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Friday, August 21, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins

The baby woke up briefly and now I can't get back to sleep ... so I might as well blog about my progress. I've started work on my Dragon Age inspired cakes. The plan is to have 2 10" square cakes that look similar to the loading screen of the soon-to-be-released Dragon Age video game (coming this fall!).

Both will have:
  • chocolate buttercream icing
  • reverse shell borders with the chocolate buttercream
  • 8" square of fondant on top made to look like old parchment paper
  • splatters of red food coloring mixed with gin to look like blood
One cake:
  • French Vanilla cake (Duncan Hines)
  • chocolate buttercream filling
  • says "Great job, team!" in royal icing
The other:
  • Red Velvet cake (Duncan Hines box cake)
  • cream cheese filling (Pilsbury tub frosting)
  • says "One of these cakes will betray you. The other is poison." in royal icing
Here are the templates I made:

I started yesterday evening by making some dark brown royal icing. What sucks is that it took me a while to get a satisfactory color. In the process I've used up most of my brown food coloring gel. I know, I know ... the coloring looks a little like dog poo, but it actually looked good once piped and dried. I've learned to be very careful with black food coloring ... you're not really making the color darker ... more like you're adding gray.

I even tried adding a little red food coloring to try to get closer to the color I wanted. It was interesting though. When I was washing the icing off my tools, it ran green.

I layed down some wax paper over my templates and started piping. Piping out the emblem was awful. Earlier in the week I had tried doing that with melted chocolate. It looked great but I couldn't peel it off the wax paper. I think trying it with royal icing is still a good idea, but I need to really thin it out. Freestyling the print also did not go well.

Next was tracing the print from the templates. That turned out more awesome than I could have imagined! Here are my tracings using Wilton round tip #3.

This took a long time to do because I wanted to be as accurate as possible. I want the development team to see this and immediately recognize the designs. There are multiple copies just in case there are any casualties transferring them off the wax paper and on to the cake. I got better each round I did (finally learning I should draw the 's' in reverse to look better). The royal icing popped off well after drying overnight.

Here is the rest of the TO DO list:
  1. make a half batch of marshmallow fondant (this will be my first time to make it; my research leads me to believe this is easy and tastes better than store-bought fondant)
  2. bake the cakes (which will take forever because I only have 1 10" pan and I need 4 batches made)
  3. cover cake boards with foil (I'm actually using the cardboard backings for comic books covered with regular foil)
  4. roll out / cut 8" square and decorate the fondant (which includes tinting, tearing the edges, attaching the royal icing letters and emblem, and splashing it with "blood")
  5. make the chocolate buttercream (this will be my first time to make it; it's just a regular Wilton buttercream recipe + cocoa powder)
  6. trim and torte cakes (which includes placement on cake boards and filling)
  7. apply crumb layer to cakes (this will be my first time to try this strategy; I expect it to go well as will the final layer of icing)
  8. apply the final buttercream layer
  9. lay decorated fondant on top
  10. decorate borders with reverse shell design (this will be my first time to try this)
Sounds like a lot ... which it is. That's why I've started so early for a Monday finish line.

Stuff I need to purchase:
  • foil
  • 10" x 10" x 5" cake boxes

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