There is so much to learn out there about cakes, so many different tools and techniques and from so many wonderful and talented people! And although I'm still learning myself, I am all for sharing and helping others, so ask and you shall receive. A request I get alot is how I make the Kai-Lan characters on 2 of my favorite cakes (pictures are posted on my Facebook Page). So, here they are, detailed and complete with pictures so you too, can make them.
How to make Kai-Lan out of Fondant and/or Gumpaste:
Step 1 (Face/Body) - Trim out the paper to make a stencil, roll out the fondant to about 1/8” thick, dust the top of the fondant with some corn starch to keep the paper from sticking to it then lightly trace out the outline.
Remove the paper then, use a sharp blade to trim the face and body out, remove the excess fondant and lightly indent in some of the details such as the outline of the face and arms here.
Step 2 (Hair) – Roll out, very thinly…paper thin, black fondant, dust w/cornstarch, lay the stencil back over it, carve out the outline of the hair lightly, remove the paper, trim out the bangs 1st then trim the outline for the rest of the hair about ¼” larger than the actual outline. Brush the back with a little bit of water and carefully place the hair over the head area. Fold the black fondant down and over the sides of the cutout and trim off the excess (this way, you won’t have any of the beige showing on the sides).
For the strands of hair hanging over the ear, fold the extra piece along the sides underneath to almost create a tube and at the same time to give it some height then trim into shape: This will help raise the hair to the same level as the ears and you won’t get a weird dip below the ear.
Step 3 (Eyes) – the dreaded eyes! I love and hate this part. Love it since I don’t get those bulging eyes like you see in this picture on the left; hate it since you have 1 shot to get it right. I stack the 3 colors of the eyes one on top of each other (white, brown, black). Make each piece slightly smaller than the real eyes. I use piping tips of different sizes to cut these out then trim off the side’s straight to create ovals. Make 2 eyes at the same time so they look alike and lay them next to each other (see picture above on the left). With a rolling pin, gently and carefully with even pressure, roll the eyeballs flat (picture above on the right). If it doesn’t work and eyes get all wacky looking, you have to start all over again (the hate part). I don’t use any water between the layers to make them stick.
Repeat with the other characters…Tolee, Rintoo, Hoho, Dolphin, the Platypus…
Cut out various sized flowers; lay them over a piece of wrinkled foil to give it some shape and let everything dry overnight. I like to put everything in the oven with the pilot on overnight so that they dry faster and are also out of the way.
I made these to be raffled off at a Cake Club meeting complete with a sketch of what I was envisioning the cake to look like if the winner decided to make a Beach Themed Kai-Lan Cake.
Each piece was glued with piping gel to parchment paper then stacked in a box lined with tissue paper.
I realized until much later and only when I was going through the photo's that Tolee the Koala bear looked a little off...I had forgotten his eyebrows! Poor little guy.
Let me know if you have any questions…I'm here to help!