As I write this special post I am in Washington D.C. dropping Sydney off to start her junior year at George Washington University. It seem apropos to be in our nation’s capital while I write a gift box cake post dedicated to a New Year filled with peace and hope. Sydney and I started the plans for the peace gift box cake the day after Christmas 2012. I was reminiscing with Sydney when it occurred to me how much violence has happened in her short life compared to my entire life; I wish I could erase all the awful events from our world, since that is impossible I thought I could pray that this year and the years proceeding are filled with peace. Sydney thought we could create a cake devoted to everyone of our prayers and wishes for peace and for hope to be restored, the third box is for what ever you pray or wish for this New Year.
I will be explaining the embellishments on the peace and hope cake boxes, sydney and I had an amazing time creating the cake. This first cake of the New Year is also the last cake Sydney will be able work with me on in the same kitchen until spring break. I would like to thank Marina Sousa of Just Cakes and Colette Peters of Colette’s Cakes for some of their embellishment inspirations.
Peace and Hope Gift Box Cake:
- Pasta machine,optional
- Right angle
- Straight cutting wheel
- PME decorative cutting wheel
- Decorative rolling pins
- Circle cutters different sizes
- Artist brushes
- Pounce wheel
- Ribbon cutter
- A-ceto knife
- Straws, all sizes
- Decorative stamps
- Plastic bags, cut into strips
- Color paste: electric green, fade proof pink, electric blue
- Petal dust: cosmo, kiwi, & lime
- Luster dus: pearl white,fairytale pink, fairytale blue, and lustre kiwi
- Sugar water, edible glue
Prepare your mise en place for the decorative bows.
We created our own edible glue with 50% water to 50% sugar, heat to dissolve, cool, and pour into a clean bottle with a brush. To create the bow with tails, we decide not to color the base (we choose white) so we could pearlize it with edible paint later. Prepare your gumpaste, place a rolled rectangle of fondant in your pasta machine, roll the paste until you have reached a thin transparent long piece of gumpaste. Even the piece into a rectangle, length and width of your choice, with your ruler and pounce wheel draw in stitching, gently bring the two long sides into the middle, mark the center lightly, pleat each end in an accordion fashion, and pinch together lightly.
Take one of the end and gingerly wrap it around some looped plastic, use a small amount of sugar water glue, attach to the middle of bow, and repeat to the other end. Allow the bow to sit while you prepare the tails and centre.
Cut two pieces of gumpaste equal size and width, add stitching, using a plain wheel cutter cut from the corner up on an angle. Repeat in the opposite direction on the second tail. For the centre cut a small piece, add stitching, fold lower end inward to create a crease and the upper end outwards, fold around the centre of the bow with a tiny amount of sugar water tuck the ends under. Add movement to the tails and allow to dry. For our cake we created three bows of different sizes and one without tails.
Once the bows were dry we painted them with pearlized lustre dust. Place the lustre dust into a small container and mix with vodka, the consistency should coat the bottom of the container, but not ripple, play with it for a little before painting. Brush on the bows and tails with a large mop brush.
Prepare fairytale rose mise en place.
I call this wrapped rose “Fairytale Roses”, they remind me of Snow White. To create the roses mix 50% gumpaste with 50% fondant and color the 50/50 mixture (we colored them light pink). Start with a rectangle rolled out thin enough to fit in the pasta machine (if you do not have a pasta machine roll the paste transparent thin). Once rolled to transparency smooth with your hands and cut a rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise, start at one end, roll tight in the center. As you begin to roll more 50/50 paste loosen the roll, pinching continuously after each fold, add a little curve, and tuck the end under to finish. Cut the bottom so the fairytale rose stands flat. Let dry before coloring with petal dust. Once the roses are dry dust with cosmo petal dust and fairytale pink.
For the curly “Q’s” color gumpaste, cut strip with a decorative wheel, and wrap around different size rods, straws, or I found a bow turner set for .99 cents. Pretty much any thing round and long will work. Leave the colored gumpaste on the round until dry, carefully slip the curly “Q’s” off and dust.
For the circles place gumpaste in the paste machine or roll by hand, with even pressure stamp the paste. If the paste is sticky dust the top of the paste with cornstarch before stamping. With assorted circle cutters cut out the circles, dust with lustre dust, and apply with sugar water.
The ribbon that adorns each box were created with a ribbon cutter with different widths. Roll out gumpaste and roll with a decorative rolling pin, dust with lustre dust, and cut out strips in different width sizes. Attach with sugar water and tuck the ends underneath the cake. We chose for each box ribbon to be colored as the proceeding box.
I want to thank my daughter, best friend, and business partner for being my muse. As Sydney begins a new exciting chapter in her life I couldn’t be prouder!! I must admit I am a tad envious she will be in D.C. for the Inauguration.
We give you this cake as our prayers, dreams,and wishes for peace and hope to the nation, may 2013 be a calm peacefully year!