Friday, June 8, 2012

There's never too much red around... with Elmo

There's a little pressure when you're doing characters that are as well-loved as... say Elmo.

Which is exactly I found myself doing.

You wanna make sure you do justice to such characters, because their fans - 8 or 80 years old - WILL let you know when you're doing a crappy job.

Gotta tread carefully....

For 2 year-old Zander's birthday party, the request was for Elmo cake pops to share with his little friends.

Yay, this was going to be such fun!
More on birthday pops: Hole-in-One, Monkeys, Ponies, Doggies

First, and most importantly - his eyes. The trademark Elmo eyes are white and round, they had to be just the right size in proportion to the rest of his head. That's probably one of the trickest parts of making any cake pops - getting the sizes of all the parts right. or they'll just look like looney bins.

L: Orange/red little candy bullets for nose, you can substitute them with orange tic tacs
R: Perfect mini white Jawbreakers for eyes from Candilicious

This was just the occasion to break open my new jet black fondant pack, to create his mouth. I preferred not making these too much in advance, didn't want them too stiff and dried out so they would fit better into his fur.

Cut with 1.5cm round circle cutter, and cut them further
into 2 halves - there, you now had 2 Elmo mouths.

Special effects out of the way - on to Elmo himself.

After dipping each strawberry cake ball into red Wilton candy melt (apparently available only at Bake-It Yourself), create his trademark fur-running-amok with a toothpick, raking and lifting through the coating immediately after.

By the 10th Elmo, you begin to get a slight cramp from gripping the toothpick in continuous raking motions.

And by the 20th - you're asking yourself "what on earth am I doing??"

When you reach that point, this is what you have to do: Put toothpick down, unlock fingers, look at army of Elmos you've created.

High on hats!

It'll be worth it. You'd smile. Guaranteed.

The process was tedious, but it made the design forgiving at the same time - the ruffled fur helped conceal coating imperfections.

To add a special touch (this was an order from a very good friend!), I created a special 'Zander' name plate for the birthday boy, made out of fondant. It was a little laborious, but just like all the other little cake pop effects - added a zing to the Elmo army, and was all worth it.

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