Monday, March 19, 2012

Turquoise and Leather Purse Cake

I have a burning question....Would you call this a purse or a pocketbook cake?  I have always called such things a purse.  I never knew of them being called anything else until moving to New England.  Everyone that I run into here calls it a pocketbook.  So what do you call it?  I'm dieing to know.
This cake starts with 3, 9" cake layers.  That makes it serve approximately 25 people.  After stacking the layers, I wrapped them in plastic wrap and popped them into the freezer for a little while.  I didn't time it but it was probably around 30-45 minutes.  I don't usually freeze my cakes before carving. (I don't like the way freezing can change the texture of the cake.) I'm actually not really freezing this one either.  I just wanted the frosting to firm up enough to make it easy to flip it all on it's side.

So now it has firmed up in the freezer.  I cut off approximately 1" of the cake to give it a flat side.  Then it's time to flip the cake to stand on that new flat side.  Ready for carving.
Using a sharp knife, cut the sharp corners to round them out.  I also cut a slightly rounded shape off of the top and taper the top of the purse, front and back.  The end result of my carving looks like this....
and this.  Expect a mess for this step.  My boys love it when I have a carved cake because they get more scrap cake to eat!
Frost the whole thing with the turquoise frosting.  I smooth it as much as I can with the spatula, but don't obsess about it.
Here is my favorite part!  After the frosting crusts, smooth it out with a viva towel.  I also add the fabric wrinkles at this stage.  If you want to see this part in action, check out my video on the mini-purse cake. (Disclaimer: This video was for a cake contest that is long past.  Please ignore that part of the video and just focus on the cake.  Thank you.;0) )

Time to get out the leather...I mean fondant.  I hand rolled these long "snakes" for the piping at the seams.  If you have a fondant extruder it would be great for this part.  One of these days I'm going to get that gadget.

I roughly measured for the size of the flap.  Turns out to be 4" x 5".  Roll out the fondant and cut the shape out with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.  To make the embossed stripes I pressed my ruler onto the fondant.  I left the center stripe wider for the buttons.  I failed to get a picture of the ruffles in progress, sorry.  Let me try to describe it.  Roll out some of the fondant into a long ribbon.  You'll want it rolled out pretty thin.  Turn the flap upside down on your work surface.(stripes down)  Apply the ruffle strip around the outside edge of the flap making pleats as you go.  I brushed on a little water to act as glue.  The whole flap, ruffles and all, can now be carefully placed on the purse.
The handle was a fairly thickly rolled ribbon of fondant.  I placed it on the purse, propping it with some paper towels until it was firm enough to hold its own shape.  I let this sit over night before removing the towels.
As a finishing touch, I added the small buttons down the center of the flap and the hand painted tag.
The best part was that several people almost picked the cake up by the handle because they didn't think it was a cake!
Purse(or pocketbook) cakes are so much fun to make.  You get to pretend that you're a fashion designer instead of a cake designer. Fun, fun!  Hope you'll give it a try.