Last week my local university library hosted an edible cake contest. I missed it last year, since I didn't find out about it until a few days before and it was really too late to put together an entry. So I was on the look-out this year. I debated between a few books, but in the end went with one of my childhood favorites. Here's how I made it.
1 1/2 sheet cake, baked and removed from pan
cardboard cake sheet
2-3 batches of buttercream icing, divided and dyed (more on this later)
lady fingers or vanilla sandwich cookies (the oval kind)
gummy fruit wedges
lots of toothpicks (for mixing icing and fixing mistakes)
containers for separating and dying icing
a sharp knife
a large/fat straw (one will work, but multiples will be easier)
lots of patience
a copy of the book helps a great deal (but you can probably find most of the images online)
3. The next step is to spread on a crumb layer of icing. The crumb layer is basically a thin layer of icing that catches all the crumbs so when you do the top layer, you won't see any flaws or pieces of cake crumbling up. I wasn't too concerned about crumbs showing since it's a leaf and brown crumbs could be interpreted as "dirt," but I still did a crumb layer so it wasn't too crumby.
Icing--This is the basic icing recipe that we were taught in my Wilton class. Two changes, though: 1. use all crisco shortening, not margerine/butter also. 2. Use water instead of milk so it doesn't have to be refrigerated.
Note: leftover icing will keep for weeks in the freezer and thaw very quickly. I've found it's easy to blend already mixed colors to create new colors you need. I used frozen icing in pink, yellow, mint green and white to make some of the colors I needed for this project.
The Food Whore