Every year I decorate the christmas cake and after watching things like The Great British Bake Off, Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss, I decided to get a little more ambitious. I have been really into my baking and cake decorating this year and have been expanding my supplies, watching endless cake decorating tutorials on youtube and heck, I even went to a cupcake decorating workshop whilst I was on holiday. This year, in honour of my Frozen obsessed little cousins, I decided to go all Snow Queen on this thing and attempted to create a Disney inspired Frozen cake!
I have to say, the finished product was a little rough around the edges but I was ridiculously proud of what I achieved, considering I am self taught in the art of cake decorating, just using online tutorials and recipe books as a guide. This cake included making fondant swags, poured sugar craft and making my own marshmallow lace.
The cake was a single tiered, basic fruit cake from the Be-Ro recipe book, but it also included a large helping of Jack Daniels. Don’t ask me why the ole Jacky D’s ended up in the cake, my Nan made it. She can’t tell her Captain Morgans from her Baileys. However, you can change the cake to anything you want and to fit tastes, needs and occasions.
Then it was covered in a layer of marzipan and white, ready to roll icing.
The first thing I made for the cake were the fondant swags that sat around the edges of the cake. I chose to make these a little bigger than the norm, so they swept across the majority of the side of the cake and could house some ‘ice shards’.
To create these I used the Renshaw Ready-to-Roll Fondant Icing in the colour ‘Baby Blue’. I achieved the swag shape by rolling out a rectangle of the icing until it was around half a centimetre thick (approx). I made it around half a size bigger than I needed it so I could create the folds. To make the folded shape I laid the rectangle of icing over 3 doweling rods, the space you leave between them is entirely up to you and how big you want your folds to be.
With the side of my hand I pressed down between the dowels to create the ridges. By using the side of your hand you get a more even pressure and don’t push down as hard as you would with your fingers. Then with a little teasing and prodding I removed the dowels and gathered the ends of the swag, reshaping and lightly moulding as I went before lifting and positioning onto the cake. Each swag stuck down with a little water on the edges. The ends of the swags can look messy, but that is where our trusty accents come in handy!
The snowflake accents used to disguise the edges are made of large circles of the same Baby Blue fondant icing, embellished with homemade lace marshmallow snowflakes, made with a Cake Lace by Clair Bowman kit and the Anastasia Lace Mat, and layered with a small snowflake from the same blue icing as the base of the accent.
The Cake Lace kit was incredibly easy to use but a tad fiddly at times, mainly when attempting to get a very fine layer of the mixture onto the mould. I achieved this with a palette knife and a little TLC! I believe the set was a little pricey but I achieved great results. Worth it if you want to create the edible, sugar lace a lot but not essential to making fabulous cakes!
All the components stuck down with a little water. To bring the sparkle I used a little Edible Silk Rainbow Dust in ‘Metallic Light Silver’ on the centre of the snowflakes and to contour my swags and add some fantabulous depth to them. I also used a few precisely placed (otherwise I would go mad and use the lot) Magic Sparkles Edible Cake Decorations in ‘Pastel Blue’, to really catch the light on the edges of the snow flakes. And all this topped with a silver ball.
The final component to the cake was the fiddly bit: the poured sugar. It was really daunting to attempt this when I only, very recently, got into serious cake decorating. I searched high and low for a good recipe, but couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so what I ended up doing was an amalgamation of the common factors. The only problem was that I really struggled to find any corn syrup, as I live in the UK, so some of the bits and bobs are harder to come by. After some serious research I found that simply just adding the cream of tartar that appeared in many recipes. Well, that’s what I tried anyway!
I used 2 cups of white, granulated sugar and 1 cup of water, as suggested in this fabulous recipe and guide from Craftsy, (luckily I have a set of ‘cup’ measuring jugs). I also added a little extra cream of tartar, possibly just out of nerves. Bring to the boil (the cleaner the pot, the clearer the sugar), wiping down the sides with a damp/silicone brush to get rid of any crystals, and monitor the temperature carefully with a sugar thermometer until it reaches the ‘Hard Crack’ stage (about 300F). It may look like it will take forever but trust me, it speeds up really quickly once it gets going and begins to go yellow once it gets to that temperature. Remove from the heat and add your colouring. I used the Spectral Paste Concentrate Colouring by Sugarflair in ‘Baby Blue’. The more you add, the darker the colour. I made two batches, one lighter and one darker (both slightly green from when I didn’t rescue the sugar quick enough).
I poured most of it onto a lined baking tray to set hard (which was relatively instant) and sprinkled with Magic Sparkle flakes to make ’em sparkle. I then snapped them into different sized and shaped ‘ice shards’. Some to decorate the edges and some to build Elsa’s ice platform. To make the spun sugar ‘ice magic’ pieces that circle Elsa, I took what was left and dunked a whisk into it. I then began to let it drip and create a string before whipping it backwards and forwards over the top of a greased rolling pin. The only problem with the sugar is that it melt and becomes sticky very quickly. Making it, even though it doesn’t sound it, is a relatively quick process, so if you have time to make it on the day, I would say, go for it.
To finish this bad boy off I bought some Frozen figurines cheaply off of ebay and used an old, but clean, white and silver ribbon to line the bottom edge of the cake. I stuck all these bits and bobs down with some royal icing. Whilst I did spend out a little to make this cake and it took a few extra man hours at my amateur hands, I have to say I did enjoy the experience and learnt a lot along the way! I proved I could do something fab if I set my mind to it.