As part of my mermaid party wrap up, I realised I needed a few more pictures and details about the cake. The cake wasn’t perfect by any means but it was appreciated by the birthday girl who really wanted a doll made into a mermaid so that she could keep it afterwards. For this mermaid I used Barbie’s little sister. I didn’t want to use some voluptuous doll in a bikini for this little girl cake, not to mention that a full size Barbie would have made it harder as I would have had to make a much longer tail to match. This doll had a full painted blue sparkly suit on too so that made it much easier as well. I moulded the tinted fondant icing around the legs (that explains why the tail appears to be quite chunky). I then dusted it with edible glitter and used a piping nozzle turned on its side slightly to create some scale indentations all the way along. The mermaid was made over a week in advance which was really helpful. She needed to be propped up in a reclining position while the tail dried and set.
Now for the topping. The top was sprinkled with edible sand. I’ve written about the way I choose to make edible sand in this cake tutorial before. I also put some of my clam shell cookie halves on the top for added fun. The cake was a double layer chocolate mud cake, made in advance, and stored in the freezer. Doing this makes it lovely and cold and firm for decorating. Some people find that it may make the fondant ‘sweat’ but in our climate it has worked well. I filled the layers with Nutella and also iced the outside of the cake with Nutella as well. I’ve been doing this for a while with cakes now (as long as there are no nut allergies) and it works really well. The Nutella doesn’t need refrigeration which is great and it doesn’t seem to seep through the icing either. Oh, and it really adds to the flavour, as you can imagine!
I then covered the cake with a thin layer of white fondant. For the ‘waves’ I coloured fondant in three different light shades of aqua so that I could get an ombre effect. I rolled out the colours one at a time and cut strips that were straight on one side and wavy on the other. For this project, I only had access to supermarket fondant (the cakers who might be reading this are tut tutting me right now, but hey, I’m keeping it real for the home baker who only makes a birthday cake once in a while). The point of this is, that supermarket fondant doesn’t roll as thin as cake decorating fondant. Supermarket fondant does seem to crack earlier than professional fondant. I would have liked my waves to be thinner and more delicate but this was as thin as it would go. Starting at the top, each straight edge of the wave is attached to the fondant covering on the cake and then I gently pinched the wavy edge to create the shape I want for the ruffle layer. Start with the lightest colour at the top and the darkest at the bottom. Each wavy layer overlaps the straight edge above that’s attached to the cake. After all the ruffled layers were attached I placed a pearl (Mentos) in the waves, just for prettiness. I like to only use the one, I think it’s more subtle that way, the rest of the Mentos packet can go on the table labelled pearls.
So there you go, that’s a very quick summary of the cake with lots of elements and ideas!