This week was the last session of the six week long cake decorating course I’ve been taking through CIT Adult Education. This course has been a lot of fun, even though every week I seem to be struggle to finish within the three hour class time. But that’s just because I’m slow (hopefully not because I suck).
Anyway, after my attempts to make flowers from royal icing, fondant, and buttercream were full of crapness, I decided to try something different. The other ladies in the class made beautiful and elegant creations, but that just isn’t me. So for our final class we could make anything we wanted, so I went with a fun animal-themed cake.
The bottom layer is an 8-inch red velvet cake from my most favourite baker blogger, Joy the Baker. The top layer is a plain sponge from Coles cut to a small square, because one of my red velvet cakes stuck and then fell apart when I tried to pry it out of the tin. Dammit!
Both cakes are sandwiched and covered in delicious brown sugar cream cheese frosting, dyed green for grass and a little blue smidge for water. I was going to do two different shades of green, one lighter for the whole cake, and then piped grass in a darker green, but once it was all put together I didn’t think it needed the grass. Plus there wasn’t enough space with the all the animals crammed on top!
Rough cuts of plain chocolate make a fence to cover the cake’s not-so-perfectly-smooth buttercream sides. Actually they weren’t so bad, but I wasn’t going to say no when the class instructor suggested I add chocolate to the sides. More chocolate is always a good thing!
The trees are green fondant cones stuck onto pretzel sticks, then cut with scissors. The animals are hand modelled from fondant dyed a variety of colours using Wilton paste. Everyone asked me which is my favourite but it’s hard to choose! I think perhaps the tiger. He’s a bright Wilton orange, and for the stripes I rolled and cut strips of black fondant (bought not dyed for the pure black look). The animals took me ages to make, and I had to re-make my lion after my naughty puppy stole my original attempt. By the time I got it back it had quite a few teeth holes in it, and it was covered in slobber. Gross!
The end result was a very yummy cake that actually looked very cool. I put the animals on planks of chocolate to keep the buttercream off them, then removed them from the cake before it went into the fridge for the night, so expect to see them on some of my future creations!