Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Construction of a Chocolate Lab Cake

I was asked to make a 3-D chocolate lab cake for a fundraiser. The fundraiser was to benefit Scott & White Hospital.... the name of the fundraiser was "Strut Your Mutt"! I was bound and determined to execute a cake worthy of such a worthwhile event. Here is a photo - pictorial of how this cake was constructed...

Satin Ice Chocolate/Brown Rolled Fondant (Google Affiliate Ad)

First... the cake.... then... the icing.

Next I carved the cake, only minimally, to create a basic shape of just the dog's body.

Then I used a cereal/marshmallow treat to create the legs and tale. I find this much easier than trying to carve cake into such small, slender pieces.

I did skip a photo here... I shaped the dogs head out of the cereal/marshmallow treats.... I prefer to work with the treat concoction while it is still relatively warm and then shape it with my hands, rather than carve it with a knife. It's important to really compress the mixture together tightly so you have a very firm structure when it's done. Cool in the fridge, then ice and cover with fondant!

 Next...  roll out a LARGE sheet of chocolate fondant.....

Satin Ice Chocolate/Brown Rolled Fondant (Google Affiliate Ad)

Cover the cake with the fondant, smoothing as you go.  Don't stop until you are satisfied with the smoothness of the fondant.  Your hands are your best tools here.... just keep smoothing and shaping letting the warmth of your hands mold the fondant.

 Use any type of rounded point tool to carve "fur" lines into the fondant.  I brushed some water on the cake to make it shiny.  It's a preference... you can leave it matte if you like...

 Drape chocolate fondant over the dog's head.  You will most likely have a seem and under the neck seems to be the best place for this. 
 Here he is.... almost ready to put on the cake.  To attach to the cake, I inserted a dowel into the neck of the dog's body.  I sharpened the end of the dowel and hammered it into the board.  After the dowel is in place, cut it to the length you need (if necessary) then sharpen the top end of the dowel.  Pick up the head and gently push it onto the dowel. 

Like so..... :)  Once the head is attached, use the same rounded point tool to carve the fur at the neck line.  Work quickly so you can blend the head and neck together.  This is also masked somewhat when you add the collar.

I did get rather absorbed in the process of making this dog, forgetting to photograph some of the steps with regard to the face.  Eyes were black fondant with small while dots to create light.  Small rolls of black fondant for the eyebrows/lashes, nose and mouth.

Finished Cake... the dog bones are fondant with "stamp" letters pressed into them for words.  The little guy nex to him is made completely out of cereal treats... covered with fondant and airbrushed.