I recently had an opportunity to make a pair of whimsical fairy cakes for a friend’s baby blessing. The entire cake, including the Italian Meringue Buttercream, royal icing flowers, and gumpaste fairies and toadstools were vegetarian and egg-free, and was a real showcase of the things that can be made with aqua faba — the liquid drained from a can of beans!
There were two cakes in order to accommodate dietary restrictions, but they made a lovely pair. Every component of these cakes contains aqua faba, and over two quarts of it were used in the making of these cakes.
The cakes were served at a tea party, so I added sugar cubes adorned with matching royal icing flowers. Since the recipients were vegetarian, and requested sugar that had not been processed wit bone char, I first molded my own sugar cubes.
I cut the fairy wings using small butterfly fondant cutters, and used fondant cutters to thin them out and make them ripply. Then I used a clay extruder to make the hair. The wings and dresses are painted with pearl dust mixed with vodka, to add a subtle sparkle.
The red fairy is suspended above the cake on a wire.
I also used gumpaste for the toadstools, and painted an edible shine on the caps with a mixture of 2 parts vodka and 1 part corn syrup, with a silver luster dust mixed in.
A pathway of royal icing flowers led away from the fairy house and more flowers adorned the roof of gumpaste leaves.
The cake itself was a vanilla sponge cake, filled with lemon curd Italian Meringue Buttercream, iced with vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream, and covered with vegan aqua faba marshmallow fondant.
Lemon curd mixed with Italian Meringue buttercream may be my new all-time favorite cake filling. Mixing the lemon curd with the IMBC “takes the edge off” the tartness and results in lemony, creamy awesomeness. Yum!
In truth, the aqua faba marshmallow fondant was a bust — it wasn’t stretchy enough, it had a tendency to crack, and it was extremely difficult to work with. That recipe needs to go back to the drawing board, but the rest of the cake was a resounding success.