Saturday, 5 April 2014

All tangled up!

If you have young children, then you've probably seen the Disney movie "Tangled". If those young children are girls, you've probably seen it at least a million times! As soon as I saw it, Tangled was quickly added to my list of favourite movies, and has generally become my go-to DVD when my kids (2 of them boys) claim that there's nothing to watch...

"Put Tangled on, then."

You can imagine my delight, then, when I was asked (by my friend's daughter) if I could make her a Tangled cake for her 5th birthday :)

Of course I said yes, and immediately logged onto the internets to see what other cakes people had made in the theme of Tangled. Oh. my. goodness - they were brilliantly amazing! And amazingly brilliant! I could not compete with so, so many of them. Wow.

Confessing to my friend that my version would only be simple, I was pleased when she was fine with that! I sketched a rough design - which from the scribble may not actually look that simple, but it was meant to be! And, compared to Pinterest/Google, it was :)

As I was designing the cake in my head, there were a few main things I wanted to include:
- Rapunzel's hair
- Her chameleon, Pascal
- That sun thing that is the whole origin of her life (spoiler alert)

I also had in mind the colours pink, purple, green, yellow, and gold. And, the flavour vanilla (because it was the birthday girl's choice).

Here's my "sketch":

I started with making Pascal, assuming that he would be the most time consuming part of the cake (it actually wasn't!). I did originally hope that I could make him to be standing up, looking super cute like this:

But sadly, it didn't take long to realise that the fondant was far too heavy for me to be able to manage this position, so, Pascal was just going to have to be lying down. Bit by bit, I constructed Pascal's body. Tail (curled), body, feet, and head. With his head and body, once I'd rolled them, I simply pinched a line down the middle to represent the beloved chameleon's appearance (otherwise, it could have easily looked like a green lizard). Once he was set, I glued on his eyes, and painted nostrils and a mouth :)

Once the cake was covered with pink and purple fondant, the next task was creating the plaits. After rolling, and rolling, and rolling out long "ropes" of yellow fondant, I attempted to plait it like I would normal hair (except much, much slower, and with more delicacy, because I knew that if I ripped it, I would have to start all. over. again)...

Once they were made, I attached them to the cake.
One plait at a time.
One for each tier:

Now comes to the time when you need to be a bit flexible with the 'plan'. I did draw flowers on the plaits in the sketch, but it was at this time when placement became essential. There were certain areas of the plaits (mainly the joining parts, but also the parts that I thought looked like a flower to cover it up would be great), so I chose the areas to put a 'bunch' of flowers onto. And as I am convinced that I have some sort of OCD, the flowers, of course, needed to be symmetrical.

I had already cut out "LEXIE" in the same colour fondant as Pascal was made in, and stuck the letters onto the top tier, as per the plan.

I did my best to re-create the sun things from the movie... Perhaps from a distance they looked OK. But as a perfectionist, I knew full well that they weren't - and they were also bigger than what I'd hoped they'd be in relation to the cake, but I suppose people could tell what I was trying to achieve!?

It was time for Pascal to be placed on top of the cake! Husband suggested that I have Pascal's tail curled over the edge of the cake. Knowing (from trying) that the tail would break off if I just glued it on, I stuck a toothpick through it to support it's shape. I was then a lot more confident that it would keep its curly shape on the side of the cake!

And so the finish was in reach!! I just needed to work out how I was going to attach a "5" to the cake, and where. Hmm...

Husband had another idea that Pascal could hold a purple flag with the number 5 on it. I also really liked that idea! So I found some purple paper, drew "5" on it, taped it to a toothpick, and poked it into the cake in the middle of one of Pascal's fingers... Or, toes, really:

If I was to do it all again, first I'd re-consider whether to add a potential fire hazard (the paper flag) to a cake which was going to have candles stuck right next to it!

... And make smaller sun things.
... And have a brighter purple for the bottom tier.
Oh heck, I always think of a long list of things that I could change once a cake is done! All part of the process of experience, I s'pose.


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