I have a confession. This cake is actually the Christmas cake that I didn’t ice in time for the big day. It’s been maturing with lots of brandy sprinkles and feeds since last August and smells divinely fruity, rich and heady. I got to it this morning. It really is a properly rich fruitcake. with black treacle and lots of dried fruits. It’s covered in marzipan and roll-out fondant (I actually like the Shamrock brand of roll out fondant. Used to hate the stuff for having a plastic flavour but the Shamrock fondant is really nice). The flowers are made from fondant as well and the bibbly-bobblies are piped on using Royal Icing.
Flexilace – The cake topper
A slightly wider view:
The mat and Flexilace were Christmas presents and today was the first time I’d used them. If you’ve never made Flexilace before, a word to the wise – a little goes a very long way. I made up 50g of Flexilace to 75ml of cooled water and had enough to make all sorts of lace bands and butterflies and other doodahs (another set of silicone moulds received (with joy) for Christmas).The good news is that they keep well in a ‘wallet’ of greaseproof paper. I only intended to make the single mat pictured above, though! I think 12g and 17ml of water would have done.
The lace is a cinch to make. Boil the required volume of water, let it cool then stir into the Flexilace powder. Keep stirring and ‘beating’ for about 3 minutes till it’s blended, smooth and spreadable. Use a spatula to apply it to the mat or fill a mould. Pop into the oven at 160C for about 15 mins or until dry to touch. Let it cool then gently peel the mould away from the set lace. This stuff is fairly resilient but if there are fine lines you need to take a little more care and peel away from the mat very gently.
I used a little squinch of royal icing here and there on the top of the cake to secure it into place then topped it with a final flower. To finish it all off I used a dry paintbrush to flick pearl lustre-dust over the cake to give it a little shimmer. You can see the bokeh effect in the middle picture. They’re not Photoshopped sparkles.
I loved making all the flowers. Very zen, very soothing. Ahhh! So happy it turned out as beautifully as it did.
The two aprons I use regularly are now in the wash so… I’m off to make one of those dead-hip Japanese cross-back aprons that I’ve envied online. I’ve downloaded free patterns and modded them because they were too long or the straps were too skinny and actually made my template from cheap muslin. The template is good and so it’s time to get some of my fabric stash out and make one to wear! More fun!