Thursday, 21 January 2016

A little ruffled around the edges

This is a new technique for me and I'll confess that although it looks quite difficult it was actually surprisingly easy to master. The ombre look is one that's been doing the fashion and beauty rounds for a while now - having first been popular in the early 19th Century and more recently in the 2000's!! Last year it became a popular cake finish too either in fondant or butter cream. I'm not sure if I'm too late to this party but it's a lovely effect that can be adapted to different occasions - wedding, christening, birthday.

Here's my quick guide to achieving this effect but if videos are your thing there are plenty of good tutorials on Youtube. The kit you will need is photographed below and includes -
A ball tool
A ribbon cutter (I use an FMM Multi Ribbon Tool)
Cornflour for dusting
A foam board
Small rolling pin
Edible glue (Squires Kitchen)
Paste Colour (I used Squires Kitchen Bluegrass Professional Paste Colour)
Fondant icing

I started with about 100g of white fondant and coloured it to the darkest colour. My top tip is to use a cocktail stick to dot the paste colour onto the icing and then throw it away - saves fingers and utensils getting covered in colour. Cut the ball in half and wrap half to stop it from drying out. Mix the other half (50g) with an equal amount of white icing so you end up with 100g again. Blend thoroughly then cut in half - still with me?? Wrap one half then mix the remaining 50g with another 50g of white icing and keep going until you have 5 different hue's of the same colour. The last ball will be 100% white - this isn't shown in the photograph above. Next step is to roll, cut and frill the ribbon strips.

Starting with the lightest colour (white in my case) roll out a thin strip onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with cornflour. Using the ribbon cutter cut out strips about 2cm wide with a straight edge. If you don't have a ribbon cutter a sharp knife would do the job perfectly well as one edge isn't seen and the other edge is frilled anyway. Place the ribbon on the foam mat and using the bone tool frill one edge to achieve the ruffled effect. If you don't have a bone tool you could try using a tea spoon. I don't think there's a substitute for the firm foam mat though I'm afraid.

Using edible glue (or water if used sparingly) paint a line around the cake and attach the first frill to the cake, straight edge onto the cake, frilled edge sticking out. Gradually build up the layers working down the cake - rolling, gluing, sticking, positioning. The frills have quite a bit of strength and only require slight adjustments once stuck onto the side of the cake to ensure there is no bunching. For the final frill cut the ribbon a little narrower and adjust the frill so that no white fondant on the side of the cake is showing.

The 'story' behind this cake isn't that I made it for a little boy's christening but that it was done for a photo-shoot! My son and I are in the final stages of creating my website and I needed some colourful, attractive cakes, well lit and presented. After a very long day the last photo's to be taken were of me. I'm not very comfortable in front of the camera at the best of times but these were taken with gritted teeth as I was exhausted and a just a little  bit 'ruffled around the edges' by the time we called it a wrap!


  1. Very impressive but I think you should have dip dyed your white T-shirt to match. I've been wondering what 'ombre' meant.

  2. Ha Ha.... I don't think I ever did tie-dye. I get in enough mess dying my hair I don't think I should be let loose with a pack of Dylon!