I've recently been admiring the spring cherry blossoms in Greenwich which inspired me to upload this photo. I'm a big fan of Japanese style and really enjoyed designing this cake for my assessment in cake decorating (NCFE Certificate in Creative Craft, level 1).
For the assessment I used a cake dummy - a cake shaped block of polystyrene - which gave me time to work on the design over a number of days. The trees were piped from royal icing and whilst it was drying I worked in the realistic bark texture using a small brush.
The flowers were cut using a blossom cutter from pink flower paste and then shaped with a round icing tool on a foam pad. Before attaching to the cake I gave each blossom a light dusting of extra colour. I think this adds a pleasing variation between the individual flowers. The blossoms were painstakingly attached with dots of royal icing with an extra dot in the centre of every flower.
The model of a woman was inspired by a couple of Eastern designs I'd seen in Squires Kitchen cake decorating magazine. The torso and legs are one piece of mexican modelling paste which has been draped in a fabric-thin layer of paste for the kimono. The arms were modelled separately and attached with edible glue. I particularly liked using a sugarpaste extruder to create strands of black hair which were then draped around the head into a bun.
Since creating this design I've had the pleasure of visiting Japan. It's a really wonderful place that I highly recommend visiting.