Friday, May 4, 2012

Pretty Castle

My daughter Claire was invited to a birthday party. I didn't know what to get the birthday girl, as usual, so I thought I'd make the cute princess castle which was on the invitation card. It was simple and pretty!

The cake is a small 6" chocolate cake at the bottom and the top tier is an even smaller 4" round chocolate cake. The two towers are purely gumpaste. The flags are made of modelling paste.

Modelling paste is fondant strengthened with CMC (carboxymethylcellulose) powder. I think I prefer CMC to gum tragacanth, as it can be used instantly after mixing, unlike gum, where you have to let it rest for a few hours after mixing before you can use it. Since I am forever lacking enough time, anything that saves time gets a thumbs up from me!

It's funny how when I first learned about CMC, it was for a totally, totally different use! It was our group project in uni (pharmacy degree), we were doing different drug delivery methods and we got ocular inserts! It means we had to explore the fairly un-used method of delivering drug into the eye by using eye inserts! (ie. putting something into the eye like contact lens)

So we dissolved the medicine and added CMC to thicken and bind it together and let it dry into a paper thin piece of medicine which could be put into the eye! Cool eh? Unlike eye drops, it could dissolve slowly, thus delivering drug steadily into the eye, over a longer period of time. A guy from Pfizer came and judged ours the best project and we got free Pfizer t-shirts! lol!

And here I am now using CMC to make cakes!! Which I enjoy so much more by the way!! ;)

Okay, sorry for the detour, back to the cake...

For the name, I used FMM tappits. The tappits can be a pain to use, but if you know these simple secrets, it becomes a breeze!

1. use gumpaste, not fondant
2. roll it out really thin
3. use plenty of cornflour, on the top and bottom of the gumpaste and also flour the FMM mould!

The pretty alphabets you get in the end are definitely worth it!

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