By Diane Ako
What fashionista could turn up the opportunity to learn how to make miniature fashion statements atop a cake? I certainly wasn't one to pass up a sweet deal. (Pun intended.)
I returned to my cake teachers at Cake Creations Dessert Haven in Manoa for a two session class on crafting high heels and purses out of gumpaste, to dry and harden and use as cake toppers.
We started with the high heels, because it takes time to let the heels dry over the molds. If you think of the gumpaste like modeling clay, you can essentially make the heels, purses, or whatever you want, shaping the forms with your bare hands and your ingenuity. However, it's a lot easier to buy shoe molds that produce uniformly sized parts every time.
Specific to heels, you will need:
-Cutters, to cut the soles and the straps
-Formers, to give the parts form as you dry the parts
-Wedges (ours looked like makeup sponges), to support the parts
-And all the other tools for gumpaste that you'd normally need, like rolling pins, cutters, small paintbrush/ water, cornflower puffs, etc.
You can make a single shoe to place atop the cake, or a pair of shoes. It's wise to make a third set of parts just in case of breakage. The heels are so delicate and they can break easily from dropping, mishandling, accidentally drying and sticking to the cardboard, etc.
For the sole: Roll out a flat piece of gumpaste, cut the shape out using your cutter (or eyeballing it), and drape it over a former to give it the elevated heel shape.
For straps: Do the same. There are numerous types of fancy strap cutters you can buy.There are textured molds that will also put fancy shapes on the surface.
For the heel: You can eyeball this, but it's hard to get two heels the same unless you use a mold. Make sure it's flat at the top, where you will be sticking the sole to the heel.
Let it all dry.
When ready, get a small paintbrush and water, and adhere the parts together: the straps to the sole, and the heel to the sole.
Let it dry again. Paint using any number of cake paints and glitters.
As easy as it all sounds, it wasn't a piece of cake for us first timers in class. All this took us students about two hours. It's hard to get the shapes all looking the same, to get the heel just right, to get the straps to stick on.
Still, it was a lot of fun. My pink heels will be making a debut on Olivia's birthday cake!
Next blog: gumpaste purses.
Also reach me via DianeAko.com