Thursday, 29 September 2011

Russian Doll Cakes - The Making

The 'How To' guide for the Russian Dolls Cake(s) as promised!

Well, this is probably my most fiddly cake to date and requires some expertise but is definitely worth the effort as I think you'd agree. 

Step 1 - BAKE

Bake a cake. For this one I used a chocolate cake although the recipe in the book is a lemon & vodka sponge which is in keeping with the Russian theme. I chose the chocolate cake because I like chocolate cakes (surprise surprise) and because this one is quite dense and therefore easy to model with. A light and crumbly sponge would not be suitable. You can probably substitute this with a Madeira sponge or just stick to the recipe in the book. Make sure the cake is fully chilled though so that it is easier to cut, leave it in the fridge for an hour or so after it has completely cooled. You will need at least a 10" cake to get 3 dolls out of it, the smallest doll is made out of icing.

Step 2 - COVER

Cut the cake out in to the basic shape of the Russian dolls. I printed off a template from the web. You can draw your own or find one that you like better. Then cover the cake in a thin layer of buttercream , followed by white sugarpaste. Covering the cakes with sugarpaste is the trickiest part I think due to the shape of the dolls. 

My main tips are;

i) Give the cakes two thin layers of sugarpaste - the first one can be pretty rough and the second layer tidies it up. The second layer is also slightly easier put on. 

ii) Cover the dolls as you would a cake with sugarpaste, as in from the top. If you are completely unfamiliar with sugarpaste then check out this YouTube video for the basic principles.

iii) As far as is reasonably possible, try to use the palm of your hand instead of your fingers to avoid leaving dents in the cakes.

Once all three cakes are iced, make the fourth one out of sugarpaste icing and then leave them all overnight before the next step. This is to allow the icing to dry out, otherwise you won't be able to draw on them.


This is the fun bit and you can really go to town with the design. I used a combination of edible pens and edible paint to decorate the dolls. I made the paint from a combination of edible dusting powder and a few drops of alcohol. Do not use food colouring as this is too strong and the colours will run. 

From this...

To this!

A willing helper is always handy to take photos of you whilst you work and generally pass you stuff. Now that my mum has gone, it's over to my son to take the reigns, thank you :).

And lastly quality control from my niece, a budding expert!

Hope it was helpful.

Peace & Love
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