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Sunday, 2 March 2014

Canon 5D Mark II Camera Cake

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Hello! It has been a few months since my last blog post. However, I am back and hopefully able to keep up some regular posts going. I thought I would start the first post of 2014 to be of my most recent cake creation venture. 

This cake was for a 21st birthday of someone special. They love photography, and as a vow, I said that one day I would make them a camera cake. The day finally came. It was my first 3D sculptured cake, in terms that it required carving, layering and different aspects for it to look like the real thing. As I wanted to get as much detail as I could, I had photos of the camera to use as a reference point.

This cake was the first time I had ever written on fondant using edible paint. This was scary as I was using white paint on black fondant. If I produced any major mistakes, I was doomed! 

A few last things, the weather was humid which meant that anything could have happened for the cake to be ruined. Furthermore, this cake was going for a drive down towards Jervis Bay (2.5 hours away). This was my second biggest fear. I was afraid the cake wouldn't make the journey. To make sure the cake didn't collapse, I placed some fondant rolled in plastic in between the top of the lens and the front of the camera. I was very glad that it made the journey with no damages *sighs in relief*.

Overall, the cake has to be the best fondant cake I have made to date (despite staying up until 2am finishing off final details). I was surprised that I didn't fall asleep while writing on the cake. I was very happy with how it turned out, especially since it consisted of a lot of firsts. I was too scared to cut into the cake, so the birthday boy did all the cake cutting. 

Things you'll need:
  • Thunder Cake Recipe times 3 (1 batch for square, and 2 for rectangle)
  • 1 Large rectangular spring form pan (Like this
  • 1 Square cake pan (21cm x 21cm)
  • Camera template : I enlarged the image in a word doc of A4 paper to the size I wanted. For a Canon camera, I extended the front grip of the body. 
  • Toothpicks
  • Serrated knife
  • Circle cookie cutters
  • Offset spatula
  • Chocolate ganache recipe (I used 300g dark chocolate, 300g milk chocolate and 600ml of thickened cream)
  • Black fondant: 1.5kg to be safe Available here
  • Red fondant: You don't need much, so you may be better off colouring white fondant red using red gel paste. Available here
  • Silver edible paint Available here
  • White edible pain Available here
  • Other colour fondant to cover cake board (Optional)
  • Rolling pin
  • Corn flour (can also be substituted with tapioca or rice flour)
  • Thin paint brushes
  • Fondant tools: If you don't have fondant tools a small sharp knife will suffice
  • Various icing piping tips: This was used to get nice clean cut circles of various sizes using different ends of the tips 
  • 12" Cake Board + 12" cake box  Available here
  • Water to stick fondant together
  • Unfortunately, I have no photos of the cake cross-section as the camera body was cut the following day and I didn't get a photo of it. 
Rectangle Pan: I used toothpicks to pin the template to the cake. Using the serrated knife I cut out 2 of the templates.

I used cake offcuts to the create the top part of the camera. I stacked them on top of each other to make sure I got the height and shape to my liking

Photo reference point

I used ganache to stick the cake offcuts to the body. I wasn't happy with the grip component of the cake from the template. Therefore, I added an extra bit of cake so that it was longer and more square than round at the front. I did a ganache crumb coat of the 2 halves separately. 

I then realised I forgot the part that sits above the lens which contains the camera brand. Therefore, I roughly cut something to the shape I wanted and attached it using ganache. Refrigerated for 1 hour.

I  carved the camera body so all the edges were smooth and even. I carved down where the shutter button is located. I added another light crumb coat to the newly carved area. Refrigerated for 30 minutes.

Final camera body done!
I stacked the cakes together and did a final ganache coat. This was then refrigerated until fondant work. 

Square pan: I was able to get 4 circles (2 large, and 2 slightly smaller). Using the cookie cutters, I chose the large size I wanted for the front of the lens. I went one size smaller for the body of the lens to give it some shape.

Lens completed!
1 crumb coat (refrigerated for 1 hour) then a final coat (refrigerated until fondant work). For the lens to fit on the cake board, roughly 3cm had to be cut from the end.

For the fondant work, I called my sister for assistance. There were no cuts or gaps in the fondant! The fondant was kneaded together and rolled out (using corn flour so it didn't stick to the table or rolling pin) then placed on top of the cake.

After the fondant work was done, I carefully transported the camera body to the cake board. The lens was attached to the body with some chocolate ganache. Decorations begin! 

Using varying piping tips I cut out different sized circles for the camera buttons.
For the lens, I cut strips of black fondant and used the knife to put little indents for detail. I brushed a bit of water on each fixture for it stick to the fondant. Other details were different sized rectangles that I adjusted to suit the scale of the camera.

Buttons and fixtures on the back of the camera. I rolled out a thin sausage of black fondant for the area around the view finder.  

Using the white edible paint and a thin paint brush I hand wrote all the camera body and lens details. 

I used one of my fondant tools to indent an area of the lens which has the aperture readings.

As you can see, there are a few dodgy writing on the cake there. 

