That was my Brian Blessed voice, in typing form.
I’m pretty much exhausted from making this cake, and there’s a lot to it, so all I’m going to do now is tell you what it all is and set up a slideshow to give you a sort of walkthrough of it.
The G man asked for a dinosaur cake again this year – not so much asked as said that he wouldn’t *mind* if I wanted to make him one, put it that way. I wasn’t really sure what I could do that would work. I didn’t want to do a 2D one after last year’s 3D stegosaurus, and also the stegosaurus is probably the only dino shape I can do without a special cake tin – a half sphere would be handy for a lot of things, a dino is one of them. I had a cast around online and found some very cute fondant dinosaur cupcakes – this, I thought, was the way forward. I wanted to do a full cake though, rather than cupcakes, so I thought I’d just make a few little dino guys to use as cake toppers, and while I was about it I thought that I may as well go for a three tier number, get a bit of practise in.
Two of the G man’s favourite flavours are coconut and marzipan, so my first port of call was to look for a coconut and marzipan cake recipe. I found one really easily, and that really set the tone for this whole experience; it’s gone so smoothly from start to finish. The cake itself isn’t perfect by any means, but I think that’s just inexperience showing itself – there was no stress, no upset, not even any late hours when I should have been in bed. I’ve loved it. To get back to the point, I got the recipe for the sponge that I wanted to make, and thought I’d like to make my own marzipan for the cake and to model the dinos from, so I looked that up. I then wanted to make a rolled fondant icing, instead of buying one, and looked up a recipe for *that*, too. Finally, I decided that I’d make a creamy coconut filling and covering for the sponge, before the fondant went on. I freestyled that part, you may or may not be glad to hear.
So, the result was: Coconut-marzipan sponge, layered with coconut-cream cheese-butter icing and finished with a rolled fondant with a hint of Amaretto. Oh, and a marzipan diplodocus (he took shape so naturally that I felt OK about him being the only one, instead of making a few as I’d planned). Once again, a bit of a mouthful.
I added an extra capful of almond essence to the marzipan for a stronger taste.
Predictably I altered the cake recipe – instead of using the coconut only on the outside, I put half a cup right into the sponge, since I was icing it so there wasn’t any point having the outside coated in coconut that I was only going to knock off again. I also added two extra capfuls of almond essence, and even at that the marzipan flavour was quite subtle in the finished result. Oh, I also didn’t have any coconut extract so I missed that out. Method-wise, I don’t have a food processor, so I had to do it all using a hand held mixer. Learning to break eggs with one hand was fun, if a bit shell-heavy at first.
Here’s the slideshow of various pics from the process.