Hello! How are you folks doing on this fine summer afternoon? Over here, we’re fantastic! We’ve had a bevy of super fun cakes this season – bring em on! This week’s installment of Behind the Scenes is going to show you the insanely awesome Ronald Reagan head cake that Kyong made this week. Kyong is our head decorator, and we are all blessed to have someone so talented from whom we can learn, and believe me, we do. So much. Every day.
Anyway, so you know, the order was a birthday cake for a lady obsessed with Ronald Reagan, requesting his head on a platter, with various quotes coming from his head, and exposed brains. Here’s the final product:
And so we begin…
First, Kyong makes those quotes out of fondant and allows them to dry, several days in advance of the cake being due.
Secondly, Melody’s brother-in-law provides Kyong with a custom structure, 12″ in height in total, with a platform in between, allowing her to build the neck underneath, and to have a solid foundation for the head above. Kyong covers the structure in white chocolate, providing a separation between the metal and the edibles.
She then places the cake on the platform, filling and crumb coating it.
Then we see her forming the Rice Krispie Treats around the base, forming the neck.
After she carves the head and forms the Rice Krispies to shape, she frosts the entire cake, shaping it as she goes.
At one point, she realizes the sides of his head are too broad and will not allow for proper proportions once the hair is added, so she trims his face down.
After she has fully frosted him, she puts him in the fridge. She doesn’t allow him to set up completely though, like we do with other cakes, so that the buttercream has give once she fondants it, allowing her much more freedom for such parts as his nose. Once he is set up to her liking, she pulls him out, straps on gloves, and smooths down his face with the heat from her hands.
Once he is smoothened to her liking, she covers him with a 50/50 mix of fondant and modeling chocolate. If you’ll recall from the Mike Wazowski cake, we use this mix so as to allow us more flexibility in the fondant, and to allow us to hide seams, as modelling chocolate is more forgiving in that aspect.
You’ll notice that due to the softer buttercream, Kyong massages the orbital rim into a different shape than the above picture. She uses a Dresden tool to indent wrinkles around his face.
She then inserts the eyeballs.
Then she places the eyelid.
At this point, she realizes that placing the iris before adding the eyelid is more efficient.
She then adds teeth into the open mouth, all the while adding wrinkles as she goes.
Once the upper and lower eyelids are affixed, she paints the eyes.
Then she paints the inside of his mouth.
The next step is to work on his hair. So Kyong then cuts along his hairline with an X-acto knife, then peels off the fondant.
She uses another mix of modeling chocolate and fondant and covers his hair, using the same Dresden tool to indent ridges and hair strands.
Then she begins work on his eyebrows, using a liner brush and gel colors diluted with vodka.
She follows by painting grey streaks into his hair, using a liner brush as well.
She forms an ear shape and attaches it to the side of his head, repeating on the other side, using boning and ball tools to shape.
She then uses petal dust in his creases, giving him more life.
At this point, it is time to begin the brain work. Kyong begins by cutting into his coiffe.
She then pulls the peeled back hair and places it back into the groove, where she has also placed skin color, giving the impression that his scalp has been peeled.
She then fills the gap with pinkish fondant/modeling chocolate and forms it into brain-like grooves, coloring them in with petal dust.
She adds a bit of red gel color to give a slightly bloody effect.
She covers the platter to look like a plate, and then, in order to have his hair be the glossy ‘do we all know, she mixes corn syrup and vodka (50/50 ratio) and paints it on. She also adds this mixture to the eyes and the teeth.
And voila! Reagan’s head on a platter!
And finally, here is the presentation at the party – we all think the tie was a beautiful touch!
Thanks and see you next time!