Protector of The Castle – My first ‘construct request’.
Why shouldn’t my most difficult attempt come first? This cake was my first officially requested ‘construction cake’ by a roomie. Her request of a dragon cake was rather pushing at the upper barrier of my baking abilities but it posed a challenge. It may be one of the gayest challenges known to mankind. So of course, I tried it. This one I’m giving a 7 on the difficulty scale. A scale I just invented. It goes up to 12. Rebel.
Two 8″ round tins
Castle Tin (standard size)
Rolling Pin (silicon ideally)
Green fondant (3 x bars) White Royal Icing (2 standard size bars)
Basic sponge recipe :
- 4 large eggs
- 8 oz of caster sugar
- 8oz self-raising flour
- 80z butter (or margarine for this one)
- 1/2tsp of baking powder
- 50ml or so of liquid (milk if standard sponge recipe)
1) Start by prepping the two types of tin. The round ones can’t be prepped as standard (i.e. lightly buttering the insides and if you’re not confident, layering the bottom with a sheet of baking parchment). The castle should also be buttered but subsequently powdered with plain flour
2) Turn the oven on to roughly 180 C (fan assisted)
3) Make a double dose of basic sponge. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until all the sugar is incorporated. You will be left with a light yellow paste. Toss in all other ingredients (minue the liquid) at once and use an electric mixer to combine. This recipe will produce a tough paste-like consistency. The reason is for the ability to incorporate a flavour. You can do various things here, depending on the taste:
- 50 ml of whole milk and 2 tbsp of vanilla essence for a sweet vanilla taste
- 3tbsp of coffee (ground or instant) added to roughly 6 tbsp of warm water. Add 25ml of milk. Light coffee flavour.
- Add 1 lemon peel (grated) and 50ml of orange juice. Fresh citrus taste.
4) Pour the sponge into the castle tin first but only up till about 3/4 full to allow for the rise. Next fill and flatten out the mixture in the two circle tins.
5) Bake all for roughly 25 min (test with a butter knife – it’ll come out clean if cooked). And then place on the side for at least 10-15 mins before removing the cakes.
6) To remove the more difficult castle cake, turn the tin upside down and continually tap with a knife on the outside. Turn it back over and peel away the sides, it should pop out.
7) Let both cool completely before even attempting to ice it.
1) Let’s be honest, this is the hardest bit. In particular, the carving. Prior to carving the two circle cakes, sandwich them together with some basic butter icing (see basics post-soon to come:P). Ask me about the carving. I can’t be arsed to explain it here….yet. Crumb coat both the constructed cakes.
Roll out the white fondant icing (royal icing) and using a wet finger, shape it into each groove of the crumb coated cakes. Cut off the excess.
2) Roll out the green fondant using a silicon (or a clingfilm wrapped wooden) rolling pin to approximately 3mm thickness on a lightly dusted (icing sugar) surface.
3) Cut 5cm long leaf shapes in a top-bottom almost tessellated fashion. These will not last too long in this state as they will harden so don’t make them too far in advance.
4) Starting at the back of the dragon (just at the hilt of the tail) arrange the leaves with the sharp point of the ‘leaf’ or scale facing toward the tail (away from the head). The crumb coat should be sufficient to adhere them but a slight dab with some water should help if not. Repeat going forward but making sure to allow about 1/3 of the scale to cover the previous layer. This will provide you with a dragon-skin effect. Dont worry about small triangular gaps, we’ll come back to these.
5) Once these are all done up to the neck point, make some more leaves of a smaller size to arrange around the head and snout. Role a cylindrical piece about the size of one of these smaller sizes and arc to make eye-hoods on each side of the head.
6) Dampen all the skin now as you’ll still have a white matt coating thanks to the icing sugar. Next use green food colouring with a paintbrush to fill in the small holes in between the scales.
7) Paint the castle with watered down grey food colouring all over.
8) Leave at least 10hr to dry before doing the next steps!
9) Use black food colouring (undiluted) to paint the edge of each scale. This provides a 3D effect. Do the same under the hood of the eye.
I’m bored now. I’ll get back to it.