Back in February, I had the privilege of attending one of Bronwen Weber’s cake decorating classes. She is the owner of Frosted Art in Texas and is also a frequent competitor on Food Network’s Challenges. She is an amazing teacher and I would highly recommend taking any one of her classes… hopefully I will have the chance to take many more! This class was held at the French Pastry School in Chicago and was an amazing experience for me. The class was on cake sculpting, which was something that I had never really done before, so I was definitely excited, but also a little nervous. Each person in the class did their own cake and we had to finish both of them in 3 days… which might seem like a lot of time, but when you are sculpting a 2 foot dinosaur and a person’s head, time seems to fly by. Although everyone in the class completed both cakes, as you will see in the photos, we didn’t have time to put the finishing touches on them… like covering the cake boards and other details that help the whole cake come together, but nonetheless I hope you have a fun time checking out the photos and seeing how crazy the process is to make a dino out of cake.
As you can see in this photo, the whole cake structure was made out of PVC pipe, which as a pastry girl I really haven’t used too often. At least my dad is a plumber though, so next time I make a 2 foot dino I can get the PVC for free!
We covered the arms, legs, and head in modeling chocolate, which is basically just chocolate and a sugar substance like corn syrup or glucose, and tastes somewhat like a Tootsie Roll. This is such a great technique to use since the modeling chocolate stays right where you put it and will not fall down… amazing! You can also mold it just like you would play doh and then it hardens slightly to hold its shape. Two places you can buy modeling chocolate are at Surfas Restaurant Supply or Pastry Chef Central. You can also make your own modeling chocolate. A recipe for that can be found at Epicurious.com.
After we covered the body with modeling chocolate, we stacked the cake onto the body frame and carved it into the shape of a dinosaur’s body…or at least we hoped it would come out that way!
Next we covered his body in buttercream. After he was nicely lathered up, we covered his arms, legs, head, and body in fondant. Right after we covered the dino’s body in fondant we had to work very quickly to make impressions into the fondant with our hands, so that we could add a life-like quality to him and give his body some definition. You can buy fondant at multiple places like your local Michaels, cake decorating store, or online at places like The Baker’s Kitchen. You can also make your own fondant and you can find a good recipe at What’s Cooking America.
We then spray painted his body to give him even more definition. I had never spray painted a cake before so this was quite a learning experience.
And finally here is my finished dino cake. I really wish I had the time to add some rough terrain to the board to make it looked like a finished project, but overall I was pretty happy with my first sculpted cake. As you can see by the photo of my dino and I, he is quite large and so sadly I couldn’t bring him back with me on my flight to California. Come back soon to see the new cake…a chef’s head on a plate!