This year’s project for the hubby’s April birthday. Thankfully it falls in the school hols so I had time to create this. It took far longer than I expected!
I used Delia’s all in one sponge recipe doubled, the Hummingbird Bakery’s vanilla buttercream, Tesco’s finest raspberry preserve and Tesco fondant coloured with Wilton colour right System.
The head was made from Rice Krispy treats using the Debbie Brown recipe (1 1/2 times). I moulded it with my hands but rubbed Trex (shortening) on them first so it wouldn’t stick. If it began to harden before I was finished, I would give it a few seconds in the microwave then continue. Once I had the shape, I pushed 3 wooden dowels/ kebab sticks into it as supports and I let it harden in the fridge sat in a tall mug packed out with kitchen roll.
Once it was hard, I gave it a thin coat of green buttercream and put it back in the fridge. When the icing had crusted, I made sure my khaki fondant was soft by kneading with Trex and sort of smushed it on, smoothing it out with my hands until it was covered.
I added the details the next day when the fondant was a bit harder. These were all made with fondant and painted with Wilton gel colours and a little bit of vodka.
What I would improve:
The mouth and teeth weren’t quite right – he had an overbite! The mouth wasn’t open wide enough so I needed to rest it in such a way that the mouth was held open while it hardened. The teeth would have been better if made a few days prior with gum paste so they wouldn’t bend.
The cake was 3 layers of Victoria sponge with buttercream and jam filling. To prevent any spill out I used a dam of thicker icing (the same batch with extra icing sugar added) piped around the outside of each layer. I then crumb coated, leaving it in the fridge to crust and did a final buttercream coat in green buttercream. I smoothed it with a metal dough scraper and again let it crust. I then added some of the leaves and details ready to add the dino the next day.
The final decoration was the dino and all the leaves. After starting this cake I realised I didn’t have all the leaf cutters I thought I did so I used ivy plunger cutters but other leaves were made with either full heart shaped cutters or cutting a heart shape in half and adding veining with a knife. It was hard to do without cutting too far through. I used three different green fondants for variety. This took a huge amount of leaves to cover it!
What I’d improve:
Use more leaf tools to get better veining.
Use a ribbon around the board not just leaves as you can see the silver.
Make the wood effect more apparent on the gate.