Friday, December 7, 2012

Anteater Cake

For my most recent foray into cake decorating, I was challenged to make a cake for one of my co-workers whose favorite animal is an anteater. I considered making a cake with a fondant anteater on top, but decided to up the ante and make a cake that was actually shaped like an anteater. This was my first cake that was not cake-shaped.

I practiced a few techniques the week before the party and ended up with what appeared to be a seamonster on the counter. I diagrammed how to make two 8-inch rounds into a body, tail, head and neck so I could replicate the proportions. I also baked the cake differently so it would be dense and easier to work with, like sponge cake.

The body piece below is comprised of one 8-inch round cut in half and glued together with icing. I also thinly covered it in chocolate icing.

 For the tail piece, I cut out most of the edge of the second 8-inch round in two pieces and stacked them.

The head and neck are wedge-shapes cut from the remainder of the 8-inch round I used for the tail pieces. The proportions here are a little off because of the size of tray I needed to fit the anteater onto. I think the head should actually stretch out more to the left.

  I used semi-circles from the second 8-inch cake for legs and covered him in fondant except for the tail. When I covered the head I created an extension for the nose that is all fondant with no cake underneath and tried to smooth out the seam. Then I made facial features from black fondant. I think my favorite part of this cake is the adorable ears!

I put a stripe down the anteater's back with a strip of black fondant and then I added fur (after much experimentation attempting to approximate the color gray) using a decorating tip intended for making grass. If I were more ambitious, I could have covered the whole body, but I decided to be more of a minimalist because the coloring in the icing gave it a funny taste (also it would have taken forever).

With the addition of tiny ants and a red tongue (all fondant), he was starting to at least marginally resemble a giant anteater, which was about all I could hope for, since it was my first "shaped" cake.

Hopefully I'll have a reason to continue expanding my repertoire of decorating techniques with more cakes that are this fun!

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