Several years ago my oldest niece, who was about five at the time, called and asked me if I’d make her a princess cake for her birthday. She’d seen one somewhere and when she asked her mother her mother directed her to me. Young and naive as I was I was happy to do so…and thus started many years of various types of cakes for the birthdays of various nieces and nephews.
I can’t complain too much as the experience has been good and I’ve learned a lot of cake techniques which I might not have tried otherwise. This year the request from eldest niece started with a Harry Potter Firebolt cake… I did a bunch of research and planning, but a few days before party the request changed to a dragon cake. And it couldn’t be just any dragon. It needed to have pink scales and green eyes.
So with a minimum of pondering I set to work on a dragon. I’d seen a dragon design before and used a variant of it to make a dinosaur cake for my youngest boy. I figured a little adjusting and we’d be in business.
I started by baking two chocolate cakes, one a 10 inch round and the other an 8 inch round.
The 8 incher I cut in half and used a light buttercream icing to put the two edges together and form the back of the dragon. I then cut the other round to give me four legs, tail, neck and head. (I should have taken a picture at this point, but I was covered in cake and forgot.)
I then put together a batch of fondant. You can get fondant at the store, or there are many recipes for a gelatin based fondant. I don’t like any of these because the flavor tends to be less than I want it to be. I dislike putting anything on a cake which doesn’t add to the flavor. My batch makes a biiig recipe which I broke into thirds. One I tinted pink, one green and I left the last white.
With a crumb layer of icing in place on the cake I covered everything in pink first.
Then I used the green and the white to create detail work such as eyes, horns, nostrils and back ridges.
When all the details were in place I painted a very light coating of water over all of the fondant with a brush. This allowed me to ease the seam in the tail and to remove all signs of excess powdered sugar or fingerprints.
I finished it off by pouring a 15 bean soup mix around the dragon to represent her bedding and my sister added some gold chocolate coin loot when the cake was set up for the party. All in all… Pretty spiffy.
Next time I have some ideas to improve upon…though I suspect by then the request will be for something entirely different.
Ultra Gel Fondant
8 ounce light cream cheese
1/2 cup butter – softened
3-4 lbs powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 T Ultra Gel
Beat cream cheese and butter well. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix to combine. In a separate container mix together milk and Ultra Gel. Add to powdered sugar mixture and beat well. Add additional powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Use powdered sugar or corn starch on rolling surface for easier use, but be careful not to dry mixture out.