The base is a square cake covered with chocolate icing. The gerbils are sugar mice (iced with different shades of chocolate and with chocolate tails). The sawdust is biscuit crumb. The house is chocolate cake made in a curved container then carved and covered in chocolate icing.
The bowl and colored tube are made of moldable icing and the bowl filled with sweets and sunflower seeds. The tube was made by wrapping baking parchment around a cardboard tube, brushing on layers of icing and chilling between layers. Once it had set I removed the inner cardboard and paper. The wheel was made of two Curlie Wurlies, softened in the microwave, shaped around a bowl and molded together, then balanced on two chocolate mini-rolls. This worked fine until the room warmed up and it started to sag. Solution – we put the wheel in the freezer until the last moment – and it then kept it’s shape for an hour or so – until it was eaten!