats a great idea. Thanks for the instructions on your pig cake as well.
I was wondering one more thing...if you guys were going to do a cake like this, for about 20 - 30 servings how would you charge for it? I swear Im like a deer in the headlights when people ask me for a price. Also Im scared about loosing a job because I say something too high. Ive only done maybe 7 cakes out of my home (thousands at my work, though) and Im trying to move to doing more custom stuff out of my home completly....if I say $85.00 do you think that is going to scare someone away? I was thinking I would go as low as $50. If I dont want to loose the job do you think that price is reasonable?
that's at least $3/serving (and maybe more in your local)
so that's $90 at the very minimum.
stepping aside to let IndyDebi and the other pricing gurus have at it.
I called the local competition, they quoted me $210 for the cake. That makes me feel pretty confident about charging $85.
I have another question. I usually carve my cakes when frozen, or at the least, very cold. Is this how most of you do it as well? If I do it this way, do I have to wait for the cake to come to room temp. before covering with the fondant? Or can I cover it cold? If covering it cold will condensation still form on the outside of the fondant? Id like to avoid that this time for sure. I was just hoping doing it cold would work so that my carving will be a little more stable for me to play with.
I took bad advice and refriderated a fondant cake. Ive heard some people do and once it dries its fine. Well, this cake wasnt. It was a slimey sticky mess that didnt dry after 24 hours. So, yeah. I want to avoid this again.
It's fine to freeze to carve. After you crumb coat it you can either put it in the fridge for a while or stick it in the freezer for 8-10 min then cover w/ fondant. If you're covering in stages stick it back in the fridge or freezer while rolling out other pieces---fridge at the least. If it's completely frozen I would let it sit in the fridge first. Putting it in the freezer for a few min won't freeze the cake, just firms it up so you don't smoosh it. If you have a frozen fondant covered cake thaw in the fridge before sitting on the counter. You can take a fondant covered cake from the fridge & let it come to room temp, or put a cardboard box around it (helps absorb the condensation), or if you still see condensation take a hair dryer on low & "dry" it. MMF works really well from freezer to fridge to counter.
I am not sure if this helps or not - in the past I have baked my cake the day before I want to carve it. I also try to use a more dense cake that won't crumble too much. As far as fondant goes - I never refrigerate it at all. Good luck and please post a pic when it's finished.................... sounds like a great idea
Oh, about price. I charge $5/serving for basic carved cakes. They usually are covered in fondant & that base price is $4/serving. You usually add more detail to carved cakes & the more detail the higher the price. It's really hard to increase your prices if you start them too low.
Thanks guys! I just got the order confirmed about 20 minutes ago. Its for friday so Im going to start on the cake tonight. If its finished tonight or tomorrow it should be ok, as far as freshness is concerned, right? I made a carrot cake on a thursday for a sat and I was happy with it. It was moist and good. How about WASC? Make it wed for Friday? Sound ok? Or should I freeze it tonight and complete it tomorrow? Thing is I have time today, tomorrow it would be a crunch.
You guys are awesome. Im getting a little nervous about this cake but Ill read over all your suggestions again before I start. Ill post photos when Im done. Thanks!!!!
should be fine on freshness, especially slathered in BC and covered in Fondant - both of which will seal in the moistness.
pictures! -- we must see pictures!
Ok Im having trouble again. I decided Id try covering the board in fondant. So, I did that. Now...how do I get my pig on there without messing up the board? I was thinking Id have to assemble the sculpture, cover it, then move it to the board. Any suggestions on the best way to do this without my sculpture falling apart? How do you guys do this?
assemble on cake board cut to shape of cake.
wrap fondant a wee bit under edge of board
plop on covered display board
Ah crud. I dont have a cake board. I guess Ill have to get one at work tomorrow then probably pull an all nighter to finish the thing. I have to deliver it Friday morning.
I dont have a cake board.
It doesn't have to be a 'cake board' ... I use foamcore. It's very strong and easy to cut with an exacto-knife. You can get it at Walmart or any office supply shop. They are generally 2' x 3' sheets so it can be used for many cakes. Hope this helps
lol. I dont have that either. That is food safe? Do you have to cover it first? That might be good info to know for future projects, but I can just grab a board at work tomorrow. No big deal. Its too far of a drive for me to go into town tonight. I just dont feel like driving 35 minutes to walmart for a board, especially since I was there already today. I cant wait to move back to the city. lol.
Food safe? I don't see why not, it's only paper/cardboard. But if you're concerned, a layer of saran or foil can be used.
I have a couple of black foamcore boards too - they make a great quickie backdrop for cake photos when you don't want anything in the background (like my messy kitchen counter LOL!!)
Oh thats a good idea too. I have so many photos of my cakes where it looks like a sugar bomb went off in the background.
Sorry it took so long! Here it is! My husband came in the house after I had finished. He took one look at the cake and his eyes got as big as dinner plates. He kept saying, "oh my god, oh my god" then he ran out of the house, got the neighbors, and brought them over to see it where they both oogled at it for about 30 minutes. lol. Thanks for all your help guys. Id never done anything like this before. Im satisfied with how it turned out, but I learned a lot and I know how I could improve next time. Thanks again. You guys saved me.