My husband is a huge fan of the horror genre and especially Edgar Allan Poe. I enjoy making birthday cakes for friends and family and challenging myself each time. Cake decorating is not my profession.
He came up with a design he wanted for his birthday this year, and with fingers crossed I complied. He wanted a bust of Edgar Allan Poe sitting behind a 'desk'. On the desk, he wanted two sheets of paper. The first read, "Quoth the Raven", and the second read, "Happy Birthday, Sean".
First, I made a batch of rice crispy treats using an entire box of cereal. I then molded it into a large ball and sat in front of my computer screen staring at pictures of Edgar Allan Poe. I pressed my thumbs in to make deep eye sockets, molded gaunt-looking cheekbones, etc. I ended up with a satisfactory replica of Poe's skull. I also molded his chest from treats.
I rested the Poe head in a large bowl of sugar to prevent the rice crispies from becoming flat against a hard surface while I made fondant.
My recipe for fondant is simple. Melt 16 oz. of marshmallows, stir in almost a full 2 lb bag of confectioner's sugar. Grease up your hands with shortening, and mix and knead on a greased counter. That's it.
I smoothed icing onto the chest portion and covered it with fondant that I dyed black. I did the same to the head, using flesh colored fondant. I stuck the head onto the chest with a wooden dowel. All of the details were made from fondant and stuck onto the bust using a dampened paintbrush.
The cake itself was a chocolate sheet cake I made. I iced it with chocolate icing. I often add confectioner's sugar to my icing and mix in well to stiffen it. It will hold its shape better. To spread the icing, I use a large stainless steel icing spatula and keep a large glass of HOT water handy. Letting the spatula rest in the hot water makes it glide over the icing and leave a smoother finish.
After icing the cake, I covered it in light brown fondant. I then used a dampened pastry brush lightly dipped in brown food coloring to gently brush over the cake. This created the "wood" finish. The paper, inkwell, and quill I also fashioned out of fondant. I used a small paintbrush dipped in black food coloring to paint the words on the paper.
When covering a cake with fondant, I roll the fondant out evenly on a countertop COVERED in confectioner's sugar. When it's all rolled out, I roll it up on a rolling pin, and unroll it over the cake, letting one edge drop on the countertop next to the cake on one side and the other edge drop on the countertop next to the cake on the other side. Smooth the top first, gently pulling at the edges of the fondant and working your way down. I use a pizza cutter to cut off the excess.
That's it, hope you like my Homemade Edgar Allan Poe Cake.