Sunday, September 19, 2010


Ahhhhh. The long anticipated Nemo cake!!! What a fun, yet challenging project. This is one of the first projects that Jess and I took on for an actual "customer". We made this cake for my nephew's 4th birthday party. I found my inspiration from a cake I had found online while "googling". My biggest inspiration came from my nephew and his love of the move "Finding Nemo". His birthday was this past July and I believe he started telling me about his Nemo birthday cake around January. He knew exactly what it needed to have. Some of his requests included: a diver, boat, propeller, net, Nemo, Marlin, Bloat, Dori, Squirt, the mask which has P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney on it.... you get the picture. He knew what he want and it was my quest not to let him down. While my original plan was to try to create the "Nemo" characters out of modelling chocolate, I soon discovered that this project was going to be big enough without trying to create the detailed characters on my own. For this part of the cake, I opted to go to and purchase a set of figurines. My nephew loved that these figurines were his to keep once the party was over. He likes to create little imaginary fish tanks with all the cute! I was going to fondant both tiers of the cake, but honestly, fondant tastes gross and I started to run out of time. I opted to make a buttercream frosting dyed a nice sea blue. To create the coral and seaweed, Jess and I sculpted gum paste that we had purchased at our local Michaels.

The bottom tier of the cake is a white cake with a blueberry cream cheese filling. Oh, yeah...forgot to mention. My nephew also insisted that it be a blueberry cake. While I could have just told him that the blue frosting was blueberry, I chose to try to get these buggers Incorporated somehow.

Jess and I made just a basic cream cheese frosting and combined that with a blueberry puree that we had created. For the blueberry puree we combined blueberries with lemon juice, corn starch and a bit of corn syrup. It didn't have quite the consistency we were hoping for at this point so we whipped up some heaving whipping cream and added a bit of flour. Tada! We had found our filling! It was quite tasty!

Right Jess?!?!?!

For the second tier, we chose to go with a classic chocolate cake. Jess and I decided to get a little creative and come up with our own recipe. While we both LOVE chocolate!!!! we agreed that chocolate cake always seems to be lacking. We made it our mission to create a moist yet super chocolaty chocolate cake. We started with a basic vanilla cake recipe and adapted it to create a crazy good chocolate masterpiece. What we ended up doing was omitting some of the vanilla in the vanilla cake recipe and trading that for some melted Baker's semi-sweet chocolate. We ended up using 8oz or 8 squares of Bakers to the get the perfect chocolaty flavor that we were hoping for. We were sooooooooooooooo happy. It was a shining moment for us! We were so proud of our little chocolate creation. It was sooooo good! My mouth waters just thinking of it.

To fill the chocolate cakes, we made a whipped chocolate ganache with a raspberry filling. Take about heaven!! Yum-O! To make the ganache we heated semisweet chocolate on the double boiler till melted. In a separate saucepan , we heated heavy cream. Once this was ready, we whisked the two together and let it chill in the freezer for a few hours. Once we were ready for the ganache I put my kitchen aide to work and whipped the chocolate until it was stiff. In the meantime we prepared the raspberry filling. I started by boiling the raspberries with some lemon juice, water, sugar. I boiled this mixture for about 15 minutes and then strained the mixture with a fine sieve. I put the mixture back on the heat. I then dissolved about 5T of cornstarch into about 1/2 cup water. I mixed this in with the raspberries and boiled it for about 5 minutes more. Let me tell you... the kitchen was smelling pretty good by then.

Now that the cakes and fillings were all set. We had to work on the decor of the cake. We had a lot of fun doing this. We made the coral and seaweed out of gum paste. We simply dyed the gum paste and used our gum paste tool kit to shape it the way we wanted. We then let the pieces sit out to dry and harden.

Now all that was left to do was assembly. After making about 3 batches of buttercream, the cake was assembled and decorated. The figurines, coral and seaweed were put in their place. They stuck to the cake just perfectly with the buttercream frosting alone. I added some brown sugar around the bases to function as sand. It turned out better than I had hoped. I even think I met all of my nephew's criteria. The guests at the party loved it! I don't think my Mom could quite believe we put this all together. Job well done!

Guess what my nephew is requesting for his birthday next year...


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