(This is the look I came up with the night before)
As gorgeous as the inspiration cake is from my post from day one, I know my limitations. I know what I can do and what techniques I can pull off and which ones still need more practice. I didn't want to take on too much so I sketched out my idea first and then attempted to recreate it.
This was my first real time working with gum paste. I had dabbled before but never really had that much practice with it. I followed the instructions on the package and let it cure. I had a figure mold that I was hoping would make the job easier, but for me it was a big fat fail. For some reason the gum paste would stick in the mold and tear when I tried to take it out. I tried it again, this time making sure that I greased the mold first. Again, it tore. It might have had something to do with the obnoxious heat, I am not sure. I ended up freestyling the form and the head and hand molded them. In the end it worked out beautifully.
I added additional detail that I didn't include in the original sketch (like the bow in the back, which I love).
For the cake I used a recipe for a doctored up cake mix. I chose chocolate. For the filling I had a jar of strawberry-champagne jam in the fridge from Cost Plus World Market that I used for the filling. I thought the champagne flavor was appropriate for the French theme I was going for. I made a vanilla bean frosting for the under-coating for the fondant to stick to.
I had intended to use royal icing to do some of the detail but in the end was too tired and lazy to make some. I used fondant and gum past to complete the details (such as the trim around the bust, the red mouth and the details for the up-do). I was very pleased with the results and can't wait to explore some more ideas for next week.
Below are pics of the finished product...bon appetite!
(Marie Antoinette, just in time for Bastille Day)