Here is a centerpiece I made for our family get-together at Christmas time. I decided on making a whimsical design which I hoped would appeal to the inner child in all of us (even though there would only be one little one attending). I thought it would be fun to have not only penguins and a snowman frolicking together in the snow in this sugarcraft project, but snowboys and a little snowgirl as well. To give it some height I added a tall Christmas tree decorated with gingerbread men, candy canes, snowflakes and beads. I only wish I had a little more room as I would have liked to have had a few more little guys doing some other winter activities on the playground. As a base, I decided a 16-inch cake board would have to do because it needed to fit on my kitchen island along with the food, plates and warming trays that were going to occupy the space also.
Working with piping gel is a “gummy mess”… even more so when adding some coloring gel to it (which I used for my dark blue water in the broken ice area). It does set slowly, so be sure to allow plenty of time for it to dry properly, especially in the cooler months. I love the look it gives, but I really, really hate the feel of this stuff when it is wet. Yuck! To learn more about working with piping gel please visit: Using Piping Gel for Water & Waterfalls.
I used Isomalt for the ice in my ice rink and if you don’t want to end up with a sticky mess due to the humidity in the air (like a piece of hard candy when it has been left out of its wrapper for a while), just paint it with Confectioner’s Glaze to seal it.
To make it easier to decorate the Christmas Tree, I placed it on an old Rubbermaid spice turntable I had hanging (or should I say spinning?) around. It really made the placement go quite smoothly when I was attaching the boughs, ornaments, etc. I dusted the Christmas tree’s candy canes with just a hint of white luster dust to give them a nice, realistic, red coloring. (In my opinion, using the straight red fondant looks a tad bit fake.)
Another hint is that if you are covering a cake board with a “thick layer” of straight fondant, be sure to allow plenty of time for it to dry. In this case I decided I needed an extra-thick piece in anticipation of my cut-out areas (for the ice rink and broken ice area), so that once they were filled in they would look more convincing due to the extra depth. FYI: It seemed to take forever for them to dry (okay several weeks), so plan accordingly.