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Making a Miniature Cake

By Hector Ray,2014-04-26 09:36
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Making a Miniature Cake

    MAKING A MINIATURE CAKE BY

    IGMA FELLOW BETSY NIEDERER

    Materials Needed:

    ; Premo Polymer Clay:

    5053 Burnt umber - 12oz block

    5001 White - 1 block

    5310 Translucent - 1 block

    (If you don't like to use Premo, just get a good deep brown, and a medium yellow in the clay of your

    choice, as well as white and translucent.)

    5572 Cadmium yellow - 1 block

    ; Kato Polyclay Medium - 2oz bottle (available at Polymer Clay Express -- You can use TLS or liquid Fimo

    as an option if you can't find Kato)

    ; 1 4x4 ceramic tile - or something flat that can go in the oven like an old plate (please don't use the

    plate for food once you use it for clay)

    ; Kemper Rose Cutter Set - # K50 (available at Polymer Clay Express)

    ; Pasta machine, an acrylic roller, or a bottle for rolling clay ; 2 or 3 popsicle (craft) sticks for mixing clay

    ; Several toothpicks (cocktail sticks)

    ; 1 pin

    ; cornstarch or powder

    ; 1 single edge razor blade

    ; Baby wipes or some paper towels to keep your hands clean ; Kemper Clay Cutter - 3/16th inch circle (if you don't have one you can use a drinking straw)

    ; Delta Texture Magic - one tube of white (they have this at Michaels and AC Moore) If you can't find this

    you can use modeling paste

    ; One glue syringe

    By popular request we are going to create a miniature chocolate and vanilla layer cake with vanilla icing. The chocoholics wanted the chocolate, and others wanted a good recipe for a realistic vanilla cake. So we're doing both. If you want an all chocolate or all vanilla cake, that's just fine! We'll do the chocolate layer first.

    Preheat your oven to either 275?F ( 135?C) if you are using Premo or Sculpey, or 265?F (129?C) degrees if you are using Fimo.

    1. You will need a piece of your burnt umber or dark brown clay, pasta machine or rolling device, the ? inch (2 cm) rose cutter, a pin, a cutting blade, and a piece of sand paper (optional). I always work on my ceramic tile so I can transport my work directly into the oven. If you don't have a tile you can bake your cake on foil or a paper plate (it won't burn).

    Break off a piece of your brown clay (1/4 of a block is more than enough) and mush it in your hands until it is soft and workable. Enlarge Picture of cake materials

    2. When your clay is ready, roll it through your pasta machine to get the air bubbles out. You will want your cake layers to measure about 1/8th of an inch thick ( 4 mm). To do this on my machine I roll the clay through the thickest setting. I cut the clay in half and lay half on the tile. I roll the second piece through the 4th smallest setting, then lay that on top of the first piece of clay on the tile. Since all machines are different you'll have to see what works best for you.

    Enlarge Picture of rolled polymor clay

    3. Cut the clay. Your cake layer "should" stick to your tile and not come off inside the cutter. If it does, just try again after brushing some cornstarch over the clay, and dusting the inside of the rose cutter. Brush off any excess cornstarch. Enlarge Picture of clay cutting

    4. Pull the excess clay away, leaving your layer.

    Enlarge Picture of removing excess clay

    5. Use your blade to loosen the layer from the tile, and set it aside to cool a bit and harden.

    Set the brown clay aside for a minute.

    Enlarge Picture of loosening the clay

    6. To make the vanilla layer you'll need ? of a bar of translucent. Then break off ? of the bar of white, and use ? of that. Break off ? of a bar of yellow, and use about 1/8th. These proportions are shown in the picture. Mix the white and yellow together.

    Enlarge Picture of mixing the Polymer clay

    7. Take about 1/3rd of the light yellow mix and set it aside.

    Enlarge Picture of setting aside the Yellow clay

    8. Condition the translucent, and add the 1/3rd chunk of yellow. The proportion should look approximately like that in the picture. If you have any questions - err on the side of less yellow. You can always add more later if necessary. Mix this well! It is important to remember that when you are going to start working with your white and translucent clay that you wash your hands to get off any of the brown, and any dust. I always dust my hands with cornstarch too, just to be sure all of the dust is off. You'd be surprised what can be on your hands!

