Love Is Brewing

Tuesday, February 8

This Valentine’s Day cake is perfect for tea lovers. The illustrative-style figures by Vicky Teather are simple to make and can be customised to look like your loved ones.

Edibles

Equipment

Picture A
Picture A

Method

Covering The Drum

  1. Use a 5mm (¼”) drill bit to bore a hole in the cake drum 12cm (4¾”) from the edge. Use a cake dowel to widen the hole.
  2. Brush cooled, boiled water over the surface of the cake drum. Roll out 400g (14oz) of Ballerina Pink sugarpaste to a 5mm (¼”) thickness. Gently lay the sugarpaste over the cake drum and use a cake smoother to smooth the surface. Use a sharp knife to trim away the excess sugarpaste.
  3. Use a dresden tool to draw six evenly spaced horizontal lines across the surface of the sugarpaste. Using light pressure, create a woodgrain effect by drawing short, curved lines along each section (A).
  4. Half-fill the airbrush cup with Pop Pink airbrush food colour. Hold the tip of the airbrush 15cm (6”) away from the covered drum and gently pull back the trigger to release the spray of colour. Build up the colour around the edges of the drum and the edges of each plank.
  5. Cut a cake dowel to a 7.5cm (3”) length and insert it into the hole in the drum. Set the covered drum aside to firm for 24 hours.
Picture B
Picture B

Covering The Cake

  1. Turn the 15cm (6”) half-sphere cake upside down and trim away the top of the dome to create a flat surface. Use the buttercream to fill the cake and apply a thin crumb coat to all sides. Refrigerate the cake for four hours before covering.
  2. Use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of cooled, boiled water over the surface of the cake. Roll out 300g (10½oz) of Bridal White sugarpaste to a 4mm (³⁄₁₆”) thickness. Lay the sugarpaste over the cake and use your hands to smooth the surface. Finish with a cake smoother to achieve a neatly polished finish. Trim away the excess sugarpaste with a sharp knife. Set the cake aside to firm for 24 hours.
  3. Once firm, carefully flip the cake over so the widest flat side is uppermost and place it over the dowel in the drum. Fix the cake to the drum using a small amount of royal icing.
  4. Apply a thin layer of buttercream to the top of the cake. Knead together 45g (1½oz) of Brown modelling paste and 15g (½oz) of White modelling paste. Roll out the paste to a 2mm (¹⁄₁₆”) thickness and cut out a 15cm (6”) disc. Place the disc on top of the cake and smooth it into place with a cake smoother.
  5. Cut out a neat 15cm (6”) circle from the middle of a thick sheet of cardboard. Fill the airbrush cup with Teddy Bear Brown liquid food colour. Lay the card over the top of the cake so that only the area inside the cup is visible. Hold the tip of the airbrush 15cm (6”) away from the surface of the sugarpaste and build up the colour around the edges of the stencil (B).
Picture C
Picture C
Picture D
Picture D

Decorating The Teacup

  1. Knead a small amount of Teddy Bear Brown food colour into 5g (<¼oz) of White modelling paste. Roll the pale brown paste into a tapered sausage then curl it into a spiral. Glue the spiral in place in the centre of the mug.
  2. Roll 20g (¾oz) of White modelling paste into a 1cm (⅜”) diameter sausage. Wrap the sausage around the base of the cake and fix it in place using edible glue.
  3. Roll 50g (1¾oz) of White modelling paste into a sausage 52cm (20½”) long. Hold a cake smoother against either side of the sausage and gently compress it to flatten the sides. Continue along the length of the sausage, then turn it on its side and repeat to create a square prism. Glue the strip around the top edge of the cup, ensuring the join is at the front of the cup, to the right of the centre.
  4. Roll 5g (<¼”) of Red modelling paste into a fine sausage 52cm (20½”) long. Glue the paste in place to conceal the join between the cup and the rim. Roll out 20g (¾oz) of Red modelling paste into a thin sheet and cut out 18 hearts using the 2.5cm (1”) cutter. Glue the heart shapes over the surface of the cup.
  5. For the handle, roll 10g (¼oz) of White SFP into a sausage shape 9cm (3½”) long. Taper one end slightly and curl it up to create a spiral. Slightly flatten the other end of the sausage and bend it into a C-shape. Use edible glue to fix the handle in place on the left side of the cake (C). Insert a cocktail stick through the curled end of the handle and into the cake to hold it in place. Use food-grade foam to support the handle as it dries.
  6. To make the teabag tag, roll out 10g (¼oz) of White SFP into a thin sheet. Cut out a 5cm x 3.5cm (2” x 1⅜”) rectangle and cut one end to a point. Cut a hole in the pointed end using a 5mm (¼”) round cutter. Use a no. 00 paintbrush and Cherry edible paint to write ‘YOU'RE MY CUP OF TEA’ on the tag, then add some small hearts (D). Set the tag aside to dry for three hours.
Picture E
Picture E
Picture F
Picture F
Picture G
Picture G

