Sunday, 6 July 2014

Ombre, ombre, ombre!

Ombre, n.
A fast moving card game popular in Europe in the 17th & 18th centuries, played by three people, with 40 cards.

Ombré, adj.
Having tones of colour that shade into each other, graduating from light to dark.

And who says that accents don't change anything!? ;)

If you remember a little while ago (well, okay, June last year), I was given 'creative freedom' to make a cake whichever way I pleased, with the only requirement that it needed to be purple. To see/read about it, click here.

Jessica, who I'd made said purple cake for, has just had another birthday this year! And, I was asked if I could do the same thing for her cake: So long as there was purple in it, I was given creative freedom to make whatever style cake I wanted, perhaps even use one of the designs I'd been storing in mind for an opportunity like this.

Sometimes, this makes it harder, because there's seriously so many designs I want to try, and so many new ideas that I suddenly think of as soon as I start planning! Even as I was decorating the cake, my overall design for it kept changing! But that's the fun of making and creating... Except when you change your mind at 11pm, of course.

Realising that I didn't really get a good chance to make a proper ombré style icing for the farewell cake last week, I had at least decided that I would like to practice ombré stuff. Proper ombré. And, of course, purple ombré.

I will admit that it was certainly a great opportunity to learn new skills and work on different techniques. I'd recently watched a tutorial (randomly) on fondant ruffles. Last time I had wanted to try ruffles on a cake, I opted for the buttercream version instead - because it looked easier. But what better time than now to practice!

Without wanting to buy new tools, I was so pleased when I stifled through my baking cupboard and supplies, and found a ruffle making tool!

I rolled out strips of fondant, using the darkest purple first, and began 'ruffling'. One by one, I glued them onto the cake. Ruffle after ruffle, shade after shade, the ruffles began to look, well, ruffly!

The top ruffle was interesting to make. I'd cut out a circle that was about an inch bigger than the size of the cake, and ruffled the edges before it went onto the cake. It was a tad tricky making sure it was in the middle of the cake, and I think next time I will line it up on the cake first, and then lift up the edges to put some sugar glue underneath to hold it in place.

Because this cake was bigger than last year's purple cake, I was placing a second tier on top. To make sure that the whole thing didn't collapse on itself, or sink into the middle, I made two separate cakes, and the top tier was placed onto cake pop sticks, like this:

For the top tier, using the same shades of purple I did for the ruffles, I cut out a few different sizes of butterflies (the final idea that I thought of at 11pm when I was about to go to bed)! I'd draped them over the edges of a tissue box to set with their wings 'up'.

The next morning, one butterfly and shade at a time, I glued the butterflies onto the cake, so they would curl around and up the cake:

I used less butterflies than I thought I would, so decided to make an identical flutter of butterflies on the opposite side of the cake. Why not, right?

With various bottles of food colouring and gel holding the butterflies in place while the glue dried, I was so glad when it was finally ready to place onto the ruffled bottom tier!

Here's what it looked like from each side:

And, why not a view from the top, too!

One of my favourite things about making this cake, was seeing the amazed and delighted expression on the birthday girl's mum when she came to pick it up. It's certainly quite different to last year's purple cake, and she guaranteed that the birthday girl would absolutely love it.

And lastly, here's a little something that may not
have been obvious about this cake:

It was ombré on the inside, too!

Happy birthday Jessica!! :)

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