Introduction: How to Make a Dragon Cake
My daughter requested a pink dragon cake for her 3rd birthday party. I researched a bit on the internet. The cake I made was a combination of this one, this one, this one and my own adaptations. This is how I went about making it.
The cake is two circular cakes cut and arranged, covered with butter icing, with white chocolate wings and spikes. It was surprisingly easy to make.
You will need:
* 2 round cakes - I made my own butter cakes. You could also use packet mix or even buy two pre-made round cakes from the supermarket.
* Buttercream icing and food colouring
* White chocolate and optionally chocolate colouring powder
* A big board to put it on
* Icing set
* A knife
* Coloured hundreds and thousands
Draw out two paper circles the size of your cakes. I used my cake pan to measure.
The first will simply be cut in half and stuck together to form the body.
The second will be cut up as per the opposite diagram to form all the extra dragon bits.
I cut out the paper circles and arranged them to check the size of the board I would be transporting the cake on.
Based on the size of the half circle paper body, I drew a wing shape. This will be made out of chocolate so it has to be fairly blocky. Thin parts will break off easily. Make sure you leave a long enough stem part to push into the cake.
I copied my wing design onto two pieces of baking paper.
I melted my white chocolate, added yellow powder colouring and spread it out onto a baking tray covered with baking paper. This needs to be fairly thick so that the chocolate will hold its shape.
Wait till the chocolate sets but is still very slightly soft.
Then lay your wing designs on top and cut out the designs with a sharp knife.
Then divide all the remaining 'negative space' into curved triangles for the spikes. Make them variable sizes. Make heaps because some will probably break.
Then put it into the fridge to set hard.
These are the finished wings. Originally I was planning to leave them smooth like this.
I made the wings a week in advance.
One or two days before the eating (I guess if you are confident you could make it on the same day) make/buy your two round cakes.
At the last minute I decided to marble pink colouring through my cakes. My daughter is really into pink at the moment.
After the cakes cooled to room temperature, I put them in the freezer for an hour. This made them more solid for cutting.
This is the second cake cut up as per the design.
Then I arranged it all roughly on the board.
The legs looked better coming off from a slight angle rather than right up against the body. I cut off little wedges to make them sit nicely. Two off the off cuts became the nostrils.
I cut the neck so it curved around nicely. I used the cut off triangle to form the dragon's nose.
Then I neatened it all up.
I cut off bits to make the joins smooth in some places - like the join between the tail pieces. I rounded the head a little
I added the cut offs to make more smooth transitions - mostly between the body and the neck and between the body and the tail.
Then I iced the whole thing.
It looked a bit like a dinosaur, so I added ears from more cut offs to make it more dragon like.
Iced the ears.
Next I sorted through all my coloured chocolate spikes and lined them up in a rough gradation by size.
I put purple hundreds and thousands all along the spine of the dragon.
Then I positioned the spikes with the largest on the back. I tapered them smaller towards the neck and tail.
I put the wings in but one broke. Possibly under its own weight. Possibly with assistance from my almost-3-year-old helper. I can't say. My back was turned.
I melted the left over spikes again and applied the mixture to both wings to fix one and create a textured look to match the icing on both. This step was unplanned but worked out really well.
I think it's important to note that the wings are a bit fragile. If I had it again, I would not insert them until ten minutes before serving. On the birthday party day we had a picnic in the park. Like in the story of Icarus, the wings lost their structural integrity under the sun's hot glare and collapsed.
The final stage was poking nostril holes with a chopstick and icing on the eyes, claws, ears and tongue.
And that's how you make a dragon cake!
(And this is how you slay a dragon cake...)