Thursday, June 6, 2013

How to make Zebra Striped Fondant and a Fondant High Heel Shoe!

 I made this cake recently for a surprise Sweet 15 birthday party.
 The birthday girl loves fashion, pink, and zebra patterns.
The cupcake wrappers were an excellent find by the b-day girl's mom.
This cake is all about hot pink, zebra stripes and a fancy shoe!
(Keep scrolling for How to Zebra Stripe fondant, 
& How to make a fondant High Heel shoe)

For the cupcakes I used an edible 'metallic' spray.
I was a little skeptical at first at the Wilton spray,
 it did smell just like spray paint.. yikes.. 
but it was taste and odor-less when dried.
It gave the cupcakes a nice shimmer and edgy feel.

 This was the first time for me
 making a high heel shoe, but with some trial and
 error I was surprised at how fast it came together.  

The Zebra Stripes were also new for me.. sorta... 
I've done them before on a smaller scale but this 
was the first fully covered cake I did with stripes.

Like most of the cake decorating skills I'm acquiring, 
 lots of patience and extra fondant go a long way!
Here's how I did it!

Making Zebra Striped Fondant!
(Keep scrolling for How to make a Fondant High Heel Shoe)
Roll the base color, white here, about an 1/8 inch thick.
If using the fondant to cover a cake make sure it is rolled 
to the correct size depending on what size layer you'll need it for.
A good rule of thumb is to add the diameter in
 inches of the cake layer and add double the height of the layers,
 that should be the diameter of fondant needed to cover the cake.
Ex. An  8"  round layer with 3" high sides would need
14" circle of fondant to cover it.
8+ (3x2)= 14

To get the base fondant out of the way without 
drying it out roll it back up on the rolling pin 
and set aside for a few minutes. 

Roll a smaller amount of black fondant.

Cut the fondant into strips. 
The strips should be slightly uneven 
and have some waviness to them. 

Unroll the base fondant and brush off any excess cornstarch.  
Attach the black strips to the white with a very small amount of 
water or gum glue painted on the back of each strip.  
Too much liquid will cause the black fondant to bleed onto the white fondant.

Gently press the black strips into the white fondant with a rolling pin.  
If any of the black bleeds onto the white go ahead and cover the cake, 
once the fondant chills it will be easier to wipe away any 'stains' with a damp paper towel.

Once again roll the now striped fondant back onto a rolling pin. 
If the surface of the fondant happens to be wet from too much gum glue
 dust the surface with cornstarch first to prevent the fondant from sticking to itself.

Unroll the fondant onto the cake

Cut away any excess. 
(I should have stuck to my own formula I had lots of excess fondant here! 
Even though it was striped I still save all my fondant scrapes for upcoming projects.
 You never know when you'll need gray fondant!)

Flatten the fondant onto the cake. Chill the layer for at least an hour before cleaning up any exces cornstarch.  If any of the zebra stripes come loose gently 're-glue' the stripes back down.  

Once chilled  and stacked use a small handheld steamer 
to add shine and remove excess cornstarch. Your ready to accessorize!

How to make a Fondant High Heel Shoe!
Start with 50/50 mix of fondant and gumpaste.  
Fondant alone will soften too much at room temperature and will not hold the tall shoe shape. 
 Mixed with gumpaste the fondant will dry out and become much firmer and hold the shape nicely

Roll the shoe base out about 1/8" thick. 
I used hot pink and zebra stripes for the shoe but any combination will work.

If needed I found there are multiple shoe templates online to get
 the basic high heel shape. Although I found it a pretty simple shape to free hand.
This way I could make the shoe exactly the size that I 
thought would proportionally fit the top of my cake. 
(Keep in mind you'll want to flatter whomever your making 
the cake for and a dainty shoe is prettier than a clunky one
no matter what size the recipient might wear!)

Next find something around the kitchen 
that you can dry the base on into a curvy high heel shape. 
Depending on how tall you want the shoe to be test out a few rounded items around the kitchen.
You can buy shoe molds that allow you to lay the fondant right in them,
but my containers of kosher salt worked just fine too.

Before leaving the heel base to dry roll out
some black fondant with white gumpaste.
I left the swirls intact by not kneading
 the gumpaste all the way into the fondant.  

Cut the black and white fondant to the same size as the pink base.

Using a little water or gumglue paint and attach the two shoe layers together.

Trim up the edges using an exacto or small paring knife.
At this point set the shoe base on to your mold and let dry overnight
or for at least a few hours until firm enough to work with.

Cut a small diamond of fondant for the shoe's toe strap.

Find something that is about the same shape of the shoe mold but a little smaller. 
I used the end of my rolling pin. 
Once the toe strap piece is mostly dried you can glue it to the shoe. It'll be easier to fit it perfectly onto the shoe base if the fondant has a little flex to it still. Place something underneath the strap to support it while it dries completely, like a wadded paper towel.

 Some of the excess black and white fondant/gumpaste
 mix can be used to cut out a small flower accent.

Glue it onto the toe strap.

Once dried you can see the shoe taking shape.  
 To secure the shoe to the cake and add some stability measure 
the heel height with a wooden skewer. Cut the skewer a few inches longer
 than needed. The extra skewer length will be inserted into the cake 
and secure the shoe to the cake.

I covered the heel portion of the skewer in small rounds of
 pink and black fondant to finish the heel.

Once all the pieces are dried you can see here that one end of the heel is attached to the shoe base with some soft fondant, while the toe end of the shoe is attached to the cake with buttercream. Place the extra skewer length into the cake.  Once placed on the cake the shoe and cake should be chilled to secure and re-firm everything.

Once chilled a light steaming will add shine 
and remove any excess corn starch. If you look close right at the skinniest part of the shoe base a small crack formed, I covered this with some pink ribbon.

The ribbon then was wrapped around 
the shoe base for the strappy high heel look.

I was relieved to hear the cake and shoe arrived at the party location intact
 and held up overnight until the guests arrived!

Phew! Happy Birthday!!