When I was thinking about my next cake project I browsed through hundreds of ‘Purse’ cakes. Some Louis Vuitton, some Micheal Kors, some made with fondant, some with buttercream. But that list had one type missing – Indian traditional purse (I found only one picture of such purse on CakesDecor. ). So I started designing my own potli / batwa cake.
For the actual cake itself I went ahead with the classic combo – Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream. No special reason for choosing this but I had few 5″ round chocolate cakes and lots of vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream ready to be used. I took 3 round cakes and sliced them into 2 layers each, filled each layer with buttercream, crumb coat and popped it into the fridge to firm up a bit. Then I cut a cake board into a 3 ” round circle and placed it in center on the top of the cake to use it as a reference to shape the top edges of the cake. I wasn’t too worried about the symmetry because potli purse is not stiff with symmetrical sides. After I was happy with the overall shape I cut few chunks of triangles at the top edge of the cake to create the effect of how the purse will look when tied with a rope. Then I gave a final coat of buttercream and put it back in the fridge for the buttercream to be stiff.
The color of the fondant had to be bright. We Indians like electric colors during the festival and wedding time (Look at the saree that I used as backdrop). So I chose pink fondant. I dyed homemade fondant with Americolor electric pink and used it to cover the chilled cake. Now since the cake was cold when I put the fondant, I started to see condensation and the fondant looked sticky. When this happens just let the cake sit untouched near a cooling fan till the condensation evaporates.
To create the ruffles on the top I mixed some tylose in the fondant so that when I shape them they get dried quickly and dont fall over flat. I used the FMM ribbon cutter to cut long stripes and then rolled it into this rosette. You can see this clearly in the top view in the image below. Honestly I did some 2-3 retakes on this.
To make the golden embroidery decoration, I rolled small balls of white fondant. Yep! It took like forever to do it. I know we get a bead mold which makes this job a lot easier but I didnt have one at home and I wasnt going to go to a craft store just to buy that. After the balls were ready I arranged them in the design at you see in the picture. The flower part however was done using a mold which I already had. Easy peasy!
To work on the rope that is used to tie the top of the purse, I rolled the white fondant into thin logs and then intertwined them together. Once this rope was ready I placed this in the lower edge of the rosette and let 2 ends hang outside.
Although the purse color was bright enough I wanted to give it a shiny look. So I brushed some dry golden luster dust all over the cake for the shimmery look. This same luster dust when mixed with clear alcohol (or lemon extract) doesnt really give an opaque golden color. So to color the embroidery, I used some gold highlighter mixed with lemon extract. I also colored the top rim of the rosette.
Voila! My Potli/Batwa/Indian purse cake was ready. Happy! Excited!