So I've decided to make 2014 my bitch ! To start it off I've made my cake decorating hobby a business (omg omg omg omg!) AND I am committing to maintaining this cake blog to show everyone &anyone how to re-create my cakes! I always tell people that ANYONE can do this! It just takes time, practice and patience.
Today I'm attempting to create an Ahi Nigiri (tuna on top of hand shaped sushi rice) sushi cake for my friend Jess. The best part of getting orders from your friends is the creative freedom that they allow you. Her order was pretty simple, she wanted something cute and unique for her boyfriend's birthday. Knowing that they're both sushi fanatics (and met at genki sushi), I thought what's more fitting than a sushi cake?
With any order I always start off by looking up inspiration pictures of other cakes like the order I want and/or the inspo picture the customer provides. Once I have an idea of what I'd like to do, I think about the basic shapes that make up the cake as a whole, starting with the biggest piece. I decided to bake the cocoa cake in a 9 x 13 pan to give me lots of cake to work with, just in case I make a mistake ;), hehe.
After baking the cake you are definitely going to want to let it completely cool off. The reason being is if you start decorating/building with warm cake, the heat will cause the frosting to melt and the shape you are going for will not hold. While the cake is cooling, you're going to want to get started on hand making "rice" out of white fondant, to help the cake look realistic, even up close. Details are what will set you apart from other cake decorators! You will need cornstarch on a clean surface, as well as your hands, to prevent the fondant from getting sticky. I started by rolling fondant balls all around the same size, then rolled them out so it looked like grains of rice. It doesn't necessarily need to all be the same size because when putting them on the cake you'll be layering.
Next start with decorating the board your cake is going to be delivered on. I buy mine from walmart, but I'm sure there's fancier ones online. I wanted to make it look like a genki plate, so I gravitated towards making the genki logo first. You should always start with biggest basic shape (yellow face), then work on the details (black outlining, eyebrows, eyes, mouth and lastly, cheeks).
Now that the cake is cooled, and the cake board is ready, it's time to build! You should build the cake on the cake board that you will deliver it in because transporting the cake after it's built can get tricky. Start by cutting two equal sized rectangles, then start rounding the corners to make a "nigiri" shape. Use your favorite kitchen knife, making sure it's sharp enough so you don't have to do too much unnecessary cutting. After cutting the nigiri, make sure it's the right size for the board and then repeat and do the same to the next. Use a little frosting to secure the "nigiri" to the board and start to ice it with your frosting, one at a time.
After icing both "nigiri" cakes, let them both sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let the frosting harden up a little bit before covering both cakes with fondant. As it sits in the fridge, start rolling out white fondant with a rolling pin, making sure that it's less than 1/2 cm thick. You don't want to use more fondant than you need to ;)!
When at least 30 minutes has passed, bring out the cakes and place the rolled fondant on top of the cakes. I like to start with the biggest surface area of the fondant and place that part in the middle of the cake. Slowly flatten the sides of the fondant to the sides of the cake. Make sure that no fondant overlaps, to create a smooth edge. After doing so, cut the excess edges. Repeat same steps to other "nigiri" cake.
Put your mini nigiri cakes in the fridge while you get ready to work on the last detail of the sushi cake, the Ahi. I bought pre-colored red fondant to save time, you can usually find these at your local Walmart or you can always order online. Like always, when working with fondant make sure to use cornstarch on the surface and your hands to prevent sticking. Start by looking at a picture of ahi, and looking at the size of the cakes for a reference on how big to cut it. Then roll out the fondant to be about 1/2 cm and cut out the shape. Then add diagonal detailed lines, (remember the details will set you apart!). It's important to note that real ahi isn't the same size and shape, so it's okay if it's not perfect! I noticed that the ahi was looking really generic, so I decided to fill
it with some white fondant rolled into a thin line, to give it a more
realistic appeal. Again, not all the lines should look the same to give
it more of a realistic feel.
After doing so, use a brush to brush water to smooth out any edges and give it a shine. Be careful when doing so, the red color will run down, so you wanna make sure to not get it on any white parts!
Finally my favorite part, putting the ahi on the mini nigiri cakes. Since the cake has been in the fridge there will be moisture from condensation, so no extra adhesive is needed, you can simply put the fondant ahi right on top, and bend it how you want.
Last, but certainly not least, is the adding the fondant rice that you made in the beginning. It is a bit time consuming, but I found using a brush with very little water makes it easier. The results are so worth it!
The plate looked a little plain afterwards, so I got a little white fondant colored it with green food coloring to match a "wasabi" color and added a little ball to the edge to complete the cake!
You can really see how adding small details can make all the difference, while the cake still looks whimsical, it also has a realistic wow factor ! If you have any questions, or comments feel free to comment below :)