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Laptop cake - how to create the keyboard.

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

I'm making a laptop cake for my brother in law. He has a silver apple MacBook with a black keyboard with white letters (grrr - why couldn't it be black on white?).

 

So, the only way I can think of doing it is individual black fondant squares with white royal icing piped letters. Is there any other way I could do this?

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 35

Probably need to do it that way, sorry to say. I'm really obsessed with getting details right (probably why I don't get many 3D orders, cause I charge a LOT, but put a lot of work into them too). So if they are individual keys, I'd be cutting individual keys. 

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post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thanks AZCouture. Probably not an ideal job for someone who has never done any royal icing piping!

I have loads of time to do this, so could do the keys well in advance. I don't think anyone will want to eat black shop-bought fondant so it won't matter if they dry out. Just seems a shame to put in a lot of time and effort into something that won't be good to eat.

I might have to rethink the cake theme.

post #4 of 35
Oh I know, I just couldn't bear not to have every single detail be as realistic as possible. I would have a heck of a time piping all that too, and probably try to find an easier way. Maybe a tiny paintbrush would be better.
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post #5 of 35
You could make them out of chocolate. Howtocookthat.net on YouTube just did a tutorial where she made her own chocolate mold using real scrabble tiles. Prob couldn't use the keyboard to make a mold, but dark chocolate keys would at least be yummy.
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 

I like the idea of dark chocolate keys. I've made modelling chocolate before so I don't think it would be any trickier than fondant.

Does royal icing work on modelling chocolate? What could I use as the "paint" instead of piping RI?

post #7 of 35
You could try those colored candy melts to paint the chocolate with. I've done that with molds. Painted the inside, put it in the fridge, then poured the regular chocolate on top.
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post #8 of 35

I don't make each single letter. When I do keyboards, I take a thicker piece of black fondant, and cut it into the keyboard shape. I print out a image of a template keyboard. Then I put the keyboard template on top of the black fondant and score the letters in with the veining tool. I think remove the paper template, and score each letter a bit deeper with the veining tool. You have to work fast, so the fondant won't crack while detailing the shape with the veining tool. The letters are harder, I using paint them on with white food coloring. My handwritting is awful and it looks a bit messy, but I don't have letter cutters or tapits that small. 

post #9 of 35
I have an idea. I haven't tried this, but I think it could work. If I am understanding correctly, the difficulty is getting white letters on black keys without going insane doing it. How about if you make the keys from black fondant, use letter stamps to impress the letters on each key and let it dry. Once they are really dry, fill the letter impressions with white royal, wiping off the excess with a damp cloth, leaving a smooth black fondant key with white lettering. It works in my imagination, anyway!
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 

That sounds interesting dovewings. I think scoring the letters into fondant or modelling choc and then filling them in would be easier than piping. I believe that you can only use dry powder colours on modelling choc, so that might work in a recess as I could brush the rest off. Or using RI as you suggest as you wish.

post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by louglou View Post
 

That sounds interesting dovewings. I think scoring the letters into fondant or modelling choc and then filling them in would be easier than piping. I believe that you can only use dry powder colours on modelling choc, so that might work in a recess as I could brush the rest off. Or using RI as you suggest as you wish.

I now see what I wrote is very confusing. I don't make a key for each letter. I basically indent the fondant by scoring it with the veining tool to make the keys.  I actually did one a couple of days ago. Here's a close-up of the keyboard. But you could do the letters too and pipe over them. 

 

post #12 of 35
I'd do everything by means of edible printing.

Were I to go as fancy as a 3D keyboard, I'd probably mount the keyboard print on a smooth, flat substrate (like maybe . . . fondant?) and cut it into individual keycaps, and I'd use an edible print of an actual screen shot for the screen.

Anything beyond that (especially fabricating keys with stamped or hand-piped letters) strikes me as wasted effort: a case of doing too much work for too little result.

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post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 

That looks great tdovewings. I see what you mean now.

hbquikcomjamesl - yes it does seem like a lot of work for not much result.

 

It now looks like the laptop might be all silver with silver keys and silver lettering, so I could just score out the keys from a single piece. I'm waiting to get a photo of the aptop so I can decide the best way to do it.

 

Thanks everyone for your advice.

post #14 of 35

And "tdovewings," don't get me wrong: yours is a cute cake, but my understanding is that the object here is to have realistic edible model of a specific computer, rather than a gently caricatured one of a generic one, and what better tool is there for that than edible printing?

James H. H. Lampert
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Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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James H. H. Lampert
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Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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post #15 of 35
Definitely try edible images if you can size them just right, and the printing is really clear. But I'd still cut them individually and give them the real keyboard look.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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