Henna / mehndi skills can be used to brilliant effects on cakes. I particularly love Christmas fruit cake, especially when it has been fed for a couple of months with rum, sherry or brandy. For this cake I used Nigella’s Easiest Fruit Cake recipe, and covered it with marzipan and royal icing. I sprinkled some very fine silver glitter on the icing base.
The Christmas theme was black and silver. I prepared glace icing with Wilton black icing colour gel in different concentrations to get three different shades of grey. I rolled cones (just like henna cones) and filled them with the different colours of icing.
For the mehndi / henna inspired design, I imagined a piece of lace draped over the cake. The design went over the edge of the cake. I highlighted the pattern with soft silver balls, and finished off with a wide black chiffon ribbon.
Henna mehndi icing tips:
- I mixed the glace icing a little thinner than usual, otherwise it was too difficult to squeeze out of the cone easily
- Gel paste colours are easy to mix, give a strong colour and don’t taste of anything
- I drew my design on grease-proof paper, placed the design on the cake and then used a blunt bamboo skewer to make an imprint of key parts of the design on to the cake (petals, vines)
- I used soft silver balls, rather than the hard balls. Be sure to stick the balls to the icing before it dries!
- I placed a piece of grease-proof paper over the cake to protect it while I was applying the icing
- Professional cake ‘turntables’ help put the cake in a good position for decoration
- I tied my hair back and wore vinyl gloves for hygiene purposes, plus the icing gets sticky as it dries
- A simple ribbon around the cake helps to present the cake beautifully
When we could bear to cut into it, the cake was delicious!