Mixy’s Birthday Cake

A long time ago, each time I saw the Planet Cake book in the book shop, I would go through the pages and ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ to myself at all the cake creations on it.  If I didn’t have enough time to flip through the book, I would just stop for a sec and admire the cake on the cover and quickly move on.

The cake on the cover is the designer handbag cake, usually called the ‘Chanel bag Cake’ and ever since I told Mixy I wanted the book, she said if you ever get the book, you have to make the Chanel handbag for my birthday.  A few months down the track, my birthday wishes came true and I received the book for my birthday.  Fast forward 10 months later, I finally make the Chanel Cake for Mixy’s birthday.  It was the second cake in my New Years Resolution and an easy next step up from doing round cakes.

I read and re-read the steps quite a few time making sure I gave myself plenty of time because I always find I’ll read the steps and it’s not until you get stuck in and decorating that you realise it takes you way longer than anticipated to do the steps that seem so easy-peasy in the book.  I made sure I had all the necessary tools, equipment such as boards and templates, enough fondant, gel food colours etc etc etc.  I gave myself a good week to make it as I was doing it either after work when I was on morning shift or before work when I was afternoon shift.

Here’s a quick version of what I did:

Day 1

  • Bake the cake
  • Allow to cool completely ie overnight
  • If using coloured fondant colour your fondant now so it has time to develop and you can adjust if necssary

Day 2

  • Cut the cake into the desired shape for the hand bag and position the cake on the decorating board (a piece of hard cardboard that is the same size as the base of the cake – makes it easy to pick up and move the cake)
  • Cut the cake into 3 layers and brush each layer with syrup (to keep moist)
  • Sandwich them back together with ganache. Use any cake off cuts to fill in any large holes and gaps
  • Apply the first covering of ganache around the sides and the top
  • Leave to set overnight
  • I also made the black handles at this stage as the black fondant I was using was very sticky and needed plenty of time to dry before I could handle it again to attach to the cake

Day 3

  • Hot knife the ganache to remove any large ‘jaggered’ bits
  • Apply another layer of ganache this time paying special attention to try and get it as smooth as possible
  • Leave to set this should take about 30 minutes, depending on how warm it is
  • While waiting knead your fondant so it’s nice and pliable
  • Once the ganache is set on the cake (dry to touch), brush the ganache all over with syrup so that the fonant can adhere to the cake
  • Roll out the fondant to the desired thickness (I usually try and do it about 5mm) and shape
  • Place the cake on the display board using either royal icing or ganache to hold it in place on the board
  • Cover the cake with the fondant, smoothing as you go with plastic smoothers of little pvc sheets to get it as smooth as possible.  Trim away any excess
  • Add the quilting pattern to the cake using a stitching tool (bought from a haberdashery shop).  This needs to be done while the fondant is still soft to touch.  If done once the fondant has hardened it will either not leave a ‘deep’ enough imprint or end up cracking the fondant

Day 4

  • Add the rest of the embellishments – zipper, handles, piping along the edges, key charm or monogram letters
  • Stand back and admire your handy work 🙂

Day 5

  • Should’ve been about taking photos of the finished cake.  But no.  I got side tracked doing this, that and the other, and before I realised, it was 5pm and I still needed to have a shower, get ready, and deliver the cake to the restaurant before heading to the cocktail bar for pre-dinner drinks!
  • So all I have is some lame-arse photos, most of them taken in my messy kitchen right before leaving home.

Handbag Cake sans handles and charm

Zip Detail

Zip after one coat of 'gold' paint

The Finished Product

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