My girlfriend, Kaylynn’s, birthday is tomorrow, the 31st. It is also Harry Potter’s birthday, and she loves the Harry Potter books so she’s having a Harry Potter Birthday party and I offered to make the cake! I’m also being featured today over at Rae Gun Ramblings where I’m participating in a full week of bloggers sharing Harry Potter crafts, food and more! Go check it out!
So a Harry Potter cake! There are SO many great options, but I needed something quick and easy (3 cakes in one week) so I decided to do a golden Snitch, I made the whole thing today, start to finish. If I didn’t have to stop at take pictures it would have been even faster, so a great last minute cake! PLUS Kaylynn has a thing for shiny gold so it works out well.
I will say right now that the wings were the hardest part, I even had an EPIC fail, I got the cake all ready for pictures and the feathers just started falling off (more down below) GAH, but the new style wings are much easier.
When I asked her what her favorite cake flavor was she said cheesecake and red velvet. So while I am one of the few people in this world that doesn’t like red velvet I ALWAYS give a birthday girl what she wants. I used the ball pan for the two rounds and then a 6 inch cheesecake about 3/4 inch tall.
Now if you’ve seen the Big Bang Theory you know that a perfectly round cake tend to roll… and since we don’t want our cake rolling off the cake plate I cut a 3 inch circle out of one of the half circles, creating a flat section for our cake to stand on. Add ganache to a foil covered cardboard circle and stick it to the flat section.
Because it’s easier to frost the bottom half of the cake while it’s still upside down that’s what I do. Using Ganache of course, it’s what I always use for shaped cakes, esp cakes, like this, that could easily fall apart, off balanced. Turn it right side up.
cover the cake with ganache and add the cheesecake.
Add more ganache (best edible glue ever) and top with the other half circle. I’ve found that the ball pan cakes deflate a bit and you don’t get a perfect circle, that’s why I like adding the 3/4 inch cheesecake in the middle. It’s delicious AND add’s the perfect height!
Finish frosting the cake with the ganache, smooth it out and let it set!
Roll out your yellow/ivory fondant circle, you want it about 1/4 inch thick. That way it will be easier to stretch, pull and push into place without creases when you start thick. BUT you need to make sure you have a strong cake that can hold up under the weight of the fondant.
Cover the cake with the fondant and working around (not one side at a time, work around evenly) finally cutting off the excess and smoothing it with your hands, softly, so as not to leave a handprint anywhere.
time to add the details. To get it to stick I use a steamer and steam the cake, it makes it tacky so it will hold the details. I use a clay extruder (only for food though, don’t cross contaminate). I started with the largest circle and added the main swirl around the side and the main lines on the top. Don’t forget the turn and curl on the sides.
Using the Medium circle i added the second line and center top swirls. Then added another swirl to the side as well. Then using the next size down circle I added the large wing line swirl around the entire snitch.
Next up, with the same circle, add the petal shape on the sides and the lines, I broke the petal up into thirds and made the lines there. Then, between those long lines again.
And finally add the round balls that the wing’s attach to, but not too large, not a full circle, but not a half circle either. Along the sides, between the original fat swirl ad the last smaller swirl, take a dull tool and draw lines (indentations) on the diagonal, on both sides.
Kay, for the wings (start these first if you can so they have time to dry. You can use gumpaste for strength. But since I already have the fondant, colored correctly, I just add gum-tex to make the fondant stronger (like homemade gumpaste). Mix it well. Then using a pasta roller roll it down to a number 1 or 2 (the thinnest and second thinnest)
this was my fail. I cut the wing shape to go over an 18 gauge covered wire Then I cut stripes, for the metal feathers.
I loved the way they hung, so I placed them in to a Styrofoam block to dry. Then I spraypainted the wings… That’s when the problems started.
It got too heavy… and all the lovely feathers fell off. FAIL! GAH. So I recut them, shorter this time, and instead of cutting the feathers all the way up I just created a light fringe around the edge to give it a feathery look. AND I also sprayed the feathers with a much lighter coating of the airbrushing, so it didn’t add as much weight.
Airbrush the entire cake with gold, make sure to get all the nooks and crannies. Multiple light coats vs a heavy hand is the better way to go. Finally… Add the wings!!! I used needle nose pliers to push them into place so my fat fingers wouldn’t mess up the paint job!
You can see that one wing bends a slightly different direction than the other. It comes down to weight, BUT if I tried to re band it it would just cause more problems, ruin the wing or the paint job, so it’s usually best just to leave it and turn the cake a bit than try to mess with delicate details like these wings.
This week Marissa, from Rae Gun Ramblings, is having a ton of guests and features, like this one, to celebrate Harry Potters Birthday! Head on over to her site so see all the posts and links for this fun week! Crafts, food and more!