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!
Congratulations to Disney Pixar fan, Alice Davies, on winning the Gold Medal at Cake International for her Monsters University inspired sculptured novelty cake! — with Alice Elizabeth Davies.
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’.
This is the first novelty cake I ever made. It was for my boyfriends’ brother who loves kayaking.
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.
This is the first mould I created for Karen Davies Sugarcraft Ltd. I wanted to design a Love Bird mould after noticing the trend in vintage cakes and themes being popular at weddings with bird cages being a noticeable feature.
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.
When thinking about what design to do for my cake I knew that I wanted to well and truly challenge myself and give myself the opportunity to practise and attempt to try out various sugar craft techniques. I’m not one for doing things half heartedly and even though I’d only ever had one go at figure modelling I was determined from the off set to have figures as a main feature on my cake.
Early August my boyfriend and I went to see Monsters University at the cinema. The film was so vivid, colourful, playful and humorous and I thought to myself what a brilliant cake theme it would make. I played various other ideas over and over through my mind but still Monsters University was the one that obviously stood out to me. I saw it as a brilliant opportunity to practise my figure modelling skills as the characters are all so diverse and each and every one has their own distinctive personality and I wanted to be able to express these through my chosen medium.
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.
They are yellow four-armed siamese brothers with horns and orange stripes on their tentacles, and students at Monsters University, as well as members of the Oozma Kappa fraternity. Terri is the smallest and has one horn; Terry is the tallest and has two horns.