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Every dog has its day, so make your next celebration truly fetching with cake designer Elisa Strauss!
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|Here are some details about my project:|
|Material||Chocolate, Modeling Chocolate, Fondant, Buttercream, Gum Paste|
Share a little about the materials, processes and techniques used to create this cake: I made this more or less life size and followed Elisa's excellent method for guidance throughout. The cake was built and dowelled exactly as she does and I used Elisa's short hair mat which worked really well although for a cat, a finer hair strand type would be even better. The mat really gives a tidier finish than scraping the whole cake by hand. For the colour, rather than dust as Elisa did for the dog, I airbrushed because of the big variations of colours needed. I had never airbrushed before even though I bought the machine two years ago, so it was quite a challenge, and revelation, I love it, but it turned out a lot darker than intended and not quite as neat as I would have liked. The position of the chest and front paws was the source of much stress and cursing but in the end, I simply attached the legs to the body rather than have them out front with skewers like Elisa 's dog. Then I hid the slightly odd look of the chest and front legs with a bow. Right at the beginning, it was hard to get started as I couldn't use Elisa's base template which is for a dog and not a cat, but using the same method, I drew this randomly. I had a terrible brand of cheap UK fondant that tore under its own weight when unrolled so a lot of patching had to be done but the mat is really good at disguising joints. Elisa's method is so great, she completely demystified making such a big cake, and I could do this without saws and metal rods, and simply with wooden skewers and dowels. I'm totally hooked and want to do a dog now, which I think will be easier. I used a very little bit of modelling chocolate only on the head but otherwise, the whole covering is fondant/sugarpaste.
What are you most proud of? the fact that I didn't give up when I felt completely out of my depth, and also that apparently, the (London) guests were so amazed it was a cake that I got a round of applause at the party..
What advice would you give someone starting this project? probably to allow plenty of time to carve and carve some more, and prepare better than I did unless you feel you can really do this by eye. clear the fridge so that you have room for the height of this cake before covering. Make cake pops with the 4lb of offcuts. Let the medal dry nice and flat, I didn't have time to.