This is the next cake I have to show you for The Great Cake Bake.
The category as I’m sure you can see was Gothic. The bride and groom have planned a very Gothic wedding on Halloween and then off to a castle in Transylvania (as you do) for their honeymoon.
The brief given by the bride on this one included red and black in colour, bats, a Gothic castle, Gothic arch and a pentacle.
For anyone who doesn’t know what a pentacle is (this includes me before making this cake) it has been used widely throughout history and by different religious groups leading to some confusion about it’s meaning.
I could give a very long description of a pentacle here but I won’t, mostly because I don’t know enough about them.
In a nutshell for many it is a symbol of paganism and worn as an affirmation of these beliefs.
I am sure someone out there will have a much better description so please feel free to comment.
So I set about trying to create something dark, edgy but still with a little romance.
The bride had also said that she would have spider webs with jewels on her dress.
The bottom tier is covered with black sugarpaste and then decorated with brush embroidery spider webs. I didn’t want to pipe the webs with straight lines as I wanted them to be a little more interesting than that.
I used some edible purple and dark silver glitter in the black royal icing for the webs which glisten when the light catches them.
I piped little dots of clear piping gel on the spider webs as jewels but they also look like the little blobs of dew you see on spider webs in the early morning – which is nice.
I made a Gothic arch for the centre of the bottom tier. I used a kind of grey/green colour sugarpaste to get the colour of very old stone.
I made the arch in sections to look like blocks of stone and then made grooves which I shaded with edible powder to make the arch look very old.
I put the pentacle in the centre of the arch. I imprinted the pentacle onto the sugarpaste and then used a narrow brush dipped in sparkly purple and silver dust to create the image.
I then made some deep red dinky roses to put around the base and top of the arch. These were made using strips of red sugarpaste which I rolled up to make a rose shape.
The next tier up sits at an angle and is an eight sided tier. This tier is again covered with black sugarpaste. I made lots of black, deep red and dep purple butterflies and flowers. This was the romantic element of the cake but the butterflies were still edgy because I gave them ragged wings and they were all dark.
I made some small, medium and very large butterflies which were attached to the length of each corner. I then added the flowers trailing down the centre of the rows of butterflies. The flowers again were dark colours and I gave them a lustrous finish.
I also sprayed them with edible glaze. It is possible to buy this glaze in a can which achieves a consistent smooth finish. The centre of some of the flowers were filled with piping gel to tie in with the jewels on the brides dress. I also added some edible diamonds to some of the flowers.
The next tier up sits at an angle again and is covered with shards of black, dark grey and red sugarpaste.
I added gum tragacanth – good ole gum trag! (hardening agent) to the sugarpaste before rolling it out and cutting out the shards.
I attached them to the cake with royal icing. Once the royal icing had set and the shards were firmly in place I piped little spider webs between the points of the shards.
For the top of the cake I made a castle.
I created the brick effect of the castle wall with an embosser with a brick pattern on it. The slates on the roof have a lustrous effect.
I wanted to have a big moon behind the castle and a spooky, craggy tree. I made the moon using two round cake cards which were stuck together with a supporting rod between them (to look a bit like a lollipop).
On one side of the cards I added a thick layer of white sugarpaste which I shaped to be curved. Then I used a big round dusting brush to brush on edible pearl dust. I inserted the moon into the cake with the rod stuck between the two cards.
The craggy tree was a combination of black sugarpaste and painted floral wires.
I made a cone shape for the trunk of the tree and made a bark effect with one of my handy little tools.
For the branches I cut lots of pieces of wire and wrapped floral tape around them.
I stuck them together to make a tree shape and then used more tape to stick all the branches together.
Once I had done that I painted the tree black and inserted the branches into the trunk.
The last thing to do was to add some flying bats. The way I made them fly was to thread them onto wires which went around the cake. I made these little bats with black sugarpaste.
The wires were inserted into the cake so that they went from the top tier down to the second tier to make the bats look like they were flying down from the castle.
When the cake was revealed I really felt that I had achieved all the things the bride to be was looking for.