I have to make a grad cap to sit on top of an 8" round cake next week. I was thinking about making the base of the cap with a cupcake turned upside down & iced & covered with black fondant. I'm trying to figure out how to make the flat part that sits on top of the hat & the tassle. I was thinking I'd do it with gum paste/fondant mixture... my worry is that to get th 50/50 mixture black enough the gum paste will end up sticky. Is there anyway to make the gum paste really black without it turning sticky? And for the tassles I thought i'd make it from fondant & just cut it into spaghettie like strands. I think I need to do some trial & error this week before doing the cake itself...
To get fondant really black without it being sticky, first color it brown. It's easier to darken brown fondant to black that it is to go directly from white to black (this goes for a fondant/gumpaste mix, too). Another possibility is to use store-bought black fondant in the mixture and then just add enough black to get it as dark as you want. For some reason, ready-tinted black fondant isn't sticky. As for the tassel, if you make a lot of cakes, you might want to invest in a clay extruder (they have them at Michael's and other hobby places). You can use it to get really thin strings of fondant for tassels, hair, etc. and it can extrude other shapes as well, for borders and other things. But meantime, I think your idea of chopping your fondant into spaghetti-like strands is good. For the cap part, you could form your fondant/gumpaste mix around something spherical (a ball or mini-ball pan or even a real ball). Just be sure to use plenty of cornstarch or a sheet of plastic wrap between the pan and the fondant so that it will come off when it's dry!
I did this graduation cap in December:
I used a thin piece of foamboard and covered it with fondant. I used the "True Black Marshmallow Fondant" recipe here and it easily covered the board. I was kind of pressed for time so it worked well. And I didn't have to worry about the board breaking during transport or any other time. I think you have the right idea about the tassel also.
Clay extruded is a great idea! Totally going to Michaels this week to look for one!
I have black fondant already, but when I mix it with gum paste its not black enough. I mixed some black color into it & am going to see if blackens up more over night. Hopefully! I want to use gum paste so it holds it's shape. I don't know if it would hold up enough if it was just fondant.??
Maybe I'll look for some foam board when I go to Michaels. That may be my back up. Good thing I'm trying things out this week... Hopefully I'll have it figured out by next week!
Ok, I tried cutting it after it sat out all night & didn't like how it cut. So i did it with gum paste (I had to add corn starch to the black gum paste and it's not sticky now, yay!) then I cut it out, and it's perfect very happy about that. Then to get it off the mat without destroying it was another task. I took my tools and gently lifted every little part, just to loosen it from the mat. Then I took a piece of wax paper and turned the mat upside down and then gently peeled the filigree off the mat with my little tool. It's off! It looks great! Now to get it to the cake. I think I'll paint the water on it while its on the wax paper then carefully place it on the cake while still on the wax paper. Hope it works! So far so good though!