Without further adieu, here is the cake:
Two tiers. Eight layers. Yellow cake covered with a fondant marzipan and filled with vanilla buttercream. The white piping is royal icing. The orange "gems" I made by melting and dying isomalt, and flicking pools of the hot liquid on to a piece of parchment paper to dry.
The flowers on top are made with edible gum paste, which I colored with gel paste and brushed with petal dust. I wish my camera picked up the tinge of gold on the lilies, but all you can see is screaming ORANGE. It's okay, because I loved how my colors turned out. Gum paste flowers are gorgeous, but incredibly time consuming. Each rose took several days to make, as you have to let the interior petals dry before adding on to the flower.
My favorite part of the entire process was sitting down with my array of flowers, paintbrush in hand, brushing color onto each petal. It's amazing to see a rose transformed from a static sculpture to a nuanced, life-like thing. Cake decorating is precise, labor-intensive and costly, but the end result is undeniably gorgeous (if done right)... and worth all the work! It was so gratifying to design a cake and have it turn out almost exactly as I'd envisioned. Now if only I had a bride to deliver this cake to. Because to be honest, after over a week of work, I don't really want to eat it. Is that terrible?
Congratulations to all of my classmates! Each and every cake was beautiful.