Do you know someone or a group in a life crisis or on a new journey? Why not give them a cake decorated with hummingbirds. Whether it be a bar mitzvah (new beginning), celebration of life (spiritual journey) or job change (new career path), this unique cake promises to uplift their spirits. Hummingbirds symbolise peace, love and happiness. A hummingbird represented tireless energy and anxiety to early pagans. American Indians saw it as "the nectar of life." New Age philosophy likens it to self-discovery and healing.
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Creating Edible Sugary 2-D Hummingbirds
Use a toothpick to outline a simple hummingbird image. Pick two frosting colours for the underbelly -- white works well -- and back. Use wafers, Italian lace cookies or ruffle crisps for wings. Make an eye with black icing, chocolate chip or raisin, and use a thin pretzel stick for the beak. Buy a can of sugar-cookie dough and lay out flat. Cut a large circle using a can rim with a smaller inside circle using a pill container top to resemble a crescent moon. Cut zigzags for the tail at one end and a concave wide triangle for the beak and head at other outer end. Cut leaf shapes for the back wings.
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Creating Edible Sugary 3-D Hummingbirds
Use a ladyfinger for the bird's body. Make eyes from raisins or chocolate chips and glue to the ladyfinger with icing. Use thin pretzel sticks for the beak and tail, in a fan shape. Make wings with wafers, lace cookies or chips. Use a marshmallow peep for the body with a pretzel stick for the beak and fanned pretzel sticks for the tail. Use a cannoli for the body, and stick thin liquorice sticks for the tail into one cream-filled end. Insert a pretzel stick for the beak into other cream-filled end. Stick two chocolate chips for eyes into the cream.
After choosing a hummingbird design, construct its environment. For branches, make a crooked line -- using pretzel sticks and black liquorice -- running from edge to edge of the cake's surface. Sit the hummingbird on the branch. Build a nest from either chow mein noodles or melted chocolate chips and coconut. Make a thumb indentation in the nest's centre. Fill the nest with tiny jelly beans. Make a large trumpet-shaped frosting flower and position it near the beak. To decorate the rest of the cake, draw small frosting flowers with leaves and ivy.
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Tips and Incidentals
Avoid multiple trips to the supermarket by gathering all hummingbird ingredients and kitchen tools ahead of time. Be creative; practice making a sample first to perfect the technique for colours, cuts and placement, then apply final design to the cake's surface. Use either a sheet cake or wide surface cake pan to build your bird and outdoor setting design; remember to keep the concept and image simple. If travelling with the cake, protect it by putting it into a large cardboard box.