Making The Biscuits

  1. Knead a little Teddy Bear Brown paste food colour into 100g (3½oz) of White modelling paste. Roll out the paste to a 4mm (³⁄₁₆”) thickness and cut out four scalloped discs using the 5.8cm (2¼”) fluted cutter. Use the 2cm (¾”) heart cutter to cut out a heart from the centre of two of the discs (E).
  2. Roll out the remaining paste to an 8mm (⅜”) thickness and use the sugar shaper tool to create a rippled pattern in the surface (F). Cut out two hearts using the 4cm (1½”) heart cutter. Use your fingers to smooth and round off the top edge (G).
  3. Brush the edges of the biscuits with Chestnut dust food colour.
  4. Roll out 20g (¾oz) of Red modelling paste into a thin sheet and cut out two 5cm (2”) discs. Use edible glue to fix one red disc to each scalloped disc, then glue the scalloped discs with the hearts cut out on top. Set the biscuits aside to firm.
Heart biscuit decorations
Heart biscuit decorations

Making The Sugar Cubes

  1. Roll 10g (¼oz) of White modelling paste into a ball. Press the paste between two cake smoothers to flatten the sides then turn the ball and repeat to create a cube.
  2. Use a small ball tool to mark dimples in the surface of the cube (H). Repeat to make three white cubes.
Picture H
Picture H
Picture I
Picture I

Attaching The Decorations

  1. Use edible glue to fix the first sugar cube to the cake drum, positioning it underneath the seam on the rim of the cup. Glue the teabag tag to the front of the sugar cube.
  2. Roll 10g (¼oz) of Red modelling paste into a 3mm (⅛”) diameter sausage shape. Glue one end of the sausage over the seam on the rim of the cup and feed the other end through the hole in the tag (I). Loop the loose end up and wrap it around itself several times to secure.
  3. Glue the biscuits and remaining sugar cubes in place on the drum.
Picture J
Picture J

Making The Man’s Body

  1. To make the trousers, roll 25g (>¾oz) of Blue modelling paste into a slightly tapered sausage shape 6cm (2⅜”) in length. Flatten each end of the shape to create straight edges. Run a dresden tool along the centre of the shape, stopping 1cm (⅜”) short of the top (J). Gently bend the trousers at the knee and glue them in place on top of the cake (K). Push a cocktail stick through the top of the trousers and into the cake to provide support.
  2. For the shoes, divide a marble-sized ball of Black modelling paste in half. Roll each piece into a teardrop then lightly flatten each one into a shoe shape. Use edible glue to fix the two shoes together then glue them to the bottom of the trousers. Support the feet as they dry.
  3. Picture K
    Picture K
  4. For the body, roll 20g (¾oz) of Turquoise modelling paste into an egg shape. Flatten the base of the egg then use your fingers to stretch and thin the edge of the base so that it fits around the trousers. The finished shape should be 3.5cm (1⅜”) tall. Use edible glue to fix the body in place (L).
  5. Shaped a pea-sized ball of Beige modelling paste into a cylinder and attach it to the top of the body to form the neck. Roll a small piece of Turquoise modelling paste into a thin sausage shape and wrap this around the base of the cylinder to conceal the join.
  6. Picture L
    Picture L
  7. To make the mini teacup, roll a pea-sized ball of White SFP and push a ball tool into the centre to form a well. Leaving the tool in the paste, use your fingers to push the paste up around the ball (M). Remove the ball tool and level the top of the cup. Push a small ball of Brown modelling paste into the well and flatten it with your fingers. Glue the cup to the top of the figure’s leg.
  8. Picture M
    Picture M
  9. To make the arms, roll 3g (⅛oz) of Beige modelling paste into a 5.5cm (2¼”) long sausage shape, tapering one end slightly. Lightly pinch the narrower end of the sausage to form a spoon shape. Use a craft knife to cut out a thumb from one side of the hand (N). Use your fingers to smooth the cut edge. Thin the paste just below the hand to form the wrist. Bend the arm at the elbow.
  10. Picture N
    Picture N
  11. Roll out the remaining Turquoise modelling paste into a thin sheet and cut out a strip 2cm (¾”) wide. Brush the top of the arm with edible glue then wrap the strip around it, ensuring the seam will be hidden underneath the arm (O). Trim away any excess. Use your fingers to work the top of the strip down and around the top of the arm to create a neat finish.
  12. Use edible glue to fix the arm in place on the left side of the body, with the hand around the teacup. Roll a very fine sausage of White SFP and wrap it around the hand to form the handle of the cup.
  13. Repeat steps 6–7 to make a second arm, bending this one at the wrist rather than the elbow. Fix the arm to the right side of the body with the hand on the rim of the giant teacup (P).
Picture O
Picture O
Picture P
Picture P

