Because the celebration took place one week after Thanksgiving, I baked the cakes about 2 weeks ahead of time and stored them in the freezer. The top was made using 2- 10" cake rounds and 1 Pyrex glass bowl for the round (bowl) top. There is a cake board underneath (shaped slightly oval by trimming each side) for support. After filling, layering, and shaping the cakes, I crumb coated the top with thinned out butter cream and let that dry until a crust formed. Just before the next step, I covered the cake with about 1/4" layer of butter cream.
Wilton's Gum-tex powder (alternately you could use Tylose powder) sprinkled on and kneaded in, this made it more of a gum paste, which enabled the strips to dry quickly and harden, so they would stay shaped after applying the fondant over the top. I rolled the gum paste out to about 1/4" thick and cut out the 4 strips going from the front of the helmet to the back, and then across from side to side. The other 4 "lines" were rolled pieces and placed in between each "strip".
fondant smoothing tool to define the lines and make sure any strips that had shifted were straightened. Once it was all smooth, I trimmed the bottom and I also checked the top front strip to make sure my eagle was going to fit. I had to pinch it just a bit, as it was a better idea to pinch the fresh fondant on the cake rather than trying to "spread" the eagle for it would have cracked. However, I waited until the assembly of the whole cake before attaching the eagle so I could make adjustments ensuring that the shield and eagle were going to fit together. I then moved the cake to "a safe zone" while I worked on the bottom portion.
For the bottom, I had baked a 9x13 cake. I sculpted the bottom base to match the shape of the helmet brim that I had done the week before. It was only slightly smaller than the brim on the sides and in the back. I carved it slightly lower in front and higher in the back so that it would give enough room for the (gold) hood and also so it would tilt forward like the real helmets do while sitting. Then I rounded off the top of the back so that the back brim would slope downward. After sculpting the cake I applied about 1/4" coat of butter cream (I didn't need a crumb coat). I positioned the base cake on the (sliver) cake board and covered the sides with parchment paper so as not to mess up the cake board wrapping.
|base of cake ready for brim|
Before applying the brim, I placed 4 plastic (drinking) straws in the base for support to hold the (heavy) top round cake. I cut the straws level with the cake. I was now ready to put the brim onto the base. Sorry, I missed getting some pics, I was kind of in serious construction mode ;)
|brim still on styrofoam form|
This cake was REALLY heavy, so I transported it to the firehouse on the wooden cutting board. We made it ok (yeah, the cake AND I) in spite of my nerves being a total WRECK! LOL The looks on the faces at the firehouse was priceless. Some of the guys and gals were in on the surprise, but they had no idea how detailed the cake was going to be. After the photo session (heh, I felt like my cake was on the red carpet or something) and watching the firefighters ooh and ah over every little detail, it was time to cut the cake and watch grown men cry......just kidding, here's a pic of the shift crew smiling, not crying LOL
Part 1- Fire Chief's Helmet Cake
Part 2- Fire Helmet Cake Brim
Part 3- Fire Helmet Cake Eagle
Part 4- Fire Helmet Cake Shield & Bugles