Monday, February 28, 2011

Mini Purse Cake

I have been wanting to make a small purse cake for the longest time.  There's really not much demand for a cake like this at my house.  It's super girly and I have all boys.  I would have loved a cake like this when I was a little girl...I love a cake like this now.  Good news is that even though my boys don't have much use for a purse cake, they still like to eat it.  Let me show you how I did it.

You'll need one 6" round cake cut in half.
Put the halves together with the flat sides in.
Now it's time to carve.  Using a sharp knife, cut a smile shape from the top.
Little by little, cut away the cake until it begins to look more like a satchel shape.  Remember that it is much easier to carve away slowly than to try to re-attach the cake if you cut too much.
Here you can see it with both sides carved.
Want another angle?  There is actually very little cake removed for this design.
Cover the cake in buttercream.  To minimize crumbs getting into the frosting, make sure you push the frosting with you spatula, not pull it.
Let this sit until the frosting crusts and then iron it with your hands and a Viva paper towel (more on this Viva method).  Work out all of the spatula marks making the frosting nice and smooth.  After the frosting is smooth, use the handle of a paint brush or narrow wooden spoon to press the creases into the frosting giving the bunched look to the "fabric" of the purse.
Here you can see the buttercream complete after smoothing and creasing.
Now it's time to work on the fondant.  Roll the fondant out nice and thin. Emboss the fondant with a stamp by placing the stamp on the fondant and roll over it with the rolling pin.
Cut a strip for the handle.  Place it over a form and let it dry.  The container for cup cake liners was a perfect size.
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut out a piece for the purse flap.  Is that what that piece is called?  I couldn't come up with a better name for it.
Gently place the flap on the cake.  You won't need anything as "glue" since gravity is on your side here.  Roll some thin snakes of fondant to use as piping on the purse seams.
Here comes my favorite part.  Make a paint by mixing food coloring, luster dust and vodka.
Paint the embossed design on the fondant.  The luster dust will make it sparkle!  Add your handle when it is dry enough to maintain it's shape.

This cake makes only four servings, at least for my family.  You could easily make this same design using a larger round cake.  The only thing that you might have to change is the handle.  If the handle is larger it might exceed the strength of the fondant.  To solve this problem there are a few choices.  One is to make the handle floppy on purpose.  Another is to make it out of gum paste which is stronger.

I hope you will try this cake.  If you have never carved a cake before this is a great place to start.

Happy caking!