Seeing as I just finished Ethan’s 5th birthday cake, I figured it was time to post his 4th birthday cake! So I’m a year late – no big deal…right?
The biggest challenge to this cake was the fish bowl teetering on the edge of the cat’s hat. I knew the key to the cake was going to be good support – especially since the cake had to make two 20 minute car trips. I started by constructing a custom base for the cake. And of course, that led me to Home Depot. (One of my chefs at the CIA once said that home improvement stores were a great place to find chef supplies – this has proven to be true over the years.) I bought a piece of particle board, PVC piping and some do-hicky that would attach the two together. Then I borrowed a friend’s jiq-saw, donned some sun-glasses (didn’t have any safety-goggles) and prayed that I could cut a semi-decent circle. Once the base was successfully put together (and I still had all my fingers and toes) it was time to assemble the cake.
The cake itself was made from 4 8″ round cakes, each split once and filled, for a total of 8 layers of cake. The fishbowl was constructed out of rice krispey treats, then covered in white fondant. I molded the fish out of gum paste and threaded him onto a wire to dry. I purposely kept the cake black & white with just a few splashes of muted color. If you look closely at the book, the illustrations are done in a similar manner. To add extra support for the fish bowl, which did end up heavier than I anticipated, I cut a small hole in the central PVC pipe that ran up the center of the cake. Once the cake was fully assembled and iced, I threaded a medium wooden dowel through the cake, into the hole in the PVC pipe, leaving 4-5″ of the dowel exposed at the top of the cake. This was what I intended to hold up the fish bowl – especially because I wanted the bowl to “defy” gravity and wobble on the edge of the hat. So far – so good. I was impressed with myself that I had designed this support system in my head and then managed to construct it as well! So holding my breath, I carefully placed the fishbowl on top and smiled. It was perfect – just like I had envisioned. I added the fish, and took some pictures, and I was done. (more…)