Monday, March 23, 2009

Max's Fossil Cake

I am very used to making cute cakes.  I tend to think pink and purple should be on everyone's favorite's list.  So, when I was asked to do a cake for a boy turing 12, who loved animals, the outdoors and such,    pink and purple seemed a bit off.  I have the great fortune to know (and love) this family, so I decided to think outside my pretty little pink and purple box.

Max's family had just returned from a trip out west.  They had seen a fossil display from a company by the name of Stone Aquarium.  Apparently, Max was very taken with the fossils... ding, ding, ding- my idea came to me.  So, I went to Stone Aquarium's website and saw the ginormous Palm  fossil.  Again, I like pretty, fun, cute, but this was going to be a one of a kind cake specifically for Max (priceless, right?heehee).

So, I made my lovely moist yellow cake (always homemade- great ingredients, no other way to go!).  I decided to use a 13 x 9 pan.  When the cake was done and cooled, I inverted it onto my covered cake board. Covered meaning, foil wrapped and wax paper around the edges to keep the surface clean.  Then I carved out the palm shape and wiped away the crumbs.  I next applied a crumb coat of vanilla buttercream (made with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, mmm).  I like to apply an extra layer after the first one has set a bit.  Especially when I am covering the cake with fondant.  I make my own fondant, so it tastes good, but it is very sweet and some people still like to eat the frosting under it and discard the fondant.

I colored the fondant with a little brown and a little orange, to create a sand like look.  I also tried to include a few imperfections to help create the look of a fossil. Then I rolled out the fondant, making sure to add about 2 inches in length and width to cover the cake. (Does anyone remember learning the metric system in grade school? Hmm, glad I never quite figured it all out, not so handy today.) I digress.  Next, I covered the cake with the fondant and pressed it down lightly in the areas I had carved out.  Then I used a fondant tool to create the dimension in the leaves of the palm.  I also painted in the palm with food coloring paint (almond extract and food color paste).  Luckily my little Bam bam (aka Cam), had a few small plastic fish that I used to make imprint in the fondant.  I painted them in to make them really appear.

I just needed to personalize it a bit.  I then colored some more fondant and cut out "HAPPY 12TH BIRTHDAY MAX".  

Here is the picture of the real palm fossil and then the cake. What'd ya think? It is not cute, but I thought it was pretty cool!
Another adventure and learning experience.  Who knew cake decorating could teach me so much about so many different things! Well, only one more thing to say about this... 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I will try to do something similar for my boy turning 5 next week!
    Thanks for the idea,