Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Giddy-up, jingle horse, pick up your feet.

One of the side effects of having limited computer and internet access for the last few months is all the source material for posts that I had to abandon, particularly from the summer - posts about running around in the sunshine look a bit out of place in December.

However, as Christmas is kind of the official time for baking for many people, it didn't seem totally irrelevant to post this now. Even though these photos were taken for my niece's birthday, WAY back in August. I've been the offical cake-maker for my niece's birthday for the last few years, with mixed results. Last year, I created a fondant fairy village, with toadstool cupcakes, and this year she wanted another fondant fairy (with the proviso that it looked a bit like her). My little fondant creation proved popular with kids and mums alike, so I created a little tutorial!

You will need:
- Fondant
- Food colouring (I went with pink, yellow and red)
- Icing sugar
- Chopping board/big old plate
- Little sharp knife
- Rolling pin.


1 - Colouring
I took a largeish handful of fondant and moulded it into a ball, and then added a drip of yellow and a drip of pink food colouring. A drip = about half a cap. Then I kneaded it for ages until it stopped being streaky and went peach! It will, I promise.


Do the same for as many colours as you need - in this case it was peach for the skin, pink for the clothes and brown for the hair. Brown was very hard to get - a bit of pink, a bit of yellow, some black and some red. I am going to look for brown food colouring next time!


NOTES:
- a little food colouring goes a LONG way. It will almost definitely stain your hands.
- make sure you have lots of icing sugar to hand, as it will stop the fondant sticking to the rolling pin, the chopping board, as you. Use as much as you need.


2 - Assemble
Take some peach coloured fondant and roll it into a ball. Take another bit and roll it into a squat cylinder, then make two more smaller cylinders.

The two small cylinders are the legs - they go together, then the larger one goes on top, as the body. The head goes on top, but it's best to get the body right then do the head last.


For the dress, roll out some fondant (remember the icing sugar) and cut out a roundish shape. I chose pink, but any colour would work.

I don't think you need to use a cutter for this shape - although I suppose you could always use a big star or something and make something with a jagged edge.


Drape it over the body, like it's a ghost and arrange the folds as you want. This sometimes works first time and sometimes takes a few goes - there are various methods you can try. The above is most simple, and worked brilliantly last time I tried it, but this time I had messy-edge issues (a tiny bit of water should help smooth this out).

I redid the body and created a little ledge in between the legs and body for the dress to rest on.


I then started on the head! As I mentioned earlier, the hair colour was a bit of a pain - stick to blonde if you can! For the hair, I rolled out some of the brown colouring and created a stretched semi-circle shape with my knife. Shorter hair will always work better, especially if this has got to last. If you go too long with the hair you risk it drying out and snapping off.


Hang it over the head carefully until it looks sort of bob-like and press it down gently over the 'forehead'. Create a parting with your knife - super, super gently. You should have made enough space to have hair at the back, too, but if not, cut out a small circle and press that into the back of the head, and into the hair.

Because this is so thin, you have to be mad careful not to make it all fall apart. I do recommend doing the head separately before attaching to the body.

Before you attach the head, sort the arms out. Roll out one or two long tubes and drape over the top of your body. I opted to keep them 3D, but they would probably look good flat. Hold them however you want - I went for next to the body as I knew they'd stay secure.


Now attach the head! You may need to wet the bottom to help it stick - or, if you're really worried, poke a cocktail stick through the centre.


I also added wings as she was supposed to be a fairy, after all - I just cut out a simple shape from white fondant and stuck them on the back with water. The join isn't brilliantly neat - next time I would try and do this from just one shape, rather than two.


Draw on features with a cocktail stick. Make any other final changes - I realised the legs were almost lost so I added sticky-out legs so it looked like she was sitting down.

I also added a bow, which is the simplest thing - just two tiny dots of fondant stuck together at the side.


And you're done!


I hope this little tutorial gives you some inspiration - you could do something more festive and make elves or penguins (going for the whole Arctic theme!). To be honest, this little fairy caused a lot of problems when I made her but my attempts the year before came out brilliantly:


Just have a play and I'm sure you'll come out with something amazing (and probably a lot better than mine!). Have fun!
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13 comments

  1. aw they are well cute :) very clever indeed mrs!
    When it comes to anything arty/crafty I am just crap! Even the baking bit would have been crap too, lol
    xx

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  2. i guess i will never be patient enough to create something like this, haha

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  3. You are so talented. I would attempt this and end up with blobs of ugly coloured lumps of royal icing!

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  4. adorable much?! but i'm with susanne -- i'm not nearly patient enough for this.

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  5. Can you be my official cake baker too? That is so cute! And I bet it got eaten pretty quick too!

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  6. That.

    Is.

    AMAZING.

    I've really impressed myself recently with my baking but seriously, that's so good. So, so good. I could never make anything like that.

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  7. Very cute Sarah! I tend to cheat and buy ready coloured icing from my amazing local cake supplier, www.craftcompany.co.uk although I forgot to get green the other day so ended up looking like the hulk when I needed to make a Christmas tree!!

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  8. Oh Sarah they're absolutely brilliant! I do love to bake but I have no patience for any of the fiddly stuff like cake decorating.

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  9. You are seriously such a talented lady sarah. Beautiful jewellery AND little edible people?! and cake baking? I am super impressed :) go you! xx

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  10. God that is amazing. I wanna be able to make cakes like this!

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  11. SO CUUUUTE!
    aww i can't believe how sweet they are! If I could get that cake for my bday i think i'd cry all over it with joy haha
    shame you missed our party but no worries, we just had the 5 of us eating lots and playing Elf Yourself hehe
    finally just posted my aussie market post - did you have fun?
    http://www.shinythoughts.net/2010/12/aussie-angel-tribe-mascots-setting-up.html

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  12. Sarah, I found your Blog through Jennie (sailor Jennie) and I just love it. Your such an inspiration to me, i love all the detail you put into your blog and am so glad jennie recommended you! I also love your outfit posts and think your a beautiful lady! Keep up the good work :) Fern xo

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