Introduction: Hocus Pocus Spellbook Cake / Halloween Cake
I've put a spell on you, and now your mine with this deadcadent creepy cake.
So I don't care that this movie, got poor reviews back in the day.
It is so fun and full of quirks.
Then when I saw this totally cool contest for macabre treats. You haven't got to tell me twice.
Reproducing this spell book into something edible and having it judged by Christine McConnell, how cool is that.
I have said it many times that edible mediums are a splendor to work with. A blank canvas, that yields something dynamic to look at and then delivers something just for the taste buds. Well, we hope.
We have all eaten something a time or two that looked great but clearly was, not a pallet pleaser.
Hope you find this cake morbidly fun.
Oh! If you haven't seen the movie watch it.
Step 1: The Lab Supplies
Reference material (I watched the movie and took snap shots of the book)
Cake batter (Approximately 12 cups of cake batter was used) or 2 cake mixes
8 cups of Butter cream
2 1/2 pounds of fondant (all white was used, I could have used black for the metal pieces but didn’t)
11"x 15" x 2" cake pan
Offset icing spatula
clay extruder ( optional ) But a great tool to have.
Plastic cutting wheel
Paint brushes and paint pallet (Only use the ones that you have designated for food use)
Half ball mold (Optional, you can just roll a ball for the eye)
Airbrush and compressor (only if you have one for food use, I prefer hand painting)
Food coloring gels (colors that work for your color pallet, browns, green, red, flesh, black, gold)
Fondant or gum-paste sculpting tools
Vodka (This is what I use to mix with my coloring, it evaporates quick, safe for kids after it's dry, and won't make fondant sticky after used)
Plastic gloves (optional)
Pewter pixie dust (The fondant with this finish will not be eaten, even though they say you can I tell people not to)
Viva paper towels (best for smoothing icings and blotting color)
1 Stiff paper towel wadded up (used for creating leather texture in fondant)
Step 2: Baking the Cake and Making the Buttercream
Start by making the cake batter, this batter was just a plain chocolate cake recipe, but I used Kahlua liqueur for half of my water. My pan needed around 12 cups of batter. If we need to carve the cake, a firmer batter is used. This cake will not be carved.
Bake and cool as normal, have a cake board ready that is larger, mine was 2" larger all around.
I used pre-made Buttercream and Fondant for this Ible, most of the time I make my own. This is just to show those of you who don't have the time it can be purchased already made.
Step 3: Base Icing the Cake or Crumb Coating
Most of the time we are looking for a smooth finish on the buttercream. However the finish on this cake is more modeled looking, so a smooth surface is not needed. Coat the cake well and add a little more for the spine of the book. Then take you spatula and give it a kind of rounded look.
Step 4: Lets Skin This Thing!
Rollin Rollin Rollin, lets gets this skin a Rollin, Rawhide!
OK sorry! But if you have seen my other ibles you know I am a little quirky.
We will start by preparing are work are, and sense we will be using the rolling pin and sculpting tools, make sure your surface can handle a rolling motion.
Place the silicone mat down (If you don't have a mat you can place powder sugar down to keep fondant from sticking) I use a mixture of half powder sugar and half corn starch and never use lots that's why the mat is great.
Some people use shortening, I find it can breakdown some fondant recipes. (Research if your not sure)
Working the fondant, it likes to be kneaded and warm up just like polymer clay and so many other things.
Take it in you hands and work it. You will notice a change in its behavior it will start to relax (boy do I need a shoulder rub) Oh sorry! Anyway you will get the feel for it, you just want it pliable.
Keep all fondant wrapped in plastic and only take out, what you think you will need, this will keep it from drying out.
Measure the perimeter of 3 sides of the cake; this is for the pages of the book.
Then roll out strips of fondant to the width and length you need and about 1/8" thick.
Do this in 3 pieces; it is much easier to do, for this cake. Take your sculpting tools and begin to scribe texture. Some times a piece of cardboard or the edge of a ruler can make lines. I simple just took the plastic wheel cutter and run back and forth, avoid cutting all the way through. Please remember it is just fondant and like clay it can be reworked.
Then take a soft dry brush (meaning not wet) and dust on a little cornstarch to the surface, roll up the fondant strip. Now as you place to the edge of the cake, apply a little Vodka to the back of the strip as you unroll it, this will stick the fondant to the cake icing. Model the ends of the strips together at the corner to create a seamless page look. Doesn't have to be perfect, hint hint!
Step 5: Still Skinning This Thing!
Do the bottom edge of the back book cover.
Cut 3 small strips 1/2" wide x 1/8" thick and 1" longer than the page strips. Brush on a little Vodka and place around the bottom edge. Take you scissors and cut to miter the corners together. With you finger press around the strips to create the modeled look.
As for the book spine with all the fingers. Measure and cut out this strip, it will be slightly thicker 1/4" and a little taller than the page strips because it will be curved and it will need to match up to the rest of the skin pieces that will become the front cover.
In the reference picture you will see the fingers in little pockets. First take the rough wadded paper towel and press down onto the fondant strip, to add texture, not to hard that it thins the fondant a lot.
Create the pockets with a ball tool and add some pinching with to other tools, see the picture.
Make 5 fingers, by rolling small short cigar shapes to fit inside the pocket. With a small flat edge tool create finger grooves, take small scissors and snip down two sides and across the tip, to create a fingernail (see picture).
