I have had the opportunity to do a few more specialty cakes lately, so I am posting some pictures with some remarks about them, & recipe to make your own piping gel. Enjoy!
The first cake is a submarine cake I did for a bride in Elk Grove. She wanted to surprise her husband, and this served as his groom's cake. He had served on the Cincinnati 392 submarine and asked that I try to capture one moving through the water.
The cake itself was mocha flavored with a mocha filling. Decorated with buttercream and fondant. For the water effect, I used blue-colored piping gel. You can purchase piping gel, but I had everything I needed to make it. Below the pictures, I am supplying the recipe I used.
Here is the base with the filling.
Looks like a giant ice cream sandwich...
I then crumb-coated the cake with buttercream, covered the vessel portion in gray fondant, and began on the water.
Then I made a paint from vodka and luster dust to brush on the cake to give it a "metal" effect.
Piping Gel for Water
2 cups corn syrup
1 large envelope of fruit pectin
3 Tbs mixture: 2 Tbs water + 1 Tbs lemon juice
Bring water & lemon to a boil then add pectin. Dissolve the pectin in the mixture, then add to corn syrup in another saucepot. Allow to heat thoroughly and mix, but do not bring back to a boil. Mixture will thicken/gel as it cools. From there, you can color it as you wish with food coloring paste. Piping gel is also useful in thinning buttercream to pipe through very narrow piping tips.
The cakes below were for the Safely Out Celebration Event. These cakes were sheet sized and placed on wooden boards for support. The green cake was chocolate with chocolate filling, and the red cake was vanilla with vanilla bean filling. The actual "Need Help" sign was pumpkin cake. The cakes were iced with buttercream frosting and the letters of the door signs were cut out of fondant.
The last cake was done for a military family. I was so happy/proud to do this cake. It was sort of a wedding cake, as they had actually gotten married earlier, but were just now celebrating because of the soldier's return home from serving in the Middle East. When I delivered the cake, I got chills upon seeing the "Welcome Home" banner hanging over the porch. I spent a lot of time on this cake and got pretty emotionally attached. I was proud of both the flavors of the cake and the way it looked when I was done.
The bottom layer was lemon with raspberry buttercream, the middle layer was white with lemon curd, and the top layer was chocolate with chocolate fudge filling. I used wooden supports through the cake so that it would be stable. The entire cake was crumb-coated with buttercream and then covered in fondant. Different patches of fondant were placed on the layers to give it a camouflage look and I also used the colored fondant to make the beads placed around the layers. I brushed corn syrup over everything to make the cake look shiny. The dog tags were made out of butter cookies and covered with fondant and the metallic paint I described earlier in the post. The bow on the back was made from a blend of the three fondant colors.