Fishy Cake

I like carving cake – there is just something about it that makes me feel more ‘in the zone’ when it comes to gettin’ my cake on. So when I brainstormed ideas to make a “Something’s Fishy” cake for an event theme, I of course went the sculpted route. This cake is make of vanilla cakes, vanilla buttercream and white-chocolate fondant. Extras include chocolate seashells and disco dust.

This page shows the progression and my creative process. : )

  I wanted a more dramatic backdrop for the fishy. So I started with a white cake board and then covered it with strips of fondant.
   After rolling out fondant, I placed each strip on the cake board and cut wavy patterns where they lined up.
  I love my Fat Daddio’s pans. This is a 12×18 cake and two batches of my trusted vanilla cake. I dyed it green for some fun – so the green fishy is green on the inside too.
   In order to have a brick of cake for carving, I cut the cake into thirds, making it an approximately 12x6x4 cake to start from.
   I iced each layer with a little bit of green buttercream (yes, more green) to cement the layers together. Once stacked, I tried to let it sit a bit to let the block settle.
   When carving cake, I make a tiny cut to represent my starting shape. Before you begin hacking away, make sure you know what you are going for. You can always shave more cake off, but you cannot put it back!
   Once you know the general shape you are going for, use a large, sharp knife to make the big, dramatic cuts. This will save you time (so you aren’t shaving down forever) and I find is less risky than constantly shaving down, which can begin to sort of tear your cake apart.
   Here’s the fishy with all the subtle carving and shaving completed.
   Of course, apply a thin layer of buttercream before covering with fondant. This helps to seal in the freshness of the cake, add some flavor (since fondant isn’t to everyone’s liking) and also helps to cement the fondant down once applied.
   I covered the cake in fondant and moved it over to the cake board. I began to make some scoring marks in the fondant as I settled on where to place accents.
   Using my airbrush, I detailed the scales and fins. I also applied additional fondant to the jaw and lips.
   I cut out fins and scored them to look more fish-like. I airbrushed the creases of the fins and twirled some green fondant strips for seaweed.
   I airbrushed all the scales and fins with a coat of blue sheen. I love airbrushing something with multiple colors. It gives it a multi-tonal quality that just adds dimension and really makes it stand out. I also added an eyeball. 😉
   Here’s the finished creation, to include some chocolate seashells. My go-to for chocolate seashells is to mix peanut butter and white chocolate together. They swirl nicely when you put them into chocolate molds and it just gives the shells a bit more pizazz.
   Side view of the fishy. See? Carving is fun! Fun cake. :)