by The Frog Prince and Family
This Dragon Cake was made for my son's 4th birthday. He is neurologically disabled and does not eat normally, but his extended family still feels that there must be a cake for him, so I decided to at least make the cake exciting for him in some other way. He has always loved dragons, so a dragon it would be!
It took about an hour and a half, from start to finish. I had expected to spend longer on the decorative aspects, but our guests arrived early, I was needed as a mediator for our son, and I could no longer hide out in the kitchen.
I didn't use a special pan or even any special tools. Honestly, I'm not sure that doing so would have improved the look of things much more than simply having more time would have.
It was a hit, though! Even our son was able to tell that it was a dragon cake, which I took as my first good sign.
I started with a simple sheet cake baked at home in a 9x11' pan. Once it cooled, I flipped it out, upside-down, onto a cutting board. Then I cut it straight down with a knife in a rough outline of a coiled dragon, which amounted to a vaguely triangular head on the outside edge of a spiral.
I carved away a little bit more here and there, to further define the shape, then frosted that with a little bit of icing. Then I pressed homemade marshmallow fondant over it (the icing helped it stick), and used more fondant to sculpt legs, facial features, wings, etc..
Originally, I was going to pre-mix icing dye into store-bought fondant for smoother coloration, and then use the end of a straw to imprint scales all over it, but with the time crunch, I had to settle for rubbing on food coloring with my fingers. The homemade marshmallow fondant, while not as delicate a tool for confectionary artistry, does taste better than the standard stuff.
Chocolate squares cut into triangles pressed in to make the dragon spines, and Cadbury Eggs nestled in an indentation I made in the center, as a clutch of eggs.
The original plan called for chocolate dipped pretzel sticks to be the horns, but I didn't have time to pick up any pretzels, so I stuck four birthday candles in as the horns.