How to Model Edible Robins

These adorable robins will be the perfect addition to your festive cakes!

Image credit: robbins

These adorable robins will be the perfect addition to your festive cakes!

You will need:

Edibles:

Equipment:

  • white sugar paste (Renshaw)
  • white flower modelling paste (Renshaw)
  • chocolate flavoured sugar paste (Renshaw)
  • 5 x Ferrero Rocher chocolates – plus extra for munching whilst you work!
  • 1 x sheet of wafer paper (Icing Images)
  • Magic Colour airbrush colours: red, orange and dark brown
  • Magic Colour metallic airbrush colour: pearl
  • Magic Colour metallic paint: gold and silver
  • airbrush or dusting brushes
  • Magic Colour Jumbo & Skinny Edible Pen: black
  • Magic Colour Pro-gel: chocolate extra
  • cocktail sticks
  • small scissors
  • scribe tool
  • cocktail stick
  • Dresden tool
  • polystyrene dummy or oasis block

1

Store your chocolates in the fridge as the harder the better for this cake design. Unwrap your chocolate remembering you need them for this tutorial and not just for eating. Roll out the white sugarpaste thickly and cut out circles using a round pastry cutter. Brush lightly with a little boiled water or sugar glue and wrap the paste around the chocolate. Now the real joy begins because the chocolate inside is hard, you can roll them in the warmth of your hands until you achieve a perfectly smooth and crack free covered ball. Prick out any air bubbles with a scribe or a cocktail stick.

2

The reason you coated so thickly is because you now need to pull out a head shape and tail shape from the excess paste around the chocolate. Gently stroke upwards and then pinch and roll a head shape with an indent between the body and head. Tease out a narrow tail shape from the opposite side.

3

Using a Dresden tool – score all over the bird to create a feather texture. To do this, I held them at the sides where the wings will attach. Then temporarily push a cocktail stick approximately where the legs will go so that you can control them when dusting or airbrushing.

4

Using a little chocolate flavoured sugarpaste, coat ten cocktail sticks and roll them on your board to get them as thinly and smoothly coated as possible. Remove the paste from each end leaving the ends of the cocktail stick exposed.

5

Airbrush a sheet of good quality wafer paper front and back with a mixture of dark brown and orange colours and leave to dry completely. Spray lightly on each side leaving it to dry completely. If you build up the colour too fast the paper with become too wet and distort.

6

Taking each robin one at a time, airbrush using the same brown mix above their heads and down their backs and out to the sides where the wings will be attached, just barely underneath around their legs and the underside of the tail. Then airbrush their tummies using the red colour heavier in the centre and lighter to the outside. Set aside to dry.

7

If you do not want to airbrush your robins you can dust them instead for the same effect. I recommend a mixture of Magic Colour chocolate and pumpkin petal dusts for the head, back, wings and tail and red riding hood for the tummy.

 
8

Using your black edible pen, draw five sets of wings (ten in total) and five tail sections onto your airbrushed wafer paper.

9

Then using small scissors, cut around the lines you have created but to the outside of the line so that you can still see your pen marks. Then cut into some of the feathers to create a fringed finish.

 
10

Lightly steam over a steamer, kettle or pot of boiling water, holding each feather in tweezers. Shape to create life like feathers with a little movement in them while softened by the steam.

 
11

Attach the wafer paper sections with a little royal icing or piping gel to the sides and tail sections of your robins. Push in a small hole either side of the head and add small balls of chocolate paste or Dragees for the eyes. Then, with a small piece of the chocolate paste add a diamond shape for the beak, gluing to the head and pressing in the centre to form the two points of the beak.

12

Using some brown dust or your airbrush, shade around the eyes area to bring them to life. Once dry you could paint on either piping gel or confectioners glaze to make them shine.

13

Now your robins are almost complete, they just need a little Christmas decoration with some mini tree ornaments and some bells to keep them in tune whilst carolling. I created all my shapes free hand but you can use moulds. I made them in an assortment of colours and then painted some with metallic silver or gold and then airbrushed all of them with pearl colour to reduce the intensity of colour and give it a more nostalgic and festive feel. Attach these around the necks of your Robins with some RI in a small piping bag and once dry, paint this with metallic paint.

 
14

Arrange your birds in position and press the cocktail sticks into place to mark the holes for the legs. Using your scribe tool make small holes for the legs to slot into through the paste and into the board. Using your piping bag with the brown icing mix or your melted chocolate ‘glue’ the legs into the holes then pipe very fine toes from the legs if they are on the branch but not if their feet are sunk into the snow.

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