    Enlarge Picture of mixing translucent and Yellow clay

    9. You will hopefully end up with a very translucent light yellow. Translucence is very important when making vanilla cakes - too much of the colored clay will make your cake look chalky after it is baked. You'll have enough to make lots of cakes, so store the excess in a plastic baggie to keep it clean.

    Enlarge Picture of mixed cake batter

    10. Proceed as before, you will want the layer to measure about 1/8th inch (4mm) thick. I find that this mix tends to be a bit stickier than the brown, so I dusted the clay with cornstarch.

    Enlarge Picture of the dusted cake layer

    11. Cut out your circle. If it doesn't stick to the tile, remember to dust the inside of the cutter with cornstarch.

    Enlarge Picture of cutting the Vanilla layer

    12. Remove the excess clay

    Enlarge Picture of removing excess cake layer

    13. Dust off the top.

    Enlarge Picture of dusting the top of the cake layer

    14. Remove the layer with your razor blade and set it aside for a minute to cool

    Enlarge Picture of set aside the Vanilla layer

    15. We're ready to cut slices!

    We're going to cut the slices before we texture the cake.

    Enlarge Picture of Preparting to cut Slices

    TIP: Remember, if your clay is sticky you can dust it with cornstarch, then brush it off when you're done!

    16. Starting with the chocolate layer, cut a slice with your blade. To show off the inside best I try to get a slice about ? the size of the cake. Enlarge Picture of cutting the cake Slices

    17. Since the layers will be lined up, you'll want them to look even. Use the chocolate wedge as a template on the vanilla layer to get a similar slice. Enlarge Picture of lining up the layers

    18. Cut the miniature cake layers as shown.

    Enlarge Picture of cutting the layers

    19. Cut the slices in half to make 2 servings of cake.

    Enlarge Picture of slicing the layers again

    TIP: The key is to hold your cake lightly so it stays in shape. If the clay is getting too soft just place it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm it up again. You can also dust your fingers with cornstarch. If you get fingerprints on the cake don't worry! They will be covered with icing

    20. Texturing the layers is a little tricky if you have hot hands. You want to try to keep the layer's shape, so hold it very, very gently as shown. If you find the clay is getting mushy and not holding it's shape you can place it in the freezer for a minute. We're not going to worry about fingerprints on the top of the cake because it's going to be covered with icing.

    Enlarge Picture of holding the Cake

    21. (a)The lazy way of making the cake texture is to press a piece of sand paper against the cut surface. It looks better if you do it the hard way. This method is just if you are in a hurry to complete your miniature cake!

    Enlarge Picture of using sand paper to texture a Cake

    21 (b) The Preferred method of texturing the cake: is to use a pin to tease

    up the clay on the cut surface. Be gentle, you don't want it to look like you've obviously stirred up the clay. You might have to go over it a couple of times.

    Enlarge Picture of using a pin to realistically texture your Cake

    22. Texture the entire cut cake surface.

    Enlarge Picture of surfacing the cut Cake surface

    23. Now that the vanilla layer has cooled a bit you can proceed as above. If your cake gets warm and starts to lose its shape, remember you can always freeze it for a few minutes. Remember to hold the clay very gently, and work slowly. Enlarge Picture of texture vanilla slice

    24.Texturing the entire cut surface of the Vanilla slice.

    Enlarge Picture of the textured the whole vanilla slice

    25. Texture the cut cake slices too. I generally only do one side since I have the slices laying on a plate.

    Enlarge Picture of the texturing cake slices

    26.You'll want some crumbs for the cake plate, so use your pin to make some vanilla and chocolate crumbs

    Enlarge Picture of making Chocolate and Vanilla crumbs

    TIP: Don't poke holes in the clay - you want to scrape the pin against the clay surface - swirl it, make little circles, anything that helps to give the cake texture. If it doesn't look crumbly enough try and cool it in the fridge and try again.

