Did you know that it is snowing in Australia this weekend!? It nearly snowed on Christmas day last year in parts of Australia which is bizarre to anyone that lives here. The thing that appeals to me about snow at Christmas time is the whiteness of it. I love white. I love it because I lOVE colour and I find that white is perfect for offsetting all the other colours, so it doesn’t matter what colour is the favourite at the time, white is always there to help it shine. (Oh, gosh, that rhyming was not intentional!). This Christmas I am using white as a background for the other colours I use, so you may see it crop up a bit. I am a bit of a fan of centrepieces at the Christmas table and what better than a themed Christmas cake? My Nanna, my mum and now I have always had cake toppers on the Christmas cake. When I was little it was always a wooden sleigh with miniature presents in it. I’m not sure where the wooden sleigh is now but I quite enjoy making my own anyway. For this cake I had a lot of fun making ruffled fondant Christmas trees, so not only are they pretty but they could also be eaten by someone who is willing to eat that much fondant and colouring! The trees are nestled in a white coconut snow icing. So here’s how I did it;
I used white icing fondant and kneaded green food colouring through it. Remember my fondant tips here in my fondant flowers post? It would be good to read them first if you don’t work with fondant often. Using a ball of green fondant I rolled it into a shape about 5 cm tall and 3cm wide, then plonked it down on some baking paper so it was flat on the bottom and shaped it into a cone shape. I then rolled a very thin (about 1cm wide) snake and cut it into manageable strips of around 15cm long. Using the end of a thin paintbrush (as I do, lol!), I ‘ruffled’ one edge of the snake, gently pressing it down all the way along. Picking up the ruffled strip, I started at the bottom of the cone shaped tree and gently pressed the non-ruffled edge onto the tree, turning the paper and tree as I went so that it spiralled around, working its way up the tree in layers. Each new ruffled strip started at the same spot as the last one had ended and overlapping slightly until the ruffles reached the top of the tree. Using three fingers and a thumb, I pinched the top of the tree to create a nice tree top shape. This next bit is possibly the most important to the look of the tree. I used a toothpick to gently lift the ruffled layers as they started to dry and harden so that they didn’t sit flat on the tree, I really think this makes them pretty. I did this straight away and after 10 mins or so I came back to them and did it again to make sure they were nice and ruffley as they dried. After the first time I lifted the ruffles, before the icing was starting to dry out I gently placed silver cachous into the ruffles and then pushed them in further with a toothpick to make them look like they have baubles. I think the little bit of bling makes them more Christmassy, don’t you? To display my trees on the cake, I iced it with buttercream (actually I mixed whipped cream with icing sugar mixture) and then dusted it with desiccated coconut (snow). I placed the trees on top and then gave the whole cake including the trees another light dusting of icing sugar. Let it snow!