Thursday, December 4, 2014

How to Make a Clock Cake...

...and make your spouse happy!

NPR Morning Edition "Programming Clock"

It all started with a Facebook photo of this cake:

National Public Radio (NPR) changed their programming segments around.  Local stations had to reprogram where they put news and underwriting to comply.

My husband is a public radio engineer.  He worked with his station to make the changes.  On Facebook, he chatted with other radio engineers.  After more than 15 years with the same hourly programming setup, engineers were scrambling to try to make the changes.  They had to find features to fit in small minute to four minute segments.  This is the clock for Morning Edition, which has the most changes:

New NPR Morning Edition "Clock"

My husband saw a picture of the buttercream-iced cake.  It was probably enjoyed at NPR headquarters.  Most likely, it was an edible image that many instore bakeries do.  Hubby wanted a cake like this!

At the same time, I was taking the Wilton Course 3--Fondant and Gum Paste Course.  I told him that I would make him a cake in fondant as my course cake.  He was thrilled!

For the last class, we brought a one layer cake to class that was crumb coated.  That's the thin one layer of icing to trap the crumbs.  We learned to cover the cake in fondant during class.

Now the decorating began!

I made several copies of the clock.  One would be used for placement.  The one would be used for cutting the pieces of the clock.  I thought of making a tracing, (as we did with piping gel in the buttercream Course 1), but I didn't know if it would work.  i used the tracing as a placement guide.

After finishing the cake I figured out how to do the tracing.  Since it uses a backwards image, I didn't think that I could write on the back of the paper copy to trace it.  Then I figured out how to get a backwards copy on my printer!  It's called "mirror image!"

First apply a thin coat of Crisco on top of the cake.  Then, remove Crisco with a paper towel.  Your cake should feel smooth to the touch.  Then trace the logo with a 2b pencil if you have on.  A #2 will work but not as good as #2b graphite pencil.  After you place the tracing side down on cake you have to then trace over pattern to get it to transfer on to Fondant cake.  Use a colored pencil to trace over pattern so that you can tell where you have traced.  If you apply to much Crisco & didn't wipe off of cake, the pattern will not transfer on to cake. You must turn the tracing side down on to fondant cake & then trace over your pattern with a pencil again.  

Since the main colors of the clock are gray with a white center, I made the beginning of a topper:

After the fondant was totally dry, I was able to write "Morning Edition" onto the clock face with extra fine edible ink markers.  I picked those up from Michaels.  From there, it was just a matter of cutting the colored pieces of the clock.

Luckily, I had some special tools! 
I got this kit some years ago, as a gift.  My company gave them out as premiums during my sales days.    I don't whittle or work with wood, but I just couldn't toss mine!  Finally, the kit has found a purpose for me--fondant!  The X-Acto knife worked perfectly!

My teacher said that fondant pieces could be added to the cake with either piping gel or a thin layer of Crisco.  The benefit of using Crisco is that the pieces can be moved, so I did that.  Just in case.

Now it was time to do the "legend" of the colors.  I debated between making appliques on the side, or covering a larger fondant board.  I chose putting the legend on the side of the cake.  My new Wilton fondant ribbon cutter made the job easy!

I used the rollers with the straight sides to make the appliques on the sides of the cake.  Here are some views of the finished cake.  A one layer cake, in my opinion, looks even more like a clock:

Because the cake was done in fondant, hubby's Facebook friends remarked that it was 3-D.  He was so happy, he sent pictures of the cake to many of his public radio friends.  It was lots of fun, and we got many appreciated comments.

This method would also work for another type of clock, and probably a record.  There's a lot of detail work, and it did take quite awhile.  The great thing about the fondant is that it kept the cake moist.  It was really tasty!!!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope that this post helps you make some fun clocks!

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