So, here are the photo's of the process....
2 days prior, I made the Black MMF using black candy melts. The recipe can be found under the "MMF Recipes" tab above. You can also use dark brown/chocolate candy melts. The black candy melts I had were more dark brown rather than black and I had to add a few drops of the black AmeriColor Gel to it to get it darker.
I think the black candy melts I used were either by Merckens or CK....I don't remember exactly but I do know that they were not the Wilton ones.
1 day prior, I made the blossoms, flower petals, and Chanel logos for the cupcakes with MMF (I mix the MMF with tylose to help it dry faster and harder like gumpaste). I also made the chain links to use for the purse straps with MMF too.
I made over 100 links and only joined them in two's (you'll see why later). I lay them over popsicle sticks so that they would dry with some curvature to them rather than being plain and flat.
I baked a 10" square cake (10 inch wide purse), and cut and stacked 3 tiers. Each tier was 2 1/2 inches wide by 2 inches tall (6 inch tall purse).
Carved the cake to the shape of the purse and covered it over in Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC). I also inserted 2 dowels down the middle to help hold the purse up since it was narrow and tall. Then, I put the entire cake into the fridge overnight to get nice and firm.
The following morning, I covered the cake over in MMF.
The 1st piece I did was the front. I rolled out the MMF and trimmed it to size. I also used Dark Cocoa to dust the surface with rather than Powdered Sugar or Corn Starch to help keep the MMF from sticking to the table top. It was great at giving the purse a dark, brown look that matched the color of the purse perfectly. Using a ruler and a stitching wheel (a sewing tool), I scored the quilt design over the MMF. Flipped the MMF over so the underside was now facing up, and rolled 1/8" of the edge over and all around so you wouldn't see the cut edges - I wanted to seams to look just like they were sewed together just like the seams on a real leather purse - hope that makes sense. Flipped the MMF back to the right side and lay it over the cake. With a fondant tool (a small ball tool will work too), I went over the quilt seams and lightly pressed it into the cake slightly to give it a little bit of a puffed up look.
The next piece I lay, covered the back of the purse and went up and over the front of the cake for the flap. I then added the 2 side pieces following the same technique above with scoring the quilt pattern and rolling the edges under. I then lightly rubbed the entire purse with a little bit of shortening to make it look more like leather.
Once the cake was covered, I got started on the details. I painted each link with edible gold dust mixed with vodka. Tedious but well worth it - you gotta have the gold, Chanel chain!
Update: For those that have asked, the Gold Dust I use (according to the simple label) is, 24 kt. Gold Dust, Non Toxic (2gr.) #C409. It looks to be the same as this one:
To use, add a little bit of vodka to the Gold Dust to create a thin paste and sort of dab it onto the fondant pieces or use really short brush strokes. If you use too much vodka, the gold dust will get too thinned out and difficult to get a thick coating of it on the fondant. If you fondant is greasy and the dust is not sticking, lightly brush some corn starch over the fondant first then try painting it again. HTH.
I then cut out 4 circles out off the top of the purse (2 in the front and 2 in the back) using a piping tip. The holes were then covered over with round circles made out of MMF which were also brushed over with gold dust.
I used the same technique when adding the shoe laces on the sneaker shoe cakes I had done before...see them below:
|Tennis Shoe Cake|
|Running Sneaker Cake|
Now you can see why I only connected 2 links at a time to each other. The part of the links that are under the black strap are not seen so therefore, do not need to 'actually' be connected - cool illusion hah!
I looked over so many purse cakes trying to figure out how the straps were done on the cakes that did have edible straps and didn't like what I saw so after playing around with the links, I came up with my own technique....at least I haven't seen anyone who has done it this way or at least shown us how. Now, with this tip, I hope to see much better chain links out there by you all :-)
I used clear piping gel to help hold all the links up against the cake and onto the cake stand.
The 'minor' imperfection that really bugs me is that on the following day, since we didn't eat the cake the night of the party, I took the photo that you see above, outside in the morning light. As you can see, the cake settled and the 2 dowels used to hold the cake up appear as bumps (to me, they look like horns) along the top of the purse...err! I've been told, by a dear friend, that it's actually a bulging wallet full of cash - gotta love her! Next time, I'm cutting those things down at least 1/4 inch lower than the actual cake to avoid such an awful bump...Live and Learn!
As for the large flowers, I made them up. These were the very 1st flowers I've ever made petal by petal. There are 5 medium petals for the inside and 5 large petals for the outside all glued together with piping gel. The large, pink flowers are dusted over in pink luster dust and I added pearls of white, silver and black in an assortment of sizes to the middle of each flower and mini blossom. I just love how they turned out but I do need to take some classes and learn the REAL way to make flowers someday.
I made both regular and mini sized cupcakes frosted with IMBC and topped with the Chanel inspired decorations. The white, round disks have the quilt pattern on them too which is hard to tell from the photo. The C's for the logo were made using circle cutters.
|The cake is on the pedestal while the 2 purses on the table are the non-edible, real ones.|
And alas, 3 days later, we finally cut the cake....and ate it too.