See what I did there?
But clever play-on-words aside, this cake truly was an exercise in improvisation. Last weekend, I sat down, table loaded with gum paste and iPad loaded with Netflix episodes. I tinted the gum paste but suddenly came to the quite tardy conclusion that I had forgotten all but one of my flower tools at home. Sighing, I weighed my options: go back and get them (nope, too lazy), go buy new ones (nope, too cheap), or just.. make something up. Yes, yes, that’s it!
I did have the large and small rose petal cutters, and I did have the shaping foam. (Whew!) But after making several roses, I knew I needed some bigger flowers. I looked at some photos of flowers, remembered some types I had seen on cakes before, and attempted to use a spatula to cut some interesting petal shapes. Improvising again, I was forced to wait until they dried so that I could attach the wires onto the back. Moral of the story: double check your materials list before leaving home!
Another tool I didn’t have was my set of flower formers, which are small white cups that allow you to dry your flower so that it has a shape, as opposed to laying flat. So my homemade flower formers consisted of cling wrap rubber banded lightly across a cup. I left it loose so that the weight of the gum paste would weigh down the flower, creating that “cup” shape I was after.
I wasn’t too happy with the way these flowers turned out. Despite my best intentions, they were relatively flat. And the color was flat, too. So I mixed a little teal gel coloring with some lemon extract (or you could use vanilla- or vodka! You just need clear alcohol!). I painted the extract onto the edges of the petals in an attempt to give it a little more life:
For the layer of piano keys, I covered the cake in white fondant first, and then added white strips, and then black strips after that:
I was honored to create this cake for a benefit for a beloved high school teacher and his family. Many of his past students are gathering today for a day of sharing music and offering encouragement to the family. There will be raffles as well as items up for silent and live auction. Should you be interested in helping the family cover medical costs for the triple transplant, as well as various costs associated with travel to and from the transplant site, please check out their site and make a donation!