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Teddy bears' picnic

Once you've learnt to model sugarpaste food, you can let your imagination run wild creating the party spread of your dreams. We've chosen sandwiches, sausage rolls, jelly and cakes but your options are endless.

Ingredients

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
  • 20 cm (8 inch) round cake
  • 125 g (4 oz) jam, lemon curd or buttercream
  • 375 g (12 oz) royal icing
  • 1 kg (2 lb) sugarpaste
  • assorted paste food colourings
  • 1 teaspoon red piping gel
  • caster and icing sugar
  • 1 glacé cherry
  • 5 chocolate-covered mini rolls
  • red and cream liquid food colourings

Equipment

  • 30 cm (12 inch) round cake board
  • 1.5 cm (⅝ inch), 2 cm (¾ inch) and 3 cm (1¼ inch) round cutters
  • number 2 paintbrush
  • numbers 0, 1, 2, 3 and 41 piping tubes ball modelling tool
  • narrow pink ribbon

Method

Trim the domed top from the cake. Slice the cake in half and then sandwich back together with your choice of jam, lemon curd or buttercream filling. Secure to the board, off-centre towards the back, with a little royal icing.

The cake 'table'

Colour 250 g (8 oz) sugarpaste pale blue. Roll out to 5 mm (¼ inch) thick and cut a strip deep and long enough to cover the side of the cake.

Colour 250 g (8 oz) sugarpaste pink. Roll it out and cut a wavy-edged circle, at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) larger than the top of the cake. Lay the sugarpaste over the cake like a tablecloth. Pinch and lift the edge of the sugarpaste with your fingers.

Teddy bears

Colour 250 g (8 oz) sugarpaste brown and use to make the bears. For each bear, shape a round body and pointed head. For the limbs, use four equal sized pieces of sugarpaste and roll out, tapering the ends. The legs should turn up slightly to represent feet and the arms taper then shape into basic hands. Brush with water and attach to the body.

Plates

Colour 60 g (2 oz) sugarpaste pale green. Use the 3 cm (1¼ inch) cutter to make 17 large plates, the 1.5 cm (⅝ inch) cutter to make five small plates and the 2 cm (¾ inch) cutter to make five saucers.

Party food

Colour the remaining sugarpaste a variety of colours to make food. Make sandwiches by rolling out two colours of sugarpaste thinly. Sandwich the coloured paste between white or brown paste, brushing with a little water to stick them together. Cut into 1 cm (½ inch) strips, then into 1 cm (½ inch) squares. Cut in half diagonally. Stick to the plates with water.

For sausage rolls, roll out pale golden brown sugarpaste thinly. Cut into 10 × 1 cm (4 × ½ inch) strips. Make long sausages of pink sugarpaste and attach one to the centre of each strip with a little water. Fold one side of the strip over the sausage and stick to the other side. Seal with the end of a paintbrush. Cut into small rolls. Make slits in the rolls with a knife point.

Shape a small wedge of yellow sugarpaste to represent cheese, making holes with the end of a paintbrush. Pipe the mice with a number 2 tube and a little white royal icing. Pipe a small shell for the body, adding black eyes, brown ears and tail, and a pink nose when dry, using a number 0 tube.

Use a sterilized ballpoint pen lid to cut bases for the tiny cream cakes from rolled-out brown sugarpaste. Pipe on top of each one with a number 41 rosette tube and top with a spot of pink icing.

Make the jam tarts and swiss roll with tiny rounds of pale golden sugarpaste, indented with a ball modelling tool. For the swiss roll, roll out a thin strip of sugarpaste to about 4 × 1.5 cm (1½ × ⅝ inch). Spread with red piping gel and roll up. Moisten the top and sprinkle with caster sugar. Cut a slice to lay beside the roll.

Model a fish out of orange sugarpaste, marking it with the piping end of a number 2 tube. Pipe éclairs with a number 3 tube. Pipe a short straight line of white royal icing, leave to dry, then pipe a line of chocolate brown icing on the top of each one with a number 2 tube.

To make the jelly, cut a glacé cherry in half and pipe a dot of royal icing on top. Make a mini cake from a small round of sugarpaste and pipe around the edge with a number 41 rosette tube. Cut a candle short and place in the centre of the cake.

Model fruit with coloured sugarpaste. Roll the oranges and strawberries on a nutmeg grater to give them texture.

Sandwich two rounds of brown sugarpaste together with brown royal icing and dust with icing sugar to make the chocolate cake. Plait three thin sausages of white sugarpaste to make the plaited loaf, then brush with brown food colouring. Model the teapot, milk jug, sugar bowl and cups out of green sugarpaste. Paint on a pattern when dry.

Finishing touches

Colour some royal icing green and coat the board surrounding the cake. Stipple the icing to represent grass by dabbing it with a paintbrush held vertical to the surface. Attach the chocolate roll seats with a little royal icing. Fill a paper piping bag with any leftover green icing and pipe some grass around the bottom edge of the table and seats.

Trim the board with pink ribbon, securing with double-sided tape.

Course:
Dessert
Occasion:
Birthday, Children's Party

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