I cannot believe that The Girl is turning 13 this week. Completely insane. Of course, I had to make her a cake befitting of the occasion....
She asked for a dragon cake. I made her a dragon cake.
Well, technically, I made her a dragon decoration to go with her dragon's mountain cake... semantics.
The dragon was made with rice crispy treats. I made the rice crispy treats according to the directions on the box, but I did run the rice crispies through the food processor a little to get them to a finer texture that would stick together a little more densely. I made the basic shape of a dragon, and used a dowel through the neck to get it to stand up straight. Then, I refrigerated the rice crispy treat shape overnight, so that it would harden.
|Oily modeling chocolate, meet fresh marshmallow fondant|
To cover the dragon, I decided to use a mixture of modeling chocolate
and marshmallow fondant.
I wanted the pliability of modeling chocolate, but I'd read that by mixing it with fondant, it helps to take care of the oiliness that is sometimes a problem with modeling chocolate.
I just mixed them 1:1, kneading in the stand mixer, and finishing up by hand. What resulted was really great textured "clay." I rolled it out very thinly on parchment paper, and carefully draped it over the hardened rice crispy treat dragon. I admit, I held my breath. I was so worried she would collapse. To my immense relief, she remained upright as I pressed the modeling chocolate fondant to her shape. I trimmed off the excess and put it aside.
From there, I started molding a more refined dragon shape. This took some time. I made a small batch of slightly darker green for a chest plate for her, and used white fondant for her eyes and the tips of her claws. I ended up redoing her eyes a few times - The Girl preferred a serpentine eye, so that's what we ended up with. For the scales, I used the end of a popsicle stick to press indentations into her.
Her wings are rather leafy, and I would have preferred a little more bat-like wings, but The Girl liked them, so I'm happy with that. We dusted her with luster dust to get her really shimmery, and I used a tiny paint brush and black gel food coloring to draw on the details.
Now, for the CAKE! I wanted a good dense cake that I could carve and stack easily, so I used what amounts to a lemon pound cake. I found this recipe from Korena in the Kitchen
, and it was PERFECT! I ended up making 2 batches of cake (form over function - we have a TON of cake left after the party, but a dragon needs a nice big mountain top...) I made 2 x 10" rounds, a bundt cake, an 8" round, and a 6" round. I neglected to take a picture before covering the cake, but I cut each layer (except for the bundt) into two parts, layered with lemon curd and with a "dam" of Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(flavored with just a pinch of cardamom, along with vanilla), and I cut out part of the 10" + bundt stacks to make a side stack of the smaller cakes, which I carved to be more "mountainous."
I covered the cake entirely in a crumb coat of the cardamom Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and then covered it in a dark green/greyish fondant + modeling chocolate mix. I molded the cake covering to have some crags and outcroppings and painted it a little with brown food coloring, then dusted with a little shimmer dust.
I also carved out a cave in the side, for the dragon's clutch of 13 eggs (these are store bought candy eggs). The cake board was covered in some remaining buttercream, and then the dragon sat next to her mountain top, awaiting the party.
I'm pretty darned pleased with the outcome. As a note, I also marbled the cake in "fire colors," a request from The Girl.
Now, for the rest of the party!
The recipe I am most proud of is Deviled Eggs Benedict
. The Girl is IN LOVE with Eggs Benedict. SO - I made deviled eggs, but instead of using mayo, I combined the yolks with store bought Hollandaise sauce (I used a tub from Trader Joe's), along with a little pepper and dried shallots. I topped with "flames" of Canadian bacon, and dusted with paprika. Pretty darned delicious.
I also made some eggless ice cream (one of The Girl's friends is allergic to eggs, and essentially cold eat the fruit and veggies... so I made a wonderful ice cream.
Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream
2 c cream
1 c milk
2/3 c sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Mix all ingredients together and put into an ice cream maker. Churn until thick, according to your machine's instructions. Transfer to the freezer to harden for a few hours before serving.
The rest of the food was store bought, including some wings from a restaurant The Girl loves. It was a lot of fun, and totally worthy of a 13 year old.