Let's see, where to begin...well, I'll start with the platform - that's my painted-with-thinned-royal-icing version of the Anderson tartan, our clan tartan on my mother's side, on her father's side, and on up the line. Here's a picture for comparison, though this picture is, I believe, the Modern tartan, and I think I was copying a blanket or scarf that was either Ancient or Weathered. I didn't make notes on it.
Anyway. I painted the colors on a piece of foam core, which you can get craft supply stores.
The actual cake was lemon, and I used lemon frosting for the grass, and for what I believe is supposed to be a perfectly round rocky island down in the bottom front. The written part is more royal icing.
The castle itself, and the little "stones" or whatever they are leading from the drawbridge across the tartan water to the perfectly round rocky island, are made of Swiss meringue that I piped onto parchment paper and allowed to dry. I piped each little stone individually and then used royal icing as the mortar when I built the castle. I think the drawbridge was the only thing I piped directly onto the parchment whole. My notes also say that I formed the towers of the castle around paper towel rolls, which explains how I managed to get them all a uniform size and round, rather than amoeba-shaped.
Swiss meringue is a cooked meringue, which means it is heated while you're making it and therefore you don't need to bake it like you would meringue cookies. The whites are safe to eat, and can remain perfectly white.
Why the little rocky island? I needed a place to write "Happy Birthday" to my mother. Plus it made the whole thing more interesting than just the castle sitting dead center all by its lonesome.
My notes also say that I got the idea (in some form) from Martha Stewart's magazine, but I don't remember what she made out of meringue. Hmmm.
Anyway, that's the cake for this week.