Could never have dreamed in a million years that Disney Pixar would get in touch with me asking if they could create a post on their Facebook page about my cake.
This past week has well and truly been the most rewarding and memorable week of my life. I can’t wait to start a new project!
Having only started cake decorating in May, when I made a cake for my boyfriends’ brother; when my dad first approached me in August to say he wanted me to enter the Competition at Cake International in November I laughed in his face. There was no way that I was going to enter a Competition at the biggest and best cake decorating show in the world. I told him ‘maybe next year’.
Over the following few weeks I designed two new moulds for my parents’ business Karen Davies Sugarcraft Ltd and began working there full-time creating more and more cakes and practising various techniques within Sugarcraft. I soon realised that I had a hidden talent. I’ve always been good at Art and I am slightly obsessed with fine detail when it comes to drawing. It turned out that this also applied to cake decorating.
My mum was then invited to be a judge for Renshaw’s Celebration Cake Business of the year Award and I asked if I could go along with her to see the cakes. As soon as I walked into the room I was blown away. I’d never seen cakes with so much detail and different elements about them up close before. Looking at them all made me feel excited and inspired about the industry I’d just walked into. I came out of there knowing that I’d changed my mind and I wanted to accept my dads’ challenge.
I decided to attempt to make Mike next as I was pleased with how Scott had turned out and I’d decided that if I wanted to go ahead and complete a Monsters University cake I was going to have to make sure that the two main characters, Mike and Sully where spot on.
1. First I needed to make his pea green colour exactly right. I did this by mixing Sugar Flair food colouring, Autumn Leaf, Spruce Green and Egg Yellow is small amounts into white modelling chocolate until the colour was achieved. Next I rolled a smooth ball. I then compared this against Scott Squishy Squibbler to see if it was approximately the right size. I then made my ball into a slight tear drop shape. Using a Ball tool I then made his eye socket. The ball tool had to be pushed in at several different angles and gently pressed and circled to create a large enough eye socket. Using a Dresden tool I then carefully marked a thin circle around the eye socket. I then gently went back into the top half pushing upwards to create the eye lid. Using a damp paintbrush I then smoothed out any marks.
From white modelling chocolate I then rolled a smooth ball for his eye. I lightly glued the inside of the eye socket and placed the eye inside. I then lightly marked out his mouth with a Dresden tool. Using a small palette knife I then carefully cut around his mouth and gently dug out the middle to create his big smile. From white modelling chocolate I then lightly flattened a small piece of paste for a tongue. I dabbed the inside of his mouth with glue and placed the tongue in the centre and marked a line down the middle with a Dresden tool. This also helped to secure it. I then painted it using Rose Rainbow Dust and created shadow and shading with black before painting the entire of the inside black. I then lightly glued the top and bottom of his mouth. From white modelling chocolate I then made ten small teeth and carefully pressed them in place using a cocktail stick. I then rolled a tiny thin sausage for his brace. I lightly dabbed his top teeth with glue. I started by attaching the brace at either end onto his teeth at the far sides using a cocktail stick. I then gently went along the length of it and secured it. whilst I left this to dry I then began to paint his eye using Black and Rainforest Green Rainbow Dust. I then went back and painted the brace Silver.
2. I was slightly worried about how to make his legs and arms as they are so thin in comparison to the rest of his body and I didn’t know how the legs would carry his weight. I decided to use Flower Paste as this dries rock hard and is difficult to break. I rolled two thin straight sausages for his legs and two thin sausages about the same length and width for his arms. I gently bent one so as it would be hanging by his side casually and bent the other as if he had his hand on his hip. I then left them to dry over night.
I then shaded his body with Rainforest Green Rainbow Dust and painted the remaining details of his eye with a small paintbrush.
Once the legs had dried I used a Ball tool to gently press two indents into the bottom of his body where his legs would be. Very gently I then pushed each leg into the indents until they were at the length I wanted them. I then took them back out and dabbed the insides of the two holes with glue and also slightly filled them with Royal Icing before placing he legs back inside and leaving to dry. Once dry I then rolled out some of my green modelling chocolate very thinly and cut two thin strips to wrap around the legs. I brushed both legs with glue and carefully wrapped the chocolate around each one, removing any excess with a Cutting wheel. I then disguised the joins with a damp paintbrush. I then rolled two small balls and lightly flattened them before pressing each one on the legs to create knees. Again I blended these in using a damp brush.