I cut rectangles for the  various screens and view finder on the cake. I made the flash connector (which is a bit hard to see). To do so, I cut out some mini circles and rolled bits of fondant. I painted them all using edible silver paint. Lastly, I rolled out a thin sausage of red fondant and placed it on the rim of the lens.

Finished Canon 5D Mark II cake (Front)

Finished Canon 5D Mark II cake (Back)

Before serving I sprayed it with a bit of canola oil to remove white marks. 

I printed out photo and just stuck it on the back using a dab of oil.

The real 5D Mark II with its cake counter part 

Birthday Boy with his 2 cameras. You can now clearly see the size difference.

Back of camera comparison 

In a traditional camera sense, the lens was detached first. 

Good food, good times!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Vegetarian Marshmallow with chocolate crackle and Milo = Success!

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Every year the food bloggers picnic comes around and I struggle to figure out what to bring, i.e. Sweet VS Savoury. This year, I went with sweet and it was a smart decision. I decided to make vegetarian marshmallow. I have a few vegetarian friends, and I know that marshmallows is one of those things they want to eat but can't due to gelatin. I further decided to add my own twist to it by adding chocolate crackle and milo, which proved to be a great success. 

I left both my marshmallow and chocolate crackle overnight to ensure they were firm to cut through. However, both can be made within a few hours with appropriate cooling time. I apologise for the lack of photos in this post, I didn't expect a complete success. I have a few photos from a previous attempt which I thought was successful, but wasn't compared to this time around. Vegetarian marshmallow attempt 2

The original recipe is guided by http://www.foodmyfriend.com/2012/07/vegetarian-marshmallows/. She was able to reply to comments in a fast and quick manner which allowed for a great result!

Vegetarian Marshmallow
1 1/2 tablespoons of agar agar powder (generallly found in Asian supermarkets)
1 cup of luke warm water
185ml glucose syrup
1 1/2 caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
3 x 59g free range egg whites
1/4 teaspoon of food colouring/paste (optional)

1. Prepare a rectangle baking dish by lining with baking paper and dust with pure icing sugar. (I used a spring form rectangular baking dish e.g.rectangle springform)
2. In a jug, combine agar agar and water. Set aside for 5 minutes, stirring once every minute.
3. In a medium saucepan add glucose syrup, sugar, vanilla paste and agar agar mixture. Stir over a low heat, using a wooden spoon to ensure agar agar has dissolved and forms a thick syrup.
4. Using a candy thermometer, allow the mixture to reach 105 degree celsius, and then continue to simmer for 8 minutes. *maintaining the temperature is important, so DO NOT LEAVE the stove top.
5. Using an electric stand mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks.
6. Keeping the electric mixer on a medium speed, add in the hot syrup in a steady stream and mix on high for 3-8 minutes. DO NOT STOP THE MIXER. At this point you can add colour. 

(The time can vary depending on the mixer you have, I have a KitchenAid and I mixed for 6-7 minutes to ensure it wasn't too runny). You are looking for a thick and glossy mixture that is still moist. 

7. Using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and dust with icing sugar. 
8. Place another sheet of baking paper on top of the marshmallow to press down and create an even and flat marshmallow surface.
9. Set aside to set for a few hours or overnight.

Chocolate Crackle
The chocolate crackle is on the side of most Rice Bubbles packages, but if you are not familiar with the recipe it is:

4 cups Rice Bubbles
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
4 Tbsp Cocoa powder
250g Copha (found in the butter section of your supermarket)

1. Line a baking tray with baking paper (that is close to the same size of marshmallow baking dish) and lightly spray with oil.
2. Combine rice bubbles, icing sugar, coconut and cocoa powder in a large bowl.
3. Slowly melt Copha using microwave ( at 1-2 minute intervals) or stove top. Allow to slightly cool.
4. Add melted Copha to rice bubbles mixture until well combined.
5. Spoon the mixture onto the baking tray and spread evenly. 
6. Place another sheet of baking paper on top and press lightly to ensure the chocolate crackle and is evenly spread.
7. Refrigerate until firm or until needed.

Preparing the treat
1.Turn out the marshmallow on a clean baking tray leaving both sheets of baking paper. Or in my case I removed the spring form part of the tray. Remove the top sheet of baking paper.
2.Turn out the chocolate crackle from the baking tray leaving both sheets of baking paper. (The top of the crackle should be the smoother layer of chocolate that had settled at the bottom) and place back on the tray. Remove the now top layer of baking paper.
3. Carefully holding the baking tray, place the chocolate side down on top of the marshmallow allowing them to align as much as they can. (The chocolate crackle should be firm so it shouldn't break)
4. The marshmallow will stick to the chocolate side of the crackle. Carefully hold and flip both baking trays at the same time so the marshmallow ends up being on top. Remove baking paper.
5. Using clean string, fishing line or dental floss, create lines in the marshmallow as cutting guidelines.
6. Using a sharp knife, cut along the lines into the crackle.
7. Finish off by dusting over milo.
8. Marshmallow is now ready to be served! Place out of heat and sunlight and keep covered until ready to eat.

Good food, good times!