Recently I was contacted by Renshaw Baking to take part in their new Birthday Cake Challenge - to create and decorate a birthday cake using Renshaw products. Renshaw have a brilliant range of colours available now, you can see them for yourselves over at their online store.
For the challenge, I personally chose to use their white ready to roll icing, simply because I like to colour the fondant myself to get the exact shade for my designs. One of the designs I had planned needed shades of the same colour too, so this was a better option. I use Sugarflair gel-based colours, and they colour white fondant really easily, simply by kneading the colour through the paste, you need very little to get the desired colour, and the gels don't alter the consistency of the fondant.
Renshaw also sent me some of their new Flower and Modelling Paste, a stiffer more mailable paste that is perfect for creating delicate sugar flowers. It is also great to use with silicone moulds, as it holds it's shape when taken out of the mould, and sets nice and hard too.
To demonstrate the versatility of these products, I created two cakes using them. The first was a fun Tropical Beach Cake, based specifically on a Goan Beach, and the second a pretty floral 30th Birthday Cake.
Tropical Goan Beach Cake
This cake was so much fun to make! The recipient loves tropical beach holidays, and in particular holidays in Goa. One of the special requests from her daughter was to include a cow, as Goa is quite renowned for it's 'Beach Cows'!
I used the fondant to cover the cake and create the ombre effect waves around the edges. I also used fondant to model the cow. The modelling paste helped to create the stiffer bark and leaves of the palm tree, and the smaller details, including using a silicone mould to create the shells that decorated the edges of the cake. A little light muscavado sugar to act as sand, and voila! Tropical Beach fun!
Pretty Floral 30th Birthday Cake
The joy of this design was in the simplicity, and the Flower and Modelling Paste is a great staple for creating thinner more delicate petals for flowers. Like fondant, it can be coloured with gels to any shade, and by adding petal dust you can get a really pretty petal-like effect. We based the colour pallet on the hydrangea-type flowers that adorn the centre of the 30. I really like this design, and can see it adapted for different ages, flowers and colour pallets - the possibilities are endless!