Internal Armature for 3D Cakes
Today I would like to touch upon a topic that sometimes can be hard to understand and we ask ourselves How was that cake done? Specially when is a standing or gravity defying cake.
Well as everything in life (at least I like to think so), it has an explanation, such explanation would be the fact that Standing Cakes, and/or Gravity Defying Cakes must have an internal armature or internal support. I am providing you very good examples of images with wonderful internal support that are easily found online.
The support can be out of metal (treated to be food safe -i.e. covered with modeling chocolate or aluminum foil), this support can be drilled to a heavier than regular wood base, The base is then covered with fondant and decorated as appropriate. Others decorators use a combination of PVC Pipes and wood to create their armature (see image below), since it is their preference and sometime is great when working with special effects such as lights (pvc allows you to pass the wires through it instead of the cake).
To have a 3D cake, which is usually carved in the shape of the figure you are doing, the base where the cake part (meaning the part that will be cut to be eaten) must be cut to the figure’s shape. Other types of gravity defying cakes usually would have the figure made of modeling chocolate (with the support or not depending on its size) and be covered, painted and detailed to the character’s likeness.
A good tip would be to use as many light materials possible. Even if you are only doing the shape of the character, and this is not made of cake, the lighter the top piece the better it is. If you are doing the Robocop cake shown below, it is better to use a styrofoam ball for its head and not using perhaps RKT or foil paper, take in consideration the weight that will be added after this piece is covered either by fondant, or modeling chocolate. You don’t want your higher pieces to be heavier than than ones at the bottom, this could be damaging to the rest of the piece.
It is a good idea to take a on-hand cake at least once, if you want to learn and practice on how to make these cakes. A problem that I have found (by experience) that if you try to teach yourself on how to do it, it will take you longer and be more expensive (material wise) than taking a real class.
Everything is possible, you might be a carving wizard and might not know it yet.
and Happy Decorating!
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