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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Real Life Size Fondant Guitar Cake

Somebody requested me to make a guitar cake as a present  for the birthday of her husband, a Gibson Electric guitar. That was the first time I would be making a guitar cake. At first I was hesitant to take the request but eventually gave in to take the challenge.

I jump started with my guitar cake project by making a pattern. Yes, I did make a guitar pattern which I drew on a large parchment paper.  This was necessary so I would be sure my cake would take the shape I intended it to be. The size and shape resemble a real electric guitar. The length was about 40 inches. 

Three days before the cake was needed, I already formed the gumpaste volume knobs, tuning pegs, the neck, headstock, and the Gibson logo. The reason I made these in advance was because these things had to be dried so it could retain its shape when put on the cake. At that time, I did not have tylose so I have to give it more time to dry out. Tylose is being added to fondant dough  to convert fondant into a gumpaste, hence it would be easier to form different shapes as necessary.

For the parts which I intended to look like metal, I painted them with silver Americolor . This one is for airbrush but since I did not have a baker's airbrush, I applied it to the fondant just like a paint.

Now, time to think about the cake board. Since it was not possible for me to buy a cake board large enough to accommodate a real life size guitar cake, I used a 1/2 inch thick styrofoam reinforced by a plywood underneath in order to support the weight of the cake. I just covered the board afterwards. Foam board could work as well, but still , a plywood reinforcement is also needed, otherwise, the cake board will break in half  when carried due to the length of the cake.  

The rest of the job was done on the day before this cake was needed. I allotted  whole day for this cake project alone. Since my oven is not large enough for this cake, I baked 4 batches of 8x12inch vanilla chiffon, with a thickness of about 2 inches each, positioned them side by side. I applied buttercream in between pieces to glue them up together.

I placed the pattern on top then started to cut and carve the cake according to the pattern I made. I used the remaining chiffon to form the guitar neck and head. I sliced across the top of the entire thing  in order to make the surface of the  4 cakes all levelled and for them to appear just like 1 piece of cake once covered with fondant.  

 After forming the guitar shaped chiffon, I covered the whole thing with buttercream. Then started to cover the guitar cake body with fondant, trimmed the excess and smoothed carefully. I took extra caution not to tear the fondant or else I have to redo everything. Smoothening on the curves was a little tricky specially on the narrow curve near the guitar neck. After covering the body, I then worked on to cover  the guitar neck and head with fondant as well.

Prior covering the cake with fondant, I tried to color my white fondant dough deep black. 

But I only had less than a small bottle of  Chefmaster black gel color available when I started. I thought I had enough. But after using up almost all the content  of the small bottle of  Chefmaster black gel,  the  result was just a gray fondant.  The black color gel I had was not enough for the volume of the fondant I made. After long hours of kneading, it then finally came to me to just paint the surface black to save kneading time and food color as well.

So I decided to proceed  to cover the entire  guitar cake with the gray fondant I came up with and then just painted it black using the remaining Chefmaster black gel I had.I got a nice shiny deep black color which I wanted it to be. But since the food color used  is a gel, you won't expect the color to dry immediately.

I then placed a pre-painted wood-stained color  fondant on the guitar neck, which I also did in advance. 

 I started to attach the volume knobs, the tuning pegs, the Gibson logo, and all the other details. For the string, I piped vanilla buttercream along the guitar neck length. I was able to pipe only 4 strings instead of 6. I left it that way since I was afraid to redo and ruin the already piped buttercream for the string.

The difficult part of piping the string was to be able to keep the piped buttercream as straight as possible so as to imitate tightly  tensioned strings. As you may notice, my strings were not perfectly straight.

At last I was done with the final touch which was the  string made of buttercream.
I boxed up the cake, ready for the next day delivery. It was a long day but worth it.

Happy baking!!!