Sunday, 16 February 2014

Citizenship Cake

We had a couple of friends gaining citizenship to our beautiful country this week. One is Hungarian-American, the other is South African.

We had a great time celebrating, with a great bunch of people, last night at a bbq for my friend's husband (the Sth African, now Kiwi). My friend is a food goddess, so when she asked if I'd help out with decorating the cake, I was honored, and a little scared!! Thankfully she baked the yummy chocolate cake and ganached it for me, so I just had to make the decorations in advance and do the flag the night before.

I thought I'd post it here, as there are very few cakes available online that encaptured the themes we wanted to embrace. We wanted Kiwiana, but with our flag, and of course a passport, representing the citizenship. We had a google and found a very cool kiwiana wedding cake, made by Cake Flour Studio in Nelson. They'd made some neat kiwiana elements, so I used those as inspiration for this cake and added a couple of my own designs in too.

I made the kiwiana elements over a few nights. I cut the shapes out a week in advance so they were dry enough to paint with food dye over the week leading up to the party. To get shapes, I just googled images of what I wanted, made them the right size on the computer, then traced them on to greaseproof paper, to use as templates for the fondant. I used a knife to cut around them. Once dry (you can't do this until they're solid, or they shrink after painting), I used food gels/ pastes mixed a with a few drops of vodka (you can use any clear alcohol), to paint. To make a wash, you add more vodka until the colour's really diluted. A steady hand is required for fine painting, but a food colour pen would've been better (one day I might invest in one). I used pearl dust for over the paua, once paint was dry.
I used 2 tones of dyes for the paua, green and blue in a 'wash'. I did while both colours were wet, so they blended.

I used this fern cutter HERE, it was fiddly, but not frustratingly so, I made them the morning of the bbq, so they didn't break when attaching to the sides of the cake.
The passport was easy to make, the painting is the tricky bit! I was so pleased with how it turned out though, as I was really nervous doing it! I was really hoping to buy a food colouring pen, but no silver or white was available anywhere, so I used my silver pearl dust, mixed with a few drops of vodka (to make a paint), and a teeny paint brush. I'm pleased I'm not a brain surgeon as my hand was SO shaky!! I did the ferns freehand. But the wording and coat of arms, had to be done with pin pricking first. I printed a passport picture out, the right size, then cut out the words and used a small, clean pin to lightly prick over the letters, to use as a guide for painting over. Same goes for the coat of arms, although I painted the people freehand.
For the flag, I googled round NZ flags and found some pics for an idea. Then I printed out a normal flag and used it as a template for cutting the white parts out first (it's one whole piece). Then I cut out the red parts and used as a template for the red fondant. I only had one star cutter, so gently rolled the white a little more after cutting, then once the red ones were placed on top, I cut the white to a neater appearance. The blue fondant was the trickiest bit, trying to get it the right size! I had some overhang on one side, to used kitchen scissors to trim. Thankfully we had a big bowl, almost the right size of the cake. I didn't have the empty cake tin as a guide, as I didn't bake the cake. The template I'd taken in advance, of the tin, didn't seem to fit! It worked out in the end.
And here is the very happy "Kiwi" recipient, who got the BEST surprise!
If I ever open a cake shop, my friend Kristin will just HAVE to be the baker! Good team work, I thought! :D


  1. Awesome! Especially the passport - it's amazing! Martin thought you must have printed it out (rather than painted it) :-)

    1. Thanks! I was so nervous doing the passport, but super pleased with the result! x