This alternative wedding cake is finished in rolled modeling chocolate, gumpaste, and piped chocolate. It was for a couple whose reception took place in Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Gardens, which has a zen rock garden and koi pond full of plump, spotted fish. The groom asked for a fish that had movement and artistry to it. Here is how I fulfilled his request.
1. At a plastics shop, I ordered a piece of blue-tinted, 1/4″ (~ 6 mm) thick plexiglas for the base of the cake. In the below photo, it still has a brown protective paper coating on the underside so the color is muted but in fact the plexiglas was quite blue. See the above photo for the translucent water effect that it added to the design.
2. I cut a corrugated base in the shape of a moving fish body to fit the platter.
3. Meanwhile I baked off a half sheet cake. I created a red velvet cake with many layers of strawberry cream cheese frosting because the groom requested that the cake’s interior resemble sashimi.
4. I carved the cake out of the half sheet until it resembled a curvy fish body the length of the precut corrugated base.
5. I crumb-coated the cake in buttercream:
6. I made eyes, tail parts, and fins out of modeling chocolate.
7. To make scales, I tinted modeling chocolate light orange, dark orange, and yellow-orange:
8. I rolled out the colors to 1/16″ (1.6 mm) thickness then punched out circles with a small round cutter.
9. I began laying down circles like shingles from the tail to head, clustering like colors together for spots. I started each row at the base of each side and worked my way up so that each row met in the middle at the spine (the seam was eventually concealed by a back fin).
10. Once all the shingles were down, I piped a white chocolate frill around each one.
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