Click HERE to watch the slide show of this cake, with many more pictures!
This year, my nephew turned 10. This still baffles me, considering I have the video footage of his 2nd birthday, blowing out the candle and keeps asking his daddy “More, more?” for him to relight it so that he could blow it out again. Oh, that’ll be a cute video to show when he turns 16. Anyway, he is probably my biggest fan when it comes to making decorative chocolates. He thinks it’s SO cool when I tell him that he can eat one of the decorations because it’s chocolate. Then, when he was looking at my slide shows, I kept getting the question, “Is THAT chocolate too? Awesome!!” About a month ago when I took the Nintendo cake over to their house for my brother’s birthday, my sister-in-law asked if I could make my nephew’s birthday cake. Of course! So, then I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. “Chocolate,” he responded, in his “cool” voice. “Okay, but how do you want it decorated?” I asked. He responded again, “Chocolate.” Oh boy, he’s really getting to that “cool” age, which would explain that nonchalant tone. When he walked away, I asked my sister-in-law what he’s into these days. She said that he really likes ocean life and wants to be a marine biologist when he grows up. A gigantic lightbulb went off over my head, and this was it. So, I started doing some research, and got super excited when I came across cakes that had a giant shark coming out of the top. Now THAT is something cool that I know he would love! But, I also had to incorporate those chocolates, since he loves them so much. Add a little bit of cuteness, without him realizing it, because he’s going to love that shark so much, and will eat the chocolates as soon as I give him the green light.
So, off I started on the chocolates. I already had a crab mold, so I made a few of these to start. I ordered another chocolate mold that had the turtle, seashorse, starfish, shark, and fish from Amazon and made the chocolates a few days ahead.
Next was the shark, and that’s when disaster hit. Well, for me it was a disaster. I originally had it in my head that I wanted to make the shark out of rice krispie treats, so I formed the whole thing out, iced it, then covered it in fondant…and was disgusted with how it turned out. I was basing the vision in my head on another shark cake, and this looked NOTHING like I wanted it to. In the picture here, so you can see that the shark has no teeth, but there are little white dots from the icing where I had the teeth attached. Okay fine, so this shark spent all of his money on plastic surgery to widen his jaw, and didn’t have enough left over to have good dental work, so that would explain the square face and no teeth. Either way, I went to bed that night totally unhappy with the shark, and since it was the cake topper and main focus of the cake, it had to be redone…and I also dreamed about shark cakes that night.
The next morning, I looked back at the cake I was going off of, and saw that this lady had carved her shark from a cake baked in a loaf pan. Bam. I jumped all over it, so I just made a boxed white cake mix, colored it red (for the blood effect of when my nephew cuts into it and all of the boys yell, “Cooool!!!”) and got that sucker in the oven. I carved the shape before icing it, but had printed out a picture of the shark cake I liked so much and tried to copy that shape as much as I could. I made the teeth out of gumpaste ahead of time, and just stuck them on the icing after I got it on there, since it sticks much better to fresh icing. The dorsal fin was also pre-made out of gumpaste as well, along with the fins. I just rolled out the gumpaste and cut the shapes that I wanted.
Those chocolates were SO cute on the cake, and the little background decorations here made out of fondant just emphasized all of the color. The seaweed, coral, and rocks were all made out of fondant., and I sprinkled graham cracker crumbs around the cake for that added sea bottom effect.
Finished product! Although the shark didn’t turn out EXACTLY the way I wanted (because I’m a psychotic perfectionist when it comes to this stuff, with a professional mentality but stuck with an amateur skill level), it would do for now, and I know that my nephew will love it. I ended up using an oval cake pan, so his dark chocolate cake with mini chocolate chips and chocolate filling is two layers, and the shark cake on top is a white cake colored with red food coloring, for the blood red aspect of it. I can’t wait to see the look on his face…