My little sister turned 24 in August. She had jokingly put a picture of Harley Quinn (she’s a comic fan – this character is from Batman) on her Pinterest.
She wasn’t expecting anyone to make it for her. With my new found skills, I thought I’d give it a go. Without instructions. So I decided to make my own.
Make sure you have enough ingredients for lots of cake
Bake some cakes. My final product ended up a bit short and fat so make them either taller or extra layers.
Cut your basic shapes. I used a large circle cookie/scone cutter for the top half, and then carved up the off-cuts for the jester ears.
Prepare the icing for the base – I just used icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract – I don’t really pay much attention to quantities, just taste every now and then and just add ingredients until I have enough of the right consistency.
Stick your layers together and fill in until the sides are even
The smaller bits were a bit more awkward. Be careful, because the carved pieces don’t hold the icing as well; they’re a bit crumbly.
Clean up a bit and start with your fondant. I bought a tub each of white, black and red, so I didn’t have to mix colours. It was worth it; it uses quite a lot of each colour.
Start with the block colours, and take care of the details later. Knead the fondant, roll it out and use the rolling pin to drape it over the cake.
I bought a tool to smooth it out and cut off the excess with a sharp knife. I’m not a pro at making it all smooth, but I wasn’t too worried because parts of it would be covered with black anyway.
I put the top on first and then rolled the red onto it – you could probably roll the red on first (it would probably keep it clean easier). Roll out the black and lay it on the cake. Carefully cut it to shape. It’s okay if the red underneath gets scored – there’s a thin rope along the line to cover it up.
I did the ‘ears’ as I dealt with each colour. Use water to stick the skinny bits on (not too much water). Leave it to set.
Roll out more black and use a ruler to measure the strips. I used ten strips of about 3cm each. Use a sharp knife to cut them.
Measure 3cm increments along the short edge and mark them lightly with the knife. Then use the ruler to score lightly to get the diamond pattern.
Place them on the cake and adjust before using a little water on the back of the strips to stick them in place. Cut the bottom bits off to make it even with the base.
Now we’re ready for the face. I had heard a tip that you should deal with the lighter colours first because using the darker ones first will stain the light. I did this, but then left them in open air and had to do it again because they dried out. You could probably do it first and keep it in an airtight container, but my measurements ended up being out anyway – the face ended up looking quite small, so it might be better to wait.
Knead and roll out the white (I think the icing sugar on the mat protected it from being stained anyway – make sure you wash your hands and dry them completely as well).
I did some drawings and cut them out to make sure the shapes were the same and the right proportions.
Use a small sharp knife to trace around the template. Be careful not to press too hard with your fingers as you hold the template in place.
I ended up cutting the face template up for each shape, and then used the cutting to place them on the face. My pom poms ended up a bit too big.
I wasn’t sure how to keep the ‘ears’ on – I used both water to glue them, and bbq skewers. It would probably help, when shaping the cake for the top half, to carve off a couple of flat sections so they sit better.
So there you go. My first attempt at a whole cake.