Making The Man’s Head

  1. Roll 25g (>¾oz) of Beige modelling paste into a ball. Use the side of your finger to lightly indent a groove halfway up the ball (Q). Use your fingers to smooth out the groove and remove any harsh edges.
  2. Roll a small ball of Beige modelling paste into a capsule shape and glue it in the centre of the face, positioning it horizontally on the lower edge of the groove.
  3. Lightly push a small ball tool into the left side of the face, just above the nose, and move it up and down to create an oval-shaped indentation. Repeat to create a second indentation on the right side of the face (R).
  4. Picture Q
    Picture Q
    Picture R
    Picture R
  5. Push the ball tool into either side of the head to create holes for the ears. Roll a small ball of Beige modelling paste into a teardrop shape and glue the pointed end into one of the holes. Use a small ball tool to push the ear into the head. Repeat to add a second ear on the other side of the head.
  6. Use Conker edible paint and a no. 00 paintbrush to add the eyes and eyebrows, leaving a small circle in the top right corner of each eye unpainted (S). Use Cherry Blossom edible paint to add a curved mouth. Dip a small ball tool in Jasmine edible paint and fill in the unpainted circles. Brush the cheeks with pastel Pink dust food colour.
  7. Picture S
    Picture S
  8. Flatten a marble-sized ball of Black modelling paste into a disc and use edible glue to fix it to the back of the head (T). Use a dresden tool to draw lines in the surface of the paste to give the impression of hair. Roll two small pieces of Black modelling paste into teardrop shapes and glue one in front of each ear.
  9. Use edible glue to fix the head to the body, attaching it at a slight angle.
  10. Roll a marble-sized ball of Black modelling paste into a teardrop shape and flatten it with your fingers. Use a dresden tool to draw lines in the surface of the paste, as before (U). Glue the hair in place on the right side of the head. Repeat to make a smaller teardrop shape and attach it to the left side of the head. Finish with a small teardrop sticking up from the crown.
Picture T
Picture T
Picture U
Picture U

Making The Woman’s Body

  1. To make the skirt, roll 20g (¾oz) of Red modelling paste into a tapered cylinder 4.5cm (1¾”) long. Push a ball tool into the narrower end of the shape to open it out (V). Bend the skirt at the knee and fix it in place on the rim of the teacup using edible glue.
  2. For the body, repeat step 3 from the Making The Man’s Body instructions, this time using 20g (¾oz) of Pink modelling paste. Use your fingers to thin the waist slightly (W). Glue the body on top of the skirt and insert a cocktail stick through the figure and into the cake to provide support.
  3. Picture V
    Picture V
    Picture W
    Picture W
  4. For the legs, shape 4g (<¼oz) of Beige modelling paste into a tapered cylinder 2cm (¾”) long. Run a dresden tool along the middle of the shape (X). Glue the legs into the narrow end of the skirt, supporting them until secure. Repeat step 2 from the Making The Man’s Body instructions to add a pair of shoes using a marble-sized ball of Red modelling paste.
  5. Repeat step 5 from the Making The Man’s Body instructions to make and attach a mini teacup.
  6. Divide 5g (<¼oz) of Pink modelling paste in half and roll each piece into a 4cm (1½”) long cone. Push a ball tool into the wider end of each shape. Bend one arm at the elbow and set them aside until needed.
  7. Picture X
    Picture X
  8. Roll a pea-sized piece of Beige modelling paste into a ball and pinch out a wrist shape (Y). Flatten the remaining ball and cut out the thumb. Use your fingers to smooth the cut edges. Trim the wrist and glue it into the well in one of the arms. Repeat to add a hand to the second arm.
  9. Glue the arms to the shoulders so the left hand is on top of the man’s hand and the right hand is around the mini teacup. Roll a very fine sausage of White SFP and wrap it around the hand to form the handle of the cup.
Picture Y
Picture Y
Picture Z
Picture Z

Making The Woman’s Head

  1. Repeat steps 1–5 from the Making The Man’s Head instructions. Add two eyelashes to the edge of each eye using Conker edible paint. Use edible glue to fix the head on the body, attaching it at a slight angle (Z).
  2. Repeat steps 6 and 8 from the Making The Man’s Head instructions, this time using Orange modelling paste. Roll a piece of Orange modelling paste into a long, tapered sausage. Glue the paste along the front of the hair, starting at the parting and following the hairline down to the ears. Add one small teardrop shape running from the parting onto the forehead.
  3. For the bun, roll a marble-sized ball of Orange modelling paste into an ovoid. Use a dresden tool to draw lines over the surface of the paste and attach it to the back of the head.

Finishing Touch

  1. Wrap the ribbon around the edge of the cake drum and fix it in place with double-sided tape.
recipe

Say "your my cup of tea" with this cute cake!