3. I then did the same for his arms, creating an indent to secure them into. Once secured I then covered them with a thin layer of green modelling chocolate and disguised the joins. I also decided to give him a bit of a thigh at the top of his legs as this would also help to secure them. I did this the same way as the knees, by taking two small pieces of green chocolate and carefully blending them in to the tops of his legs and the bottom of his body.
For each hand I took a small ball of green modelling chocolate and made it into a slight pear shape and slightly flattened the wide end. I then snipped into it to create four small fingers using a small pair of scissors. Using a Dresden tool I then marked out knuckles and nails. I wanted one hand in a relaxed position and one with all the fingers bent into a fist. I did this by simply pushing each finger up into his palm with a cocktail stick. I then carefully attached each hand to the ends of his arms. For the bent arm I lightly dabbed his side with glue and secured the hand against it. I positioned sponges under his arms and hands whilst they dried. I then painted his nails with White Rainbow Dust and dusted the rest of his hand with Rainforest Green where I wanted shadowing.
4. For now that was all I could do as I felt that it was best to wait until I had covered a cake board and decided the positioning of my Monsters before I attached his feet as I felt that this would make him more stable.
Now that I was happy with both Scott and Mike I decided to try and tackle a more challenging character.
1. First I needed to make their tentacles so as they could be left to dry over night. I decided to use Flower Paste again as I wanted them to be solid and sturdy. I first coloured some Flower Paste a pale orange/yellow colour. I then rolled eight thin sausages of equal length and bent them into various shapes, some curled round flat on the floor and other curled upright. I then left them to dry.
The following day I used Orange Rainbow Dust mixed with isopropyl alcohol to paint orange stripes along each tentacle. Next I coloured white modelling chocolate Green (the same green as Scott’s jumper) and made a flat rounded rectangle shape for their main body. I then flattened the bottom of it against my work surface. I measured it against Scott and Mike for size. I then lightly dabbed the ends of each tentacle with glue and gently pushed them up into the base of the body. I directed all the tentacles outwards in a circular shape. I then stood the main body up and the tentacles were able to stand securely.
Using a stitching wheel I then marked the main body to give it a jumper effect. With a Dresden tool I then carefully marked around the bottom to give it a trim.
2. I then took two small pieces of green coloured chocolate and rolled them into two small balls to make the necks of their jumper. I lightly flattened the balls and made them look more like a cube shape with my fingers. I then used the Stitching wheel to make the jumper effect. I dabbed the top of the main body with glue and secured the jumper necks on top. With a Ball tool I then made a hole in each one ready for the necks to go into. I then dusted the bottom trim and the necks with Rainforest Green Rainbow Dust.
3. Next, I rolled a smooth ball from my yellow/orange coloured chocolate for the smaller head. I then made it into a slight tear drop shape and narrowed the bottom for the neck rolling it with my fingers against my palm. With a Ball tool I then made the eye socket and emphasised the top lid with a Dresden tool gently pushing upwards. I then rolled a smooth ball for the eye from white modelling chocolate. I lightly dabbed the inside of the eye socket with glue and pressed the eye inside. With a Dresden tool I then marked out the mouth and carefully cut around my markings with a small palette knife. I then dug out the middle. Using black Rainbow Dust I then coloured the inside of the mouth black, added a small piece of white modelling chocolate for the tongue and marked a line down the middle with a Veining Tool. I then painted the tongue pink and added some shadowing using the left over dust on my black paintbrush. Using white modelling chocolate I then made seven teeth with the front two being slightly bigger than the rest to give him a ‘goofy’ look. I then attached these by lightly covering the top of the mouth with glue and by using a cocktail stick to pick up and secure each tooth.
4. I then piped a little Royal Icing into the slightly smaller neck of the jumper and then lightly dabbed the neck of the head with edible glue. I then carefully balanced the head inside the neck of the jumper. With a Dresden Tool I then gently pressed the base of the neck into the neck of the jumper to blend the two together and to secure the head.
