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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Apache Helicopter Birthday cake


I've always said I enjoy playing with food and this birthday cake is yet another example of having fun with food. I spent many hours building and playing with air fix models as a child, that experience certainly helped with this Birthday cake.

With this particular birthday cake ive tried to use different tecniques and equipment to create a modern yet realistic look. When given the brief of an Apache cake i first had thoughts of an Apache indian , however I was  soon corrected and my face lit up when I was asked to make The Apache Gunship Helicopter.
The classic helicopter is a favorite of mine and although a little tricky to recreate in icing I was gunning to give it a go..

Sculpting the fuselage 

Unsure where to start with this epic birthday cake , I decided to research the plans of the gunship just to find the proportions and designs ect. I found copies of the blue prints on the internet , Im guessing not the real ones though, these were not only helpful but useful in another way which i will come to later.

So, first i started by sculpting a rough shape of the fuselage, I used cardboard to create the rota blades. this part was easy as I used pictures as reference. The picture on the left is the original fuselage.

Although quite heavy, due to it being solid icing it looked quite accurate, so I decided to use this for the cake with the addition of some sculpting and shaving.

For the tail I played around with rolling sausage shapes, way to messy and very floppy. So decided to remake the air fix model kit. Plain Fondant icing would not harden enough nor be strong enough so I used the addition of a powder called TYLO powder. you bacicly sprinkle it on the icing and mix it together, I tested how much i would need just to make sure it made the icing solid.

I made a mold of the tail using some old marzipan and covered it with clingfilm so the icing didn't stick, and waited for it to harden.

Mistake number 1. After taking it off the mould it looked great but soon snapped, I wasn't a happy bunny!!! So second time around I built in some ribs with the same icing to strengthen the tail, this worked a treat.
I made the rota blades with the same icing and simply used the cardboard as a template.
All parts out in place
You may have noticed the broken tail, this was the first attempt, and the photo was taken while the second was drying !!! But you get the idea.
The blue prints , printed on icing.
I started off this birthday cake by getting my inspiration from the blue prints of the helicopter, as they are the building blocks for the design I decided to incorporate them in to my cake. This was done by having them printed on to icing. Lots of bakery's can do this for you, you just need to ask nicely .

The Cake with the Apache Blue Prints
The shape of the cake has been designed as a stand for Apache Gunship so made the angles this way to hold the helicopter nose down. The blue print design is attached to the icing using vodka, as the alcohol evaporates, you can just use royal icing or even water.
Nose down
A Splash of colour

Adding the colour to the helicopter was always going to be the difficult part, well i could have made it from coloured icing but I wanted to spray the whole thing as it gives a better effect, plus id never sprayed a cake !

I've only ever  used a spray gun on air fix models, so how much harder could this be?

I didn't have a spray gun, but asked my local cake shop if i could use theirs and they were happy for me to use it.

Quick and easy that's all i can say. Defiantly got to get one in the future.

I decorated the cake board with the same blue print design and put everything together and that was that.


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