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My first tutorial… a high heel fondant shoe

…heaven help me.

I’m preparing a decorated cake for my sister in law’s birthday. She is a very fashionable young woman with exquisite taste for all things feminine. Hence I decided to decorate the cake with a fondant shoe (and I haven’t yet decided if I’ll put a coordinated purse too :-P).

Obviously I searched the internet first thing and I found tons of tutorials on this topic! I ended up choosing the following from youtube:

Here is the pattern to make shoe parts. I reduced it by 80% using an image editing software (KolourPaint for Linux Ubuntu).

I’ll put here what I did following that tutorial.

On the shoe I’ve decided to make I made some changes and used a trick I found somewhere else on the internet but I don’t remember where I read it…

So, let’s start at the beginning: first thing you need some white fondant (I use marshmallow fondant I make myself).  I already had some I made for another cake that was hard as rock but ten seconds in the microwave easily solved the problem. You only have to be careful not to burn your fingers if you heat it too much and you also have to knead it for at least ten minutes after you take it out of the oven (with a little cornstarch or sugar if it’s too sticky) to eliminate dishomogeneity due to the external crust that may be too hard.

Next, you spread the fondant on a working surface dusted with icing sugar or cornstarch. I used the rolling pin in the Wilton kit my brother brought back to me from the States with the purple rings (1/4 of an inch thickness). This is not mandatory, any rolling pin will do. Be careful to dust the pin too or your fondant will stick to it.

Once you spread the fondant you put the pattern for the sole and for the front part of the shoe on it and you cut them out of the fondant using a sharp knife or cutter. You use your fingers to even out the borders.

As you can see from the picture above you lie the sole on the support structure (a simple heavy paper stripe that you fold as the pattern shows) to give it the shape it will have in the finished shoe and also to have an idea of how high the heel should be.

The next step is exactly that one: making the heel. You take a ball of fondant and give it a cone shape, with a very gentle slope. You cut off both ends of the cone. I introduced a change compared to the tutorial I linked before. The tutorial is for gum paste which has a better consistency compared to fondant and is more solid: in the tutorial the cone is shaped using the hands but I used the smoother just as I did for the border decorations for my son’s cake.

After having shaped the heel, it has to be attached to the sole using a small brush dipped with a little bit of water or two parts icing sugar and one part water as we already saw. The sole with the heel attached should be put back on the support to dry.

Using the pink spacer (1/8 of an inch) you have to spread the fondant again, but then again it is not necessary: any rolling pin will do. You then cut the sole padding with a sharp knife and glue it to the sole with water or fondant glue again:

At this point, you use some paper tissue to uphold the front piece and glue it in place accurately and slowly on the sole.  Unfortunately I couldn’t take this picture… I was in a little rush because I was afraid my children were about to wake up from their afternoon nap and wouldn’t let me finish. Being in a hurry is never a good thing in this kind of activity!

Having done this the main structure of your shoe is ready. Now only decorations are left over! A little fondant strip to decorate the upper part is all that is required but I didn’t like to have it colored as is shown in the tutorial so i decided to use white on white but I wanted a pearl sheen on it. I have among my materials a pearl luster dust I used to obtain the effect desired. I don’t remember where but I read it could be used as a “paint” on fondant (to give a metal sheen to gray fondant for example) by simply dissolving it in vodka or lemon extract. I didn’t have either one so I used lemon juice, and being the first time I tried I obviously got it all wrong. I used way too much juice and dissolved way too little powder.
I tried again putting a little bit of powder on a plate and just dipping my brush in the juice. When you put the wet brush in the powder you have your pearl paint!

Having your little strip, all you have to do is glue it on the front of the shoe. Unfortunately again the two pictures I took are one out of focus and the other overexposed…. ehm… did I already say that being in a hurry does not pay?

Something was missing… I needed just a touch of color. Just a little bit without overdoing it. I needed to choose which color: I dived in my gel colors and found “wisteria”. It may be useful to remember that even if it SAYS “wisteria” you’re not going to get what you think “wisteria” should be. To color fondant, you take a little ball, indent it with your finger. In the indentation you put a little gel color and then you knead (and don’t worry about getting your hands all colored because it’s all going to go with a little water).

Spread the colored fondant pretty thin again and then I uesd another of the Wilton instruments my brother got for me but not in the student kit. this time I wouldn’t know what you could use to substitute it. I used it for the first time at the basic seminar I took in september: you make little flowers with it.

(this picture is a little out of focus too)

In the middle of the flower I put a small silver sugar pearl you can easily find in the supermarket aisle that carries sweet stuff. I now had my decoration for the shoe!

I put a little silver paint on the flower too and the only thing left for a classy person to appreciate was the logo! I took my black food marker and made Coco Chanel logo ( I admit, I chose it because it was easy to do!! :-)) and here is the finished shoe:

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