It came out sort-of-cute, but I had some issue with the color. Katie asked for light purple, but to my eye it came out more grayish-lavender. I had forgotten how difficult it is to color some fondants purple.
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Thankfully I had the forethought to test different colors on my Mona Lisa fondant before I tinted the whole batch. I've tried lots of different fondants and Mona Lisa is my favorite, but sadly the Mona Lisa fondant does some funny things when you try and tint it violet. It has something to do with the pH of the fondant and its reaction to the Red Dye #5 in the food color. I tried all the violets and purples I had on hand, and finally settled on Americolor's Electric Purple. Yes, the Electric Purple food gel gave me this muted grayish-lavender color.
The first component of this cake that I made was the rope-style number 5. This cake gave me an excuse to buy the Artway ACE Food Safe Extruder. With the extruder you can make perfect strings of "rope", and lots of other things. I've tried other hobby clay extruders, but they break very easily, and leave nasty black streaks on the fondant. The ACE Extruder works great, and because of that it is in high demand from both clay and cake artist. If you order one, be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait.
Thankfully the ACE arrived in time for this cake, and it made some great looking rope. I used fondant stiffened with Tylose powder, and squeezed it through the extruder. I positioned the rope to match a wire armature I made of the number "5", and gently pressed the wire into the fondant. I couldn't really push the wire into the fondant because it was squashing the "front" side of the rope and flattening it out. Once I had the impression of the wire in the fondant, I remove the wire, used an x-acto knife to cut a deeper groove along the mark, and then gently pushed the wire into the groove. I let the rope number 5 dry for a few days, and then I mixed up some grunge and covered the wire.
The gunge dried rock hard, so it both secured and hid the wire from view.
For the horse on the side of the cake I found an image I liked and cut the fondant to match.
I made some fence boards from strips of brown fondant, and used toothpicks to guide the placement of the strips.
The "boards" are textured using a wood grain texture mat, and the fondant covering the cake drum is textured using an alligator skin texture mat. I was running low on the purple fondant, so I just covered the outer rim of the cake drum. And because of the random look of the alligator impression, you can't even see where the pieces of fondant are joined together.
The final step of the cake was putting Piper's name on the cake. Again I used the purple fondant and the ACE extruder. But I wasn't happy with the contrast of the muted purple letter against the white fondant.
The name just didn't pop out, so I painted the letters with edible gold luster dust mixed with lemon extract. I also dusted the purple stars on top of the cake and the purple flowers by the fence post.
So here is the finished cake. I think it would have looked a lot better in pink, but Piper is a purple kind of girl. Happy 5th Birthday, Piper.
Happy Decorating Folks,
Mona Lisa Fondant
Americolor's Electric Purple
ACE Food Safe Extruder
14" Cake Drum
Alligator Impression Mat (used on the fondant covering the cake drums)
Wood Grain Texture Mat
Edible Gold Luster Dust