A lot of people look at what I do and say, “I could never do that.” While that might be true on a professional level, that doesn’t mean that you can’t let your creative spirit loose in the kitchen. If competing on Food Network TV shows has taught me anything, it’s that wonders can come out of pressure—if you’re willing to open yourself up to possibilities.
Of course, a few tips can’t hurt. And that’s one of the reasons I’m writing these “Kim’s Kitchen” tutorials. I’ve picked up a lot over the years, and it’s always nice to give back to people who have supported me. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be helping someone become a Food Network champ in the future!
So let’s begin with this cute lovebird cake topper: a perfect touch for the Valentine’s Day season. Here are the tools and materials you’ll need:
plastic clay tool (for smoothing)
corn starch or powdered sugar
colored modeling chocolate
Once you’ve collected everything, follow this step-by-step photo tutorial:
Soften some purple, pink, and yellow modeling chocolate (knead until smooth)
Make a ball out of the purple modeling chocolate (approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter) for the body of the bird.
Shape into a teardrop shape.
Cut a one-inch slit in the tail and separate it slightly. Make one ball out of the purple modeling chocolate (approximately 1/8-inch in diameter) for the feather on top of the tail.
Make one ball out of the purple modeling chocolate (approximately 1-inch in diameter) for the birds’s head.
Shape it into a cone, then—using the ball tool—make holes for the eyes and the beak.
Make two balls out of white gumpaste (approximately 1/8-inch in diameter) for the bird’s eyes. Attach using a little water on a brush.
Make one ball with the yellow modeling chocolate (approximately 1/4-inch in diameter) for the bird’s beak. Shape it using the clay tool and attach it to the head with a little water.
Attach the head to the body using a little water and a toothpick.
Make two balls out of the purple modeling chocolate (approximately ( 1/2-inch in diameter) for the wings. Cut slits for feathers, and—using a clay tool—add details. Attach to the body using a smoothing tool and a little water.
Make one ball with the yellow modeling chocolate (approximately 1/4-inch in diameter) for the bird’s feet; shape them using a clay tool. Attach to the body using a smoothing tool.
Paint in (or use edible markers) eye details, and—using petal dust and a small brush—add shadows.
Then, guess what? You get to do it again with the pink modeling chocolate for Lovebird #2!
Remember—practice makes perfect, but always try to have fun. And if others compliment you on your beautiful lovebirds, don’t feel like you have to point out your mistakes—just thank them from the heart!
Kim M. Simons is an artist, food artist, and cake artist. She and her team—the Bah Hum Bakers—are the reigning champions if Food Network’s “Holiday Wars.” Kim’s website is www.cakesbykimsimons.com .
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