    27. Set your layers, slices, and crumbs on your tile and bake for about 15 minutes in your preheated oven. Don't worry about not baking them for the entire thirty minutes (in the case of Premo and Fimo) since they will be going into the oven two more times. We just want to harden them up so we can frost them.

    Enlarge Picture of baking your Miniature Cake

    28. Lets make icing! You'll need a tile, liquid Kato Fimo or TLS, and a lump of white clay - about 1/8th of your 2oz. bar. You'll probably need several craft sticks because you'll most likely break them while mixing (I always do).

    Enlarge Picture of preparing Cake icing

    29. Start mixing the solid and liquid clay together. If you're using TLS or liquid Fimo it may take a bit more muscle, but it will come together I swear! Kato seems to mix better, which is why it's now my favorite liquid clay. Note the proportions in the

picture.

    Keep mixing: you'll have to use some muscle! Press hard to get the clays to come together.

    Enlarge Picture of mixing the solid and liquid clays

    30. Keep mixing! Your clay should look approximately like the picture. This may take a while so don't give up!

    Enlarge Picture of mixing the solid and liquid clays

    31. If your clay mix looks too dry like mine did - just add more liquid Kato. Enlarge Picture of Add more Liquid if dry

    TIP: if the icing looks too translucent you can mix it all back together again and add a tiny bit of the white mix to tone it down.

    32. I promise that these will mix! just keep mixing! It's worth the wait. Enlarge Picture of Keep mixing!

    33. Finally! eventually it looks like this: Betty Crocker's canned icing - best, fluffy, white, and inedible!

    Enlarge Picture of the completed icing

    TIP: If for some reason your icing doesn't look like mine, it may be too liquidy. If that's the case just add more white clay and mix it up. If it's too stiff, just add a touch more Kato. It should be of a texture to hold swirls. If it's too lumpy it just means you haven't mixed it enough.

    34. Get your cake layers from the oven. be careful! they're hot! Please leave the oven on. Let your cakes cool off before adding the icing, because if you don't (like a real cake) it will melt off. Using a toothpick (cocktail stick) take a bit of the icing

    and spread it on top of one of the layers. We're doing the middle layer only right now. Enlarge Picture of spreading the cake icing

    35. When your layer is completely covered (don't worry about making

    swirls now)

    Enlarge Picture of icing on the Cake

    36. Carefully put the top layer on, make sure they are even, and set them on your tile to bake.

    Enlarge Picture of joining the Cake layers

    37.Be sure to ice the centers of your slices too. Set them on the tile. Enlarge Picture of the Cake slices

    38.This is how your miniature cake slice should look like!

    Bake your cake for another fifthteen minutes to set the icing.

Enlarge Picture of miniature Cake slice

    39. Optional: Making miniature chocolate roses

    Take a chunk of your brown clay and work it enough to put it through the pasta machine. Start at the thickest setting and gradually run the clay through all of the settings until it is as thin as you can make it. Gently place this sheet on your tile and using your 3/16th Kemper circle cutter, cut a bunch of circles as shown. If you feel that your pasta machine didn't flatten them well, just squash them with your finger to make them nice and thin. If your clay doesn't stick to the tile while you are cutting, just dust it with a bit of cornstarch, and dust the inside of your cutter. You can always brush it off later. Enlarge Picture of preparing miniature roses

    40. Remove the excess clay.

    Enlarge Picture of the clay circles

    41.We're going to start with tiny roses. Using your razor blade, cut some of the circles in half. Use your razor blade to remove the halves, and arrange three halves as shown in the picture on your tile.

    Make sure that they overlap just a tiny bit.

    Enlarge Picture of slicing the clay circles

    42. Use your razor blade to remove the chain of three clay halves and carefully set them on the tip of one of your non-dominant fingers.

    (if you're right handed, stick them on one of the fingers of your left hand)

    Enlarge Picture of halved clay circles

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