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Topic: Fishbowl & Cat Cake  (Read 982 times)
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Formerly known as Burgz
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« on: July 15, 2010 09:03:58 PM »

My BFF's daughter is celebrating her 11th birthday tomorrow and I was asked to make the cake.

I don't have much experience in cake decorating so much of this was trial and error...
There is MUCH room for improvement, so I'll be sharing how I proceeded and the lessons learned.

The perfectionist in me is fighting the urge to NOT present this to the large group attending - but it's still very cute and time does not permit a remake (though I would gladly eat this one all to myself). It looks like I'll have to step on my ego a bit, taking comfort in knowing she'll love it!

First off, here are some pictures:

Steps & Recipes:
  • The birthday girl is allergic to lactose, so I replaced any milk in the recipes with vanilla almond milk and consequently omitted vanilla extract.
  • The cake recipe (the best & easiest chocolate cake recipe ever) can be found here. Sugar was lowered to 1 1/3 cups.
  • Baked in two round 8-inch cake pans. My oven is broken so I had to bake them one at a time in my convection toaster-oven and so, had to lower the baking temp to 325F.
  • The icing is my mom's recipe, flavoured with almond extract and coloured blue.
  • Between the two cake layers is some rosehip jam mixed in with some icing (before colouring).
  • The cat's "fur" is make with toasted coconut, to which I added some sugar & a little water, and boiled to the soft ball stage.
  • The cat's eyes, nose, mouth and whiskers (outlined with white piping gel), as well as the goldfish and the fishbowl's "rim" are made of (store-bought) marizipan, which I coloured.
  • For the watery effect, I mixed in some agar-agar with water and sugar (1tbsp agar flakes for 1 cup of liquid), boiled until fully dissolved, then spooned on when partially set (mostly filling in cavities between the cat and the fish) but covering everything; then I allowed to cool completely. I then made another, smaller, batch which was more concentrated in agar-agar (about 1 tbsp for a 1/2 cup of liquid), and brushed it over top with a pastry brush, making sure everything was covered.
  • I then made another, smaller, batch which was more concentrated in agar-agar (about 1 tbsp for a 1/2 cup of liquid), and brushed it over top with a pastry brush, making sure everything was covered.
  • The sides were made to look like waves using a fork.
  • I had intended on making the cat lick its lips, but I forgot to add the tongue prior to the agar-agar mixture. Undecided

  • Next time, I would make the whole picture with different items/candy because the marzipan's colours had a tendency to bleed once the agar was added.
  • I would also omit the piping gel, which clouded up the "water".
  • I'll also try using an apricot glaze prior to frosting because I had a hard time to not have cake crumbs in the icing.
  • I liked the coconut, but the water & sugar made it loose much of its colour. Maybe use coloured coconut instead of toasted?

Hope my "adventure" can inspire and/or enhance your next cake decorating endeavor.
Your expertise and suggestions are more than welcome!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010 10:12:36 PM by Burgz » THIS ROCKS   Logged

"Each one of us has a fire in our heart for something. Its our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit. " - Mary Lou Retton
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010 11:45:41 PM »

This is so cute!!!
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2010 03:17:33 AM »

I love the smile on the fish. Completely unaware that it's about to become a snack. LOL
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