5. Once I had left the head to dry and I was happy that it was secure I was able to paint the eye on using a very fine paintbrush and Rainbow Dusts mixed with isopropyl alcohol. I then took a small piece of white modelling chocolate and rolled a small ball. I then rolled the top of it against my palm with my finger to turn it into a cone shape. I then gently flattened it creating more of a triangle shape for his horn. I lightly dabbed the top of his head with edible glue and then placed the horn on top. Using a Dresden Tool I then pressed the bottom two corners onto the top of his head to secure it. I then blended the edges in using a small damp paintbrush. Once it had dried I painted it using Milk Chocolate Rainbow Dust and then gave it some shadowing with a darker brown. I then gave his whole head some shadowing and extra detail using Orangeade coloured dust.
6. Using the same method as for the first head I then made the second but slightly bigger and rounder. I also made the entire head and decorated it before securing it into the jumper as I didn’t want to knock or damage the first. I went through the same process to create the eye except I made it slightly larger and using a small flattened piece of orange/yellow coloured modelling chocolate I was able to create an eyelid to make him appear dozy/chilled. I marked out the mouth using a Dresden Tool and used it to press in and upwards to give him a slight upper lip and also a space for his two teeth to fit into. I made two small teeth of slightly different sizes using white modelling chocolate. I glued them under his top lip using a small amount of edible glue. I then painted his eye using Rainbow Dusts and a fine paintbrush. Just like with the first head I made two horns. I then glued these to either side of his head and secured the corners down with a Dresden Tool before carefully blending them in with a small damp brush. I then painted these brown. I then shaded the head with Orangeade Dust to give contrast and shadowing.
7. I then secured the second head. As he was slightly larger and had a longer neck it proved more difficult to make him balance. In the end after several attempts and lots of bits of sponge! I decided that it was best to discreetly secure the two heads together so as they gave each other more support. I did this by brushing a small amount of Royal Icing between the two heads and gently pressed them together. I then blended away any visible Icing with a small damp paintbrush.
8. I then rolled four small sausages from my green coloured modelling chocolate for their arms. I measured them against each other to check that they were all equal in size. With a stitching wheel I then marked them all to give them a knitted jumper effect just like his main body. I then made an indentation at one end for the sleeves where the hands would be secured. I then cut off the opposite ends with a palette knife so as they were flat ready to secure to the body. Taking my orange/yellow coloured modelling chocolate I then rolled four small balls for their hands. I then made each one into a tear drop shape and slightly flattened the rounded ends, leaving a wrist and an area for the fingers. With a small pair of scissors I then cut four skinny long fingers into each hand. I then further defined these by slightly bending over the top of each finger and blending it in very carefully with a cocktail stick to the finger below to create a rounded ball shaped finger tip. With a Dresden Tool I then marked a small line in the centre of each hand to create a palm. I then dabbed the inside of each sleeve with glue and inserted the hands inside. I then took each arm and positioned it against the body to see where I wanted each one to bend. I then pushed a Dresden Tool into each arm and with it still in place I bent the arms into position. I then marked several creases around the bend and left the arms to dry for a few minutes.
I brushed the sides of the main body with edible glue and secured each arm into position by blending the edges of the arms into the body with a Dresden Tool before doing the same again with a small damp paintbrush. Anywhere that I’d distorted the knitting pattern slightly I carefully went back over with a Stitching Wheel. I wanted the hands on the side of the larger head to be positioned so as it appeared that he was leaning against his side. So I carefully bent each finger round to touch his palm using a cocktail stick. To further secure these two arms I also lightly dabbed the fists with glue and gently pressed them against his side.
9. Finally on the side with the smaller head and the hands with outstretched fingers I wanted the bottom hand to be holding a can of pop. Taking a small piece of white modelling chocolate I rolled it into smooth ball before making it into a can shape. With a Ball Tool I then carefully indented the top and bottom of the can. Using a Dresden Tool I then marked a line around the top and bottom of the can to show were the tin was. I then painted the top and bottom of the can with Silver Rainbow Dust. I then painted half of the can red and half of it purple. Finally with a fine paintbrush I then painted the word ‘Blob’ on the side. I wanted this to be displayed at the front so I dabbed the back of the can with edible glue and placed it in the lower outstretched hand. I then carefully wrapped each finger around the can with a cocktail stick.
To finish off I shaded in any shadowing with Orangeade Dust.