Decorate a cake fit for a princess
There was a girl named Rapunzel who was stolen by a witch and locked in a tower. She grew to be a beautiful girl, with a lovely voice and magnificent hair. Every day, the witch would call “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!” and the girl would hang her long braids out the window so that the witch could climb up. One day, a prince heard Rapunzel singing and was enchanted. He watched the witch’s ritual and imitated it, climbing up Rapunzel’s locks. The prince and Rapunzel soon fell in love, but when the witch discovered their secret, she cut Rapunzel’s hair and sent her to a faraway land. The witch tricked the prince into climbing the tower again. When he realized Rapunzel was gone, he fell from the window and was blinded by thorns. The lovers were separated for years, but when they were finally reunited, Rapunzel’s tears of joy fell into the prince’s eyes and restored his sight.
© 2020 Noga Hitron / Lark Crafts · Reproduced with permission.
You Will Need
1. To make a wall, add 1⁄2 tsp (2.5 ml) of CMC to
8 oz (227 g) of gray modeling paste to make it particularly stiff. Thickly roll out and cut a 3 x 8-inch (7.6 x 20.5 cm) rectangle using the pizza cutter. Roll horizontally with the brick-textured rolling pin to imprint a brick pattern. Use the small rectangle cutter to cut out evenly spaced sections along one long side of the rectangle, forming the top of the wall (Figure 1). Repeat to make two more walls. Cut one of the walls in half to make two walls measuring 3 x 4 inches (7.6 x 10.2 cm). Set aside to dry for six hours.
Make this piece in advance, as Rapunzel is assembled directly into the dried tower.
2. Add the remaining 11⁄2 tsp (7.5 ml) of CMC to 1 lb 8 oz (681 g) of gray modeling paste and thickly roll out. Cut an 8 x 11-inch (20.5 x 28 cm) rectangle with the pizza cutter and roll horizontally with the brick-textured rolling pin to imprint a brick pattern. Use the small rectangle cutter to cut out eight evenly spaced sections along one long side of the rectangle, forming the top of the tower. Use a wooden skewer to pierce eight evenly spaced holes along the top, one below each section cut out with the rectangle cutter. Cut out a 2 x 2-inch (5 x 5 cm) window in the middle of the rectangle, near the top, then round the top of the window with the sharp knife. Wrap the rectangle around the empty wine bottle, textured side facing outward, and trim the edge where the two sides join to form a smooth seam (Figure 2). Roll out 1⁄2 oz (14 g) of gray modeling paste and cut six small strips. Affix the strips horizontally over the seam to secure. Support with pieces of sponge and set aside to dry for 24 hours.
3. Make a base upon which to dry the roof by cutting the cardboard according to the template on page 128. Roll up to form a cone and place on the tower to make sure it fits. (The exact size of your roof will depend on the bottle you used to shape the tower.) Trim the cone until it fits the tower. Roll out 3 oz (85 g) of brown modeling paste, place the cardboard base on top, and cut out along the base’s lines using the sharp knife. Seal the cardboard base’s seam with cellophane tape, then lay the modeling paste over the cardboard cone. Join the edges to form a smooth seam (Figure 3). Set aside to dry for 24 hours.
Cake and cake board
4. Level the cake with the serrated knife and turn it upside down onto a flat surface. Spread buttercream generously on the top and sides with the rubber spatula. Roll out the white rolled fondant and wrap the cake, trimming the edges with the pizza cutter. Transfer to the cake board and position in the middle. Position the tower first, placing it about 2 inches (5 cm) from one corner of the cake, with the seam of the tower facing that corner. Affix the shorter walls first, arranging them on either side of the tower at a 90˚ angle, with the textured sides facing outward. Generously apply royal icing between the tower and the walls to secure and support with pieces of sponge. Affix the longer walls next, positioning them at 90˚ angles to the shorter walls to form a square courtyard, and ensuring that their textured sides also face outward. Generously apply royal icing at the corners and support with pieces of sponge. Set aside to dry for six hours.
Vines and rocks
5. To make a vine, roll 1⁄2 oz (14 g) of green modeling paste into a sausage that tapers at one end. Affix the wider end of the sausage at the base of the cake and draw the tapered end upwards towards the castle. Affix smaller tapered sausages to the main sausage, orienting them in various directions. Use the rest of the green modeling paste to make nine more vines of various sizes and lengths. Make some extra long so that they creep up the walls as well. Affix all vines around the cake. Set aside a little light gray modeling paste for making the tip of the roof. Use the rest, as well as 3 oz (85 g) each of the brown and gray modeling paste, to make 45 rocks of various sizes and shapes (Figure 4). Affix around the base of the cake, filling in the spaces between the vines.
6. Roll 2⁄3 oz (19 g) of skin color modeling paste into an egg shape for the head. Roll a small ball of skin color modeling paste for the nose and mark eyes with a toothpick. Mark the mouth by pressing in the wide end of a decorating tip. Make the neck by shaping 2⁄3 oz (19 g) of skin color modeling paste into a teardrop. Insert a skewer firmly through the teardrop, leaving just enough extending from the top to support the head and leaving the rest extending from the bottom. (This end of the skewer must be long enough to be inserted securely into the cake while still keeping the head level with the window of the tower.) To make the hand, roll a little skin color modeling paste into a teardrop and flatten. With the sharp knife, separate the thumb and make shallow cuts to mark fingers. Make some of the hair by rolling 1 oz (28 g) of yellow modeling paste into several sausages that taper at both ends (Figure 5).
7. To assemble the figure, press the head onto the portion of the skewer extending from the top of the neck. Paint on eyes with the gel food color and affix the hair around the head. Carefully bring the skewer inside the tower and position it so that the face appears at the window. Insert the skewer firmly into the cake. Affix the hand near one corner of the window and draw some long pieces of hair out the other side of the window. Roll the remaining yellow modeling paste into tapered sausages of varying lengths and thicknesses. Affix these along the tower, arranging them so that they twirl and interweave as they cascade down onto the cake.
8. Insert wooden skewers in the holes at the top of the tower so that they form a support for the roof. Trim the ends of the skewers using the wire cutters. Roll six small balls with the remaining brown modeling paste and press one ball over the end of each skewer. Place the roof on the tower, allowing it to rest on the skewers. Form a small cone of gray modeling paste and affix on top of the roof.
Remove all non-edible supports before serving the cake.