Tiered Marie Antoinette’s Cake: Assembly

Preparation info

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Bake and Decorate

Bake and Decorate

By Fiona Cairns

Published 2011

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For the Sugarpaste

  • 3 kg white sugarpaste
  • 1 pot Sugarflair Claret food colour paste


    To Colour the Sugarpaste

    Cut off 100 g of the sugarpaste and place it in a sealed polythene bag at room temperature. This will make the roses and rosebuds. Colour the remaining sugarpaste with the food colour paste, aiming for the pale pink shown overleaf. Divide into 3-1 part for the base drum and 1 part for each cake - place into separate polythene food bags and seal. Rest it overnight at room temperature.

    To Cover the Base Drum

    Dust the 30cm drum with icing sugar and sprinkle with water. Knead a third of the pink sugarpaste until pliable, then, on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out into a circle slightly larger than the top of the drum and about 3mm thick. Wrap it loosely around the rolling pin and lift on to the drum. Smooth with your hands. Trim away any excess overhanging the sides and reseal it in the bag. Leave at room temperature overnight before decorating.

    To Cover the Cakes

    Lightly dust a clean, flat surface with icing sugar. Roll out both the remaining pink sugarpaste blocks, one at a time, into circles about 5mm thick and slightly larger than the diameter of each cake, its sides and drum. Wrap each circle loosely around the rolling pin, place it over the cake and gently smooth with your hands. Do not stretch the sugarpaste, and work quickly, as it will dry out. Cut away any excess at the foot of the drums and reseal it in the bag. Take a large knife and roll it gently along the top surface of the cakes, scoring lines to form a criss-cross (each line about 1½cm apart) to resemble quilting. Push a dragee in where the lines meet. The centre of the bottom tier will not be seen, so no need to use dragees. Leave overnight.

    To Build the Cake

    Spread 3-4 tbsp of royal icing into the centre of the base drum. Ease the larger cake and drum from its thin board with a palette knife, and place it in the exact centre of the base drum. Now insert the dowelling sticks vertically into the cake, spacing them out to form the corners of a square just within where the smaller cake will sit. Push down each stick until it hits the drum, and mark with a pen about 1mm proud of the surface. Remove each stick, score with a knife at the mark, then snap and discard the excess. Replace each in its hole. Spread 3-4 tbsp royal icing into the centre of the larger cake, remove the smaller cake and drum from its thin board and place on top, resting the drum on the dowels and using the royal icing as ‘glue’.