For my 40th birthday I decided to make a “one foot in the grave” cake. I made a large rectangular chocolate brownie cake with pistachio nuts and chunks of 3 colours of chocolate (I baked it in a roasting pan). This made a very firm cake which held the heavy marzipan gravestone well.

I iced the entire cake with chocolate ganache (dark chocolate, cream & butter). I made some marzipan (using hazelnuts as well as almonds and some grated orange and lemon rind) and made a sausage shape for the mound in front of the gravestone which I also covered with ganache. I then covered the mound with Milo (a malted chocolate drink powder similar to Ovaltine – it looks just like soil) but you could use chocolate biscuit crumbs or crumbled Cadbury Flake.

I made a foot from fondant, using a cocktail stick to mark out the nails, then painted it with food colouring mixed with alcohol in a skin tone with red for the nails. I placed this on the grave with some more “soil” over it. I coloured some dessicated coconut green for the grass and sprinkled it around the grave. I made 40 daisies from fondant icing (sugarpaste) as well as some leaves, using a leaf cutter, and placed them on the cake. I shaped the gravestone from marzipan, then painted both sides with grey food colouring, using a darker grey to paint R.I.P.

I pushed 3 kebab sticks through the gravestone and into the cake to hold it up.