Nancy and the Scarlet Slipper

Hot on the heels (sorry) of the dragon slaying shoe, I was asked to do another shoe cake – this time a friend of mine wanted to surprise one of his friend’s on her 50th birthday.  He said she likes shoes and her favourite colour is red…apart from that, the design was left to me. Shoe cakeTaking a huge amount of inspiration from the extremely talented Iris Rezoagli of Cake Dreams by Iris, I created this high heeled shoe cake.

The shoe box cake is a four layer vanilla Madeira cake, filled with strawberry jam and vanilla Italian meringue buttercream.High heeled shoeThe gumpaste shoe was made using the heel mould and sole cutter from the kit I used last time.  However, because I decided to go with a platform sole, it was necessary to create my own toe and heel strap templates.  There was some cursing involved.  And maybe a little bit of pencil throwing.  Got there in the end though.

The upper of the shoe was created using two layers of gumpaste; I made the lacy detail with a heart shaped cutter and two broderie anglaise cutters.  I was initially planing to use Cake Lace but the lace mat I’d purchased wasn’t big enough, and patching bits together wasn’t going to work.  Not to worry, Plan B came out just fine.

(As it happens, I have a future cake planned that will utilise the cake lace, and allows me time to buy a larger lace mat!  That’s assuming I can make it work.  General consensus is that it’s a doddle to use, but I reserve judgement until actual usage has occurred 😉 )

The bow on the shoe and the black flowers (of undetermined species) are both embellished with non-edible diamanté.

PoppyHand modelled gumpaste poppy(ish) flower set against black satin ribbon.

ImprovementsThere are a few key areas for improvement, as detailed above, plus the top of the cake was still sloping at the edges – dammit I will get a straight finish!

That said, I’m really, really pleased with how the shoe came together and the over all look of the cake.  I had fun making it.

The recipient was reported to be delighted and amazed and so all is well in my little corner of the universe.

x

Slaying a dragon with a high-heeled shoe

A whole lot of learning has been accomplished, a mass of experience gained and just over one year elapsed since the failed first attempt at a high heeled shoe cake.  Just look at the difference a year can make…High heeled shoe cake…well, a year plus having cutters and moulds plus using the appropriate medium!

This three tier stacked cake was for a friend’s 30th birthday.  From bottom to top the flavours are: vanilla Madeira with strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream; chocolate fudge cake with chocolate buttercream; firm carrot cake with fresh orange buttercream.

I’m generally pleased with the finished cake but there’s still a ton of room for improvement…not least, remembering to check that the top cake is big enough for the shoe!  I think I got away with this but it wasn’t the finished look I had in mind.

High heeled shoe cake - back viewForward planning, or lack thereof, is to blame for almost all the elements of this cake with which I’m unhappy.  Forward planning is not really to blame for the sightly barrelled shape of the top cake…that’s just down to needing to take a little more time.  However, the crooked ’30’, the marbling effect of the purple glitter (I intended to have it more solid), the off centre positioning of the cake on the board, the purple ribbon on the top cake instead of the intended diamanté…all of this was down to me not checking, measuring and thinking ahead.

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Q: How much pain can a broken shoe cause?

A: It is immeasurable, particularly when coupled with a low fat, low sugar, reduced carb chocolate cake with choc/mint filling, suitable for a diabetic*!

*There is no such thing as ‘suitable for diabetics fondant’ – clearly the outer covering of fondant would need to be removed from this cake before a person with diabetes consumed it.  But I’m sure I didn’t need to tell you that.

completed shoe cakeWhen I agreed to do this cake I must have been under the influence of a full moon or something.  Making it was a horrible experience that took me through full scale tantrums (not a pretty sight) and left me with my confidence shot to pieces.

On the plus side, I learned some extremely valuable lessons.

Trial diabetic cakeOf course, the first thing I had to do was to come up with a cake recipe suitable for diabetics.  This was really difficult and took a LOT of trial bakes.  Trust me, when it comes to cake there is no such thing as a good sugar substitute…my experience was that they either made the cakes look great but taste vile, or the cake tasted ok(ish) but didn’t rise properly.  In the end I managed to come up with something suitable using a mix of xylitol, fructose and a tiny amount of muscovado sugar.

Toothpaste frostingThe next issue was the frosting.  Mint/chocolate was the request but, try as I might, I couldn’t stop it from tasting like toothpaste.  It didn’t help that the sugar free frosting recipe I initially used ended up also having the consistency of toothpaste.  The taste-testers tried gamely but feedback wasn’t good.

In the end I used a packet mix of chocolate flavour sugar free whipped dessert as the base for the frosting, adding a bit of the toothpastey stuff for firmer texture and a touch of mint flavour.  It was passable.  At least it wasn’t green.  I didn’t take any pictures.

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