I bought fondant, and made some zoo animals- does that count as the same thing??
I was asked by a family friend if I could make the decorations for a zoo themed cake she was making for her niece's 1st birthday. Having little to no experience with making animals from fondant, I accepted this challenge head on, and got to work figuring out how I was actually going to do it.
Getting into the swing of it all, I then tried my luck on making seals. As per the book's instructions, and the request of our friend, I made the 'mum' purple, and the 'baby' pink. I used wire for their whiskers, and propped their heads up against various kitchen supplies to ensure they would set in the right place:
From here, I felt confident that I could move onto some more complicated animals. So, of course, I chose the giraffe. Why, oh why choose the tallest and skinniest animal to make next??
I coloured my fondant to be a caramel colour, and divided it all up into the various parts that were needed for a big and little (yet still both little) giraffe.
I can't remember where I saw the idea (I'm pretty certain I didn't come up with it myself), but I used uncooked spaghetti to hold the parts of the body together. I'm not sure exactly why I feel it necessary to add that it was uncooked, as really - who would try to thread cooked spaghetti through pieces of fondant?
Piece by piece, leg by leg, I assembled these miniature giraffes, and stood them against more kitchen gadgets to set in place (they got a bit top heavy!):
As it turned out (to my daughter's delight), what was meant to be the mum (or dad) giraffe, was far too big, so I used the baby giraffe to be the mum. As it took a few hours just to get to this stage, I waited a few days before making the littler baby giraffe:
Using more spaghetti, which has become one of my essential (and edible) tools in fondant moulding now, I attached bodies onto legs, and heads onto bodies.
Then started singing "the right foot's connected to the... rib cage". Wait, what?!
Seriously, though. Wherever the spaghetti idea came from, thank you!!
Crocodiles were fairly straight forward animals to make. Once I'd moulded a big and a little one, I used a pair of scissors to create 'spikes' along their backs (a tip from the decorating book). These were a great animal to make, because they could lie flat to set, and didn't need their heads to be propped up against anything:
Using the same spaghetti-and-prop techniques I did for the seals, giraffes and zebras, I moved onto making some elephants. On the birthday girl's party invitation, there was a green elephant, so, along with a purple 'mum', and pink 'baby', I couldn't help but make a matching green 'dad'!
And I made a little bow for the baby, and gave some hair to the dad, to add some character:
Each animal had it's fiddly part/s, but it was really great practice making all these animals. Some were simple, some were insanely tricky, and some couldn't help but look slightly weird or lopsided. With the pandas, I think the eyes were the hardest thing to capture on them! Too big and they look like they're abusing the wrong substances, and too little and they look like they need coffee to wake up!
And what's a zoo without a lion!? Well... The zoo I went to in Brisbane, I suppose. No lions. Just birds and iguanas. And before you tell me, I know that a baby lion, let's call him "Simba", shouldn't have a mane, so I'd like to encourage you to think of this baby lion less as baby-Simba, and more... as adolescent/pubescent Simba, growing his first lot of facial hair, knowing absolutely everything there is to know about being an adult and a king.
Because don't all teenagers know more than their parents?
The monkey was one of the most enjoyable to make, because you don't need to give him facial expression to make him look playful! Of course, I gave them both a banana to hold :)
Because I'm all about stereotyping.
and some animals took a lot more time to make than others,