A few weeks back I was asked to make a masquerade theme cake by a friend in celebration of her 25th birthday. The first thing that came to my mind is that it's got to have a mask, a Venetian mask to be precise. I was very excited to do this project because I just looove Venetian masks. I find them very beautiful with so many different kinds and styles, from plain to really intricate designs.
The colors of the mask were pink and black made to match the theme of the party. I threw in a bit of gold in there for added glamour.
I wished that I had pink disco dust as the eye shadow but I could not find any disco dust locally and there wasn't enough time to order it on-line. I found some Wilton glitter dust but it did not give the shimmering effect that I wanted.
I used a plastic heart jewel that I found from the dollar store as an accent. If you want to go edible all the way, you can make your own candy jewels using a candy jewel mold. Now, I've never made these before so I search on the net and found this great tutorial for DIY candy gemstones I added some ostrich feathers to add some height and pizzaz to the mask.
I made my own template for the mask, feel free to use it but you can certainly make your own. I prefer to cut the template from card stock that regular paper because I found it easier to cut the gum paste around the card stock than the flimsy paper.
YOU WILL NEED
Luster Dust(I used gold and pink)
pastry bag with small round tip # 1 or 2
jewel for accent (optional)
First print and cut out the mask template. Roll out the gum paste fairly thin. I like to smear a very thin layer of shortening on the top, just to avoid getting that wrinkly "elephant skin". Place the template on top of the gum paste and cut the shape using an X-acto knife. If you want to attach some ribbons on the side of the mask, make 2 holes by using a round tip (I used # 10).
Place the gum paste mask on top of a blank plastic mask that has been sprinkled with cornstarch. Carefully smooth out the gum paste to follow the contours of the mask. Let it dry for a day or two.
Use the luster dusts to color the mask. At first I used the luster dust mixed with lemon extract and brushed it on the mask. It really did not come out well; the colors were uneven and blotchy as you can see on the left side of the mask. I waited to let it dry a bit and dry brushed the luster dust on and it came out beautiful (check right side of the mask).
Use royal icing to pipe out some details and design on the mask. You can go crazy with how much details you want to put.
Attach the jewel with royal icing. To attach the feather, take 2 chunks of gum paste and place one in front and back of the feather. Moisten the gum paste and attach to the back of the mask.
And there you go, a life size Venetian mask for a festive feast!
Hope you enjoy making this! I will post the finished cake on my next article, so stay tuned!
Update: See the finished cake here.
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