Mermaid Dream Cake Decorating
The idea to create the Mermaid Dreaming cake decorating scene came from something similar I saw in a cake book and wanted to make my own version of a Mermaid cake, so here is it. I hope you like it!
3 to 4 days in advance...
For the board, I cut chunks of board away from the edges so it wouldn't be a perfect circle. I covered the board with a thin piece of fondant, then set it aside for a couple of hours.
After a few hours, I painted the fondant with a lemon yellow food color gel, then set it aside for a few hours to let the color set, then painted parts of the board a copper-brown color to make it look more like the sea bottom.
I used fondant, with different food color gels added to mold the fish, coral, vines, star-fish, and mermaid, by hand.
For the mermaid (copper color gel), begin with the body and tail (no fins yet) as one piece. Use a size 8 round tip to make indents in the tail section to resemble scales, then set it aside to dry (Don't forget to position her tail and body as you would like it to appear on the cake). Hand-mold the fins (I used the flat side of a knife to make indents on the fins to give it dimension), arms, head, and bodice shells (again, I used the flat side of a knife to give dimension). Set the pieces aside to dry.
When the body (tail section only), bodice shells, and fins are completely dry, paint them with blue food color gel, then set them aside to dry. After the body has dried a bit, add some blue crystal flakes to a little bit of water, then paint the lower half of the body (tail area).
I baked a 4x2, 6x2, and an 8x2 inch cakes (pound cake works best, but isn't required to make this cake), then cut away the top and bottom edges to round them off a bit.
Add blue food color gel to fondant, kneaded it until it's completed blended, and then rolled it into a log shape. Once in the log shape, dip a tooth pick in moss green food color gel, and then poked the fondant log in several places. I blended the fondant slightly (you want to keep the marbling effect). Cover the cakes with butter cream icing, then with the marbled fondant.
Use royal icing to glue the fish, coral, vines, star-fish, and mermaid's body to the cake, and then attach the mermaid's arms, fins and head.
Use brown fondant to make the hair for the mermaid, then before the hair dries insert stamens to make a crown. Use food color gel and a very small paint brush to paint the mermaid's face.
It took me three attempts at making the mermaid's body before I was satisfied with how it looked, so don't give up.
Mermaid Dream Cake Decorating cake submitted by Tammy Bowen from Glendale, Arizona
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