Cut the bottom end of finger off to get the right length.
Apply some Vodka to the strip and place on curved edge of cake; pinch the ends to look like a distressed book.
Brush Vodka onto the back of each finger and put into place.
Next we make the top skin sections. Make a pattern out of the paper towels, by placing a section on top of the cake for size, and then with a marker, draw the pattern of the skin sections.
Cut these pieces apart and roll out the fondant at a 1/8" thick and to the right size to accommodate each section, and cut out, add the rough towel texture.
Start with the piece that connects to the spine, working towards the front edge, saving the eye section for last. When you lay the pieces out flip up the edges just a hair this is the stitch area. Make sure you brush a little Vodka to the back of each piece and on the edge were the spine meets the top.
Step 6: The Eye Section.
You can use a mold or make a half ball by hand, glue down to skin piece.
Place small strips of fondant around the eyeball to create the lids and continue adding pieces and sculpting in details of the eye. Put this piece into place. You can create, lifted areas by inserting small spots of fondant on the backside of the skin, this helps create more dimension.
Tip: If your not sure about painting the iris and pupil, use the bottom end of a pastry tip and lightly press on to eye, then with a smaller one press for pupil. This will give you guides for painting.
Step 7: The Soon to Be Metal Pieces.
Should have used black fondant for this but I was lazy and didn't feel like mixing. You can get great colored fondant ready to use. (Keep that in mind.)
Roll out a strip of fondant 1" wide and about 14" long, use a ball tool to create pitting. Roll out some fondant in a snake, tapering at one end. Test your length against the bar strip. Remember it will have a snakehead.
Use a small wedge shape to make the snakehead, clip the front for a mouth pattern and pinch on both sides for that viper look. Apply texture to it like, small indents. Attach to snake body and affix to the bar.
Cut 2 corner sections with one rounded edge. 2 1/2 " x 2 1/2”. Make 2 snakes and place on top; look at picture for not design. Check size before attaching to corner pieces. Little pieces of fondant are added to make the snake look like he is biting the skin on the corners of the book.
Metal ring hinge is just a small strip that is flat w/ lines and divots placed in a semi-oval shape, and tiny ring designs made with a pastry tip. The easiest way to get the shape is to lay it around the eye, then take it and work on it. After all the details are finished dust the eye area with cornstarch and put the ring into place. It will dry a little, making painting much simpler to do.
Rest of the hinge is just a small section with little tube shapes to create an actual hinge look.
Put into place; let the whole project set for about an hour to harden before painting.
Step 8: Time for Painting.
With the gel colors, place them out onto the paint pallet. , Vodka is used to help thin and paint.
The Books page section is a little lighter in color so I use the color that is light beige w/ hints of walnut brown and yellow. First apply the walnut color with your brush, then with a soft paper towel dipped in Vodka (not a lot) start wiping off, leaving the dark in the groves, apply the lighter color adding in a little yellow, wipe a little off and your done.
Now for the top skin, take the same dark brown and a little black in places, spreading it around getting into the details then as before wipe off. And blot with dry paper towel, do this after painting large areas it helps keep the fondant dry and stiff.
Use a little red and lighter brown all over and blot. Just keep applying till you get the look you are going for.
Tip: Vodka can be used to take up color if you get too much, just remember to blot with the paper towel to help remove extra moisture.
Do this painting all over. No, that is not the bird!!! (: The fingers get the same treatment, but I wiped a lot of color off of the fingernail area.
Now paint the eye, start with the green, and if the edge of the iris starts out darker then lighten at the center.
Paint the pupil black and then to set the eye, use a very small amount of thinned red, and apply to inside corners of the eye. Place 2 brown lines at the top and bottom of the eye to create two more sections of lid.
This gives the appearance of the book waking up.
After the eye has dried I take a little spray oil on my paintbrush and softly blot onto the eye to make it glossy. Lots of things can be used, this works for me.
Step 9: Making Metal.
Very simple, base in black gel color. Let the pieces set a little, take the pewter petal dust and a little Vodka and dry brush on the pieces. Try and leave some black areas, this is your shadow.
Put some Vodka on the back and set into place on the top of the book.
I am literally in stitches with this last step.
Step 10: All Stitched Up and Ready to Eat or Not!
This tool is an artist dream and absolutely a must have. The extruder helps you achieve all those tiny intricate details, your project so desires. This one is only for my edible projects.
Here I am using the tiny round die, place in the soft fondant by rolling a snake and inserting it into the tube put on the die and start tightening down. At this point the fondant will start to come out in a hair strand, remove a section about 6" at a time. With the stylus tool in one hand and the strand in the other place the tip of strand onto one side of were the skin is gathered w/ the tool poke and attach then drape the strand across to the other side, press with tool cutting the strand free.
Repeat till all the stitching is finished. Don't hate me; the look is better in my opinion than icing just piped on. Take the brush with Vodka and gently go around the stitch connections and brush down to insure good contact. Apply a little of the gel color that the pages were painted with ,check to see if more shadows are needed ,do a final blot and your spell book cake is finished.
For your cake display make some old looking candles, add in a couple of jars of whatever you like, sprinkle some sugar and oregano around the cakeboard and your next movie screening of Hocus Pocus will be a hit.
Better to eat than to be eaten as they say!!