The gum paste was fresh and I worked in so much pigment that they were rich, the picture doesn’t really do the colours justice. I learned that washing the residual icing sugar off of the gum paste flowers with a paintbrush dampened with vodka will produce a really nice finish on them if you pop them immediately back into the dehydrator.
The skulls took about 20 minutes per tray in the dehydrator and I needed about 30 to go around the entire 10″ cake base accommodating the two flower clusters. I piped all of the lines on with small round tips. I originally tried to use red icing in the eyes to mix it up with the black and gold but they looked like evil little devil skulls then so I just started sticking dragees in and that worked for variety and accent.
Wow, boring post isn’t it? I don’t know what to say other than I loved this cake and wouldn’t even mind doing it again. She also paid me a great compliment when she opened the box and looked at the top (she hadn’t even seen the base yet), she said “Oh, you should have done our wedding cake.” No one says THAT to be polite. They got the white cake with raspberry cream filling and the buttercream was just vanilla as well.
Oh yeah, and the other big thing that I learned was that if I’m going to leave the cake till the day before it’s due anyway, then I should just design cakes that can be done in two days and then it’s all good. No stress that way and so stupidly obvious, I wanted to call my family and ask whether I had been dropped on my head.
I also had to dust off what I could remember of Gothic lettering from the calligraphy set I got for Christmas when I was 8. Next time I would do something funky with colour flow that I could just lay on in one piece.
Note: The kit to make this cake at home is available for sale at my Etsy shop.