It was a real privilege to play host at the DARING KITCHEN.

What is the DARING KITCHEN ? 

It is a platform for Bakers and culinary enthusiasts to learn techniques and well researched recipes from around the world.The Daring Kitchen started in November 2006 as the home of The Daring Bakers, then in May 2009 it was joined by The Daring Cooks. In January 2016, the two parts of the site were amalgamated to be simply The Daring Kitchen. Its premise is to create one recipe each month, given to its members by a monthly host. Members create the same recipe and then post about it on their personal blogs on the designated date.

The challenge I hosted in January 2016 was about cake designing.It showcases three  cakes,along with three techniques that are tutoring to any cake fan.Recipes that were specifically created for the challenge were of Handmade Fondant,Gum paste and Modelling chocolate.



“I am Shillpa Bhaambri from Cakeline the Journey, a Baker and Cake designer living in Mumbai, India. This is the first challenge that I am hosting, ever since I became a Daring kitchen member in early 2015. Being part of the daring kitchen has, not only connected me with passionate bakers from the world over, but has also given me amazing insight and learning in the baking stream.
I run a cakery, aptly called Cakeline that specializes in customized cakes and desserts. My blog Cakeline the journey reflects my passion for the art of cake making and my love for food in general.

With great enthusiasm I would like to invite you all to join me in a “CAKE DESIGNING CHALLENGE”

Cake designing is an extension of baking. It is a surging craft, hobby or profession in today’s times. Making plain cakes look visually stunning has become a unique artistry! A professional Baker who specializes in making and decorating cakes, using various edible mediums, for all occasions is called a cake artist.

Let’s pretend to be or just lure ourselves to become a CAKE ARTIST for this month.
In this challenge I explain to you in detail three and a half edible mediums used in cake decoration. These are what I call the “EDIBLE CLAYS” in cake decoration. Fondant; Modeling paste, Gum paste and Modeling chocolate are used effectively and cleverly by cake designers. They use them to recreate mind blowing concepts and themes on cakes. I share my visualization of a few cake designs and show you a technique I adopted while working on them, with these Edible mediums.
Jump in with me to design a cake/dummy / cupcake or even a sugar plaque to a theme of your choice. Let your creative juices flow as you decorate…..believe you me it will be addictive fun. You can use the best God gifted tools we possess….our deft hands and fingers. Or make cutters out of craft equipment and kitchenware! For seasoned sugar crafters the canvas is unimaginable…Get inspired and please recreate your very best.”

There are the three designs I conceptualized for the above challenge.Each design uses one of the three mediums of fondant,gum paste and modelling chocolate, that sugar artists work  with deftly.Recipes for handmade Fondant,Gum paste and Modelling chocolate that were created for this challenge will be published in the next post on this blog.Watch out for them !

To ignite creativity in the challenge takers each cake design is supported by a designing technique in that medium.

 Cake design 1


Tree of life using fondant

I chose this theme to signify life at the start of the New Year. The tree of life is a common motif in various world theologies, mythologies, and philosophies. It alludes to the interconnection of all life on our planet and serves as a metaphor for common descent in the evolutionary sense. I have used it in my design to show growth, energy, zest and fervor in our life at the onset of a new year.

This is a two tiered cake, in vibrant colors that are dominant in Indian culture.
The bottom tier is brushed with a blend of gold luster dust and green gel color to give it a rich antique look. Embossing technique is used on the side of the cake. The little embossed imprints are hand painted in different colors to give a MEENAKARI effect. (MEENAKARI is the art of coloring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing over it brilliant colors that are decorated in an intricate design. It is a popular craft used in traditional Indian jewelry design.)

The focal point of the cake is the tree, which is hand cut out of Gum paste. The tree and the border of the top cake tier are painted with edible colors using the MADHUBANI style of painting. (Madhubani painting is a style of Hindu Painting, practiced in the Indian State of Bihar. Such painting is done using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns.)

My Tree of life gets its form by the addition of leaves, flowers, parrots and birds made out of modeling paste. To complete my cake design I rolled red Gum paste to create 2016 monogram and attached it with edible glue. For designing this cake barring a patchwork cutter, which was used to emboss the bottom cake tier, no cutters have been used. So you can see the potential of free hand cake designing.



Easy embossing technique

Embossing has to be done on freshly rolled fondant, before it begins to crust.
Roll out fondant or a cover cake with it.
Take an embossing tool or cutter and gently press onto the fondant. Release and repeat at required places.


How to start hand painting on fondant

Mix gel color or luster dust appropriately with clear alcohol, like vodka or gin, to make a liquid edible paint. You can also use clear lemon extract instead of the alcohol
Start by marking your design on the fondant or outlining it. Fill one color at a time, giving time to dry before you paint connecting colors.


Meenakari inspired edible hand painting

I used bright, vivid colors. First I filled the edges of the embossed print with red gel color. The hexagonal centre was painted in deep blue luster dust paint. Then I brushed the inside with gold luster dust paint. The small dots were filled with black gel color. Lastly the bare fondant was painted with a blend of gold luster dust and black/deep green gel color to give it an antique look.
If you are painting on Gum paste let it dry completely for 24 hours under a fan before you start. This prevents smudging of color.

I I hope you enjoy the first of these creative cake designing posts.

I ll be back very soon with my  Cake design 2 @ Daring Kitchen.




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