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Archive for July, 2007

Fire-Breathing Dragon for Raydan’s 3-1/2 Birthday

The idea for this dragon cake for my older son’s three-and-a-half birthday (he’s born on the morning of Christmas Eve, so we have summer kids parties for the half-birthdays instead) came from Family Fun Magazine, where detailed instructions showed how to cut and arrange two 9′ round cakes to shape the fire-breathing creation, as well as ideas on a medieval knightly birthday celebration. (Btw, before I setup this blog, I posted the above entry to a very cake-inspiring website that I frequent.)

 

I’m not a big fan of using food dyes and additives especially when feeding the final product to a bunch of two- to five-year olds so using green store-bought frosting kept bugging me for days. Until I looked at the pictures of my friend decorating the cake she made for my last birthday with thinly sliced strawberries and kiwi! I had a little Eureka moment there – what can be better for dragon scales than some kiwi – 24 kiwi fruits to be exact to cover up the dragon (hubby had to run to the store mid-way through the decoration as the dragon had larger “square footage” to cover than I had anticipated). After pre-arranging the cake pieces it to determine exact position (I ended up altering the suggested shape a bit to add more dimension), each part of the dragon was sliced horizontally and filled with home-made vanilla cream (4 cups of milk with 4 tbs. flour, 4 egg yolks and 8 tbs. sugar boiled over medium heat and constant stirring for about 20-25 minutes until thick, flavored with a 1 tbs. vanilla extract), effectively making it a two-layer cake.

 

For the frosting and any vital connections between the cake pieces I used about 1/3 of the vanilla cream whipped with two extra sticks of butter and some powered sugar to make it stick better and hold its shape – an initial layer of frosting covered up the surface lightly to keep crumbs at bay, then after briefly refrigerating it, I added more frosting so the kiwi slices could attach easily. The kids of course loved the gummy-bear dragon nails, marshmallow eyes and wafer spine the best. I had a plate full of extras of all the goodies to prevent the inevitable fight over the slain dragon (so much for no “bad stuff” :-). In retrospect I should have covered the wafer spine in chocolate or in the raspberry sauce used for the tongue for more color and should not have forgotten the mightily dragon wings, but unaware of such silly grown-up details my son keeps talking about his dragon cake. In fact, he has actually picked out another dragon cake – this one with its own castle – from a cake decorating book I got recently, that he totes around open on the dragon page every time he lays an eye on it…

Fire-Breathing Dragon Cake - In The Works

Note: While back-dated to July – when the cake was made – this post was actually written in November, after I decided to offload into cyberspace my newly-discovered obsession with cakes…

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