Happy Birthday, Tolkien: A Smaug Cake

January 9, 2012 § 5 Comments

Happy New Year! And happy birthday, Professor Tolkien! J.R.R. Tolkien was born on January 3, a birthday shared by my youngest sister, so of course I often make a Tolkien themed something. Last year I made hobbit hole cupcakes. This year I made a cake! And I’ve had The Hobbit on the brain (who doesn’t, lately?) so it had to be a Smaug cake.

Smaug, curled up on his hoard of stolen dwarvish treasure.

My Smaug is inspired/loosely based on this illustration by Tolkien:

I made Smaug out of fondant, molded mostly with my hands with a little help from a chopstick and a sharp knife. I used an icing tip to press ‘scales’ into the fondant of Smaug’s body, and the handle of my small offset spatula to press indentations for the arm and leg sockets, and made the limbs (legs/arms and wings) separately. I let the fondant dry and harden overnight, then painted the pieces with gel food coloring mixed with vodka, and then brushed it all over with sparkly yellow luster dust.

The cake itself is a chocolate cake, filled and covered with peanut butter mousse. Then I put a wire cooling rack across the sink, set the cake on it (holding it carefully with one hand to make sure that it didn’t slip and dump my cake into the sink!), and covered the cake with sparkly yellow sugar sprinkles for gold, red, green, and blue sugar sprinkles for gems, white nonpareils for pearls, and a sprinkling of gold luster dust for extra sparkle–a delicious hoard that would make any dragon proud!

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Happy Birthday, Professor Tolkien

January 3, 2011 § 5 Comments

I spent most of my childhood in countries that don’t exist–Narnia, Oz, Prydain, Never-Never Land, Wonderland–but it all began with Middle Earth.  The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are in my earliest memories. January 3rd is J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday, so to celebrate I made cupcakes.  Hobbit hole cupcakes!

If I could choose to live in a fictional place, the Shire would be high on my list–I would make an excellent hobbit.  Since I can’t move into Bag End right away (unfortunately) these will have to do for now.

I made chocolate cupcakes and froze them, so that they’d be easier to cut, and then trimmed off one side to make a flat surface–

The hobbit doors are made from candy melts–the door knobs and hinges are yellow candy melts, put into a disposable piping bag and microwaved in thirty second increments and then piped on–

I covered the cupcakes with green fondant, then used more melted candy coating to stick the doors onto the flat side of the cupcake.  I melted some more green candy coating and piped it onto the sides of the cupcakes for grass, and added flower sprinkles–

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