Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lucky Horseshoe + Glitter

At the cake store a few weeks ago, the manager showed me something new they had in the store for decorating cakes: GLITTER! Edible glitter, that is.

There already are a few products for making metallic looking finishes, but nothing quite as sparkly as this. The texture of chunky glitter can make even the most basic confection seem really fancy. It reminds me of the German glitter glass that is made into letters and numbers at Tinsel Trading Co. (an amazing crafts/vintage findings shop) in NYC.

So far the best way I have found to use it is to prep the surface with a coating of clear alcohol such as vodka, then to sort of tap glitter on, using a paintbrush. I have found doing this in two coats makes a nice, thick opaque glittery surface.

There is an upcoming birthday party for a friend turning 30. She actually has the same birthday as my daughter Ruby, so we joke they are soul sisters. The hostess spied for me what cake she likes and what kind of decoration too--pistachio cake, and horseshoes.
I have been wanting a good excuse to experiment with organic pistachio extract, since there is a cake made at Fabianne's Cafe in Williamsburg that I am obsessed with. As for the decorations, horseshoes are chic, and also a perfect way to try out the glitter.

For the cake, I want it to be really fun and sparkly in honor of the birthday girl. Bronze glittering horseshoes, with a giant "30" sticking out from the top, with a few wildflowers and painted bits of grass. Maybe even some small beading on the edges of the tiers.

Since I want the gumpaste to be very hard, I am making the decorations today for Monday's cake. I have never tried making something that sticks out of the cake like what I have in mind, so here goes...

Here I am free-form cutting the numbers with a knife.

The plan is to sink the lollipop part into the cake, so that only the "30" will show. I embed lollipop sticks into the base of each number, where the gumpaste is thicker, so that *fingers crossed* they will dry and allow me to use them this way.

The left side shows the gumpaste wrapped around the base, the "0" is waiting to be finished.

I tinted the gumpaste peach so it gives a subtle glow to the bronze glitter where it may peek through.

The shapes after the second coating of glitter.
Off to dry for a few days, then assembly on Monday. Not sure yet whether to pipe detailing onto the horseshoes or to leave them as just shapes.
In the meanwhile, there are some other ideas brewing for this fantastic glitter to come.

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