Sunday 6 September 2015

Sonic the Hedgehog Bas-Relief

Bas-relief in cake decorating is rather like applique in sewing or decoupage in card making – it’s a method of building up a flat picture to give a three-dimensional effect. The name bas-relief actually comes from sculpture and carving but is a common technique in cake decorating.

 We covered this in the final session of my cake decorating course at South Thames College. As usual I was running late as I had to stay longer than expected at work, so when I arrived, people were colouring their sugarpaste already. The tutor Bridgette had provided a selection of templates – black line drawings printed on A4 paper – including Hello Kitty and Super Mario. Hello Kitty looked quite simple (though the final effect from those who did it) and I wanted something a bit more challenging.

I spotted Sonic the Hedgehog which I remembered from computer games of the 1980s (though I never had any Sonic games) – my boyfriend is into computer games and while these days it’s more Call of Duty (and Lego Marvel Superheroes which even I like playing!) I thought Sonic might be a good birthday cake topper to make for him one day.
We mixed a little tylose (CMC) powder into the sugarpaste to stiffen it; you don’t need to use expensive flower paste as you don’t need to roll it out that thin, but you do need the icing to be a little harder than regular sugarpaste or fondant.
Bridgette had helpfully given me a sheet with exact quantities I needed of each colour so I added gel colour to my icing and weighed out the right amounts.

I started off with the head, and cut out Sonic’s head from the template with a pair of scissors. I laid that on top of my blue sugarpaste/CMC mix and cut around it with a knife.

You can put the bas-relief straight onto an iced cake but mine was going onto a cake board which I had already covered with fondant.
Place the head on first then cut out the other shapes and place them on top, to build up the layers. The flesh-coloured portion around the mouth was actually rolled into a sausage shape and flattened slightly, rather than cutting out a flat piece.

For the white parts on the arms and legs, roll some small sausage shapes, cut to the same length and bend over to make an arch.

The ear is cut from flat pieces but then added to the head in a standing-up position.

I think he looks pretty good, don't you?

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