This week I have been busy making a Hawaiian themed cake for a friend of ours. Something quite different to what I have ever done before, but I enjoy a challenge. We agreed with a classic flavour combination – vanilla sponge with strawberry jam and butter cream filling. Once the cakes were baked (a triple layer cake to achieve the height) I set to making the Hawaiian flowers (or Hibiscus as they are better known.) I had the fondant cutters and decided on using the medium sized one. I coloured fondant icing in four different colours – pink, blue, orange and yellow and mixed in gum tragacanth which is a great product that hardens fondant – ideal for flowers and any other fondant decorations that would otherwise be incredibly brittle. Matt was my helping hand and rolled out mini foil boils that I could use to shape the flowers and we left them to dry over night. To make the flowers look as realistic as possible, I popped to Hobby Craft and bought flowers stamens ( you can buy packs of all white or different pastel colours and I opted for the colour ones seeing as the criteria for the cake was to be as bright as possible) I then gathered 5/6 stems together and poked them through the centre of the flower. Some people say to add the stamens and then leave the flowers to dry out but it seemed to work okay once they were dry.
Next up was the Hula Skirt which would surround the cake. This was actually a lot simpler to do than I thought. I coloured some fondant icing green then rolled out to the desired thickness. I cut out rectangular that were about 10cm in width and slightly longer than the height of the cake then used a pizza cutter to make the strips, stopping 1 or 2 centimetres from the top. I applied a small amount of royal icing to the back then continued around the cake until it met up. I trimmed around the bottom with a knife to neaten up the bottom and voila, one icing hula skirt complete! A small amount of royal icing secured each flower around the top and I covered the cake board with demerara sugar to give it a sand look and hey presto, we had ourselves a Hawaiian cake!