Introduction: Gravity Defying Cauldron Cake
This year for Halloween I decided that I wanted to defy gravity. I’ve always wanted to try a gravity defying cake and I thought a cauldron would be the perfect opourtunty to try this new technique.
The fun thing about doing a cauldron is that the options really are endless for how you do it. When researching I found so many different ideas from rats and toads to octopus tentacles and eyes. I kept mine pretty simple with eyes, fingers, and bones, but feel free to experiment with different ideas and make it your own.
Step 1: Structure
For this cake you need some type of a structure to make it defy gravity. For my cake I found a disassembled cake structure called cake frame that includes pieces to make several different cakes.
You can buy it here: http://www.cakeframe.com/cake-frame-starter-kit-by-dawn-butler
It includes the boards as well as joints and elbows and the instruction book tells you exactly how to put it together.
If you don’t want to use the cake frame a similar structure can also be made using pvc pipe and wooden boards or thick copper wire. If you make a smaller cake, I’ve also seen people use bubble tea straws so just play around with your options until you find the best choice for your cauldron.
Step 2: Eyeballs
I always like to start with the things that can be done ahead of time so these next few steps will be making all the stuff to go in the cauldron.
For a very in depth tutorial you can follow this tutorial by The Juliart: www.instructables.com/id/Realistic-Edible-Eyeball/%3famp_page=true
I’m just going to give you the general idea. For these eyes you will need:
-one sheet of rice paper
-sphere or half sphere silicone mold
-piping tips for tracing
-edible markers and food colors
-paint brushes for food
So if you know your eyes won’t be eaten you can use pencil to trace the circles, but you can also use edible ink if they will be eaten. For my eyes I traced a salt shaker but anything round and close to the size of your sphere mold will work. To start you will want to trace however many eyes you’d like to make out of rice paper and then cut them out.
Next you will want to spray the back side of your mold. Taking one circle at a time, dip the circle in water and gently place it over the mold and form it into a sphere. Be very careful not to tare the rice paper. Let the rice paper dry for a few hours or overnight.
Once dry paint or draw on the eyes with food writers or food color and let dry completely before moving on.
Melt your isomalt by the directions on the package and pour a small amount into the sphere mold, then place a rice paper eye on top of it and gently push down, be careful the isomalt will be very hot! The rice paper may distort when it touches the hot sugar, so try to let it cool a little bit, but it will still look good when it’s done. Fill in the rest of the mold with isomalt and let them harden.
Step 3: Gelatin Bubbles
For the gelatin bubbles you need:
-green food color
To start you’ll want to blow up as many balloons as you need plus a few extra and attach them to the skewers. Then you’ll stick the balloon skewers into the styrofoam. Spray each balloon with a little cooking spray and blot the extra.
For the gelatin you can use 1 part gelatin powder to 2 parts water. 2 Tbs of gelatin plus 4 Tbs of water will yield 3-4 large balloons and 6-8 small balloons. Mix the gelatin and water and microwave until liquid and add color.
Make sure the gelatin isn’t too hot, then dip the balloons in the gelatin and let the excess drip off and stick back into the styrofoam. Let them dry overnight. Once dry pop the balloons and carefully pull them out of the bubbles.
Step 4: Fingers and Bones
You will need:
-white and skin color fondant
For the bones take some white fondant and roll it into a log, then one side at a time, pinch each side to make the bone shape.
For the fingers, make another log, and use your finger to make an indent for the nail, and use a modeling tool to make the lines of the finger. Roll out a thin sheet of fondant and cut out a nail shape and attach it to the finger.
Brush the cocoa powder on the fingers and bones to make them look dirty.
Step 5: Beetlejuice Bottle
For the Rice Krispies I chose to make them Halloween themed and make graveyard Rice Krispies but regular Rice Krispies or store bought ones will work as well.
For the Oreo Krispies:
-1 bag marshmallows
-3 Tbs butter
-5 cups Rice Krispies
-18 Oreos turned into crumbs
Melt butter and add marshmallows, mix in Rice Krispies and Oreo crumbs and let the mixture cool slightly. Once cool enough to touch, mold into the shape of bottle you’d like.
I used modeling chocolate to cover the bottle, but you could also use fondant or gumpaste. I covered it in pieces and then blended the seams to make for a smoother finish.
Then I rolled out some fondant, and painted the label.
Step 6: Fire
I used isomalt for the flames, again you want to melt the isomalt as directed on the package, once heated color into red, orange, and yellow.
Before starting preheat the oven to 320, take spoons of heated isomalt and place them in blobs touching each other like in the picture. If you work quickly you can get through them all without needing the oven, but you can also use the oven if your isomalt hardens to quickly. You’ll want to use a skewer to blend the colors together and then once it starts to set up manipulate the isomalt into different shapes to make them look like flames.
Step 7: Logs
Use the rest of the Oreo Krispies from the bottle to form the logs. You simply roll them into a log shape and place them together.
To make the inside of the logs I made circles out of light brown fondant, and then used a modeling tool to make circle patterns, and attached them to the logs.
I then rolled out a large piece of modeling chocolate and formed it around the logs. I used a modeling tool to make the wood grain.
Step 8: Building the Cauldron
-four 8 inch cakes
-frostings/fillings of your choice
I stacked and carved the cake before filling to eliminate some of the mess. I first leveled each cake, then stacked them all on top of each other and started carving into a cauldron shape. I built it upside down so that every side would be covered but that is optional.
Next I filled the cake and frosted it with ganache. I let it chill and covered it with white fondant.
I then flipped the cake and put it on the structure and added the handles and rim.
To airbrush it I started with yellow and brown in some places where rust would be, and then went back over with black being sure to leave some brown/yellow still showing through the black.
Step 9: Assembling the Cauldron
Now comes the fun part!
For the slime I used lime green candy melts with a little oil added to thin it out. I started by covering the structure and then I did the edges, dripping some slime down the side and then filled in the middle. I then took a spatula to smooth it out a little bit.
Working quickly I started putting everything in the slime starting with the eyes and ending with the bubbles until it looked full. Lastly I added candy beetles for a finishing touch.
And that’s all there is to it. I hope you guys enjoyed this turorial!