Captain Hog

This little fella was created for our brother-in-law Steve, to celebrate his birthday. 

Why a hedgehog? Well if you know Steve you should know why.

I gave him a moustache because he is a distinguished gentlehog, and he likes to stand out amongst his hedgehog friends (Mr Chris thinks I'm crazy too).

This is the first time I have made the effort to also decorate the cake board. I'm starting to see how those finishing touches help to complete the cake and tie it all together.

Covering the cake board

I'm not sure if there is a correct way to cover a cake board but this is how I achieved it....

1. I rubbed a thin layer of Trex all over the board to give it something to stick to.
2. Rolled the fondant to the size needed, placed a rolling pin in the middle, then folded the fondant in half over the rolling pin.
3. Slid the board in to place up to the rolling pin, then lifted the fondant, placing the rolling pin in to the centre of the board.
4. Unfolded the fondant and smoothed the surface on to the board with a smoothing tool.
5. Carefully cut around the edge of the board with a sharp knife to remove the excess fondant.
I would recommend covering the cake board the night before so the fondant has time to harden and does not mark so easily.

Also, I used to place my cakes on to the final board before icing and decorating them, but when the board is covered it's not possible to do this. The cake will need to be iced and covered separately then transferred to the board. I can recommend the Wilton cake lifter which makes this process a little easier. Again if you cover a cake in fondant, leave it to harden before transferring it to the board to avoid marking it. I never leave myself enough time to do this so I'm just extra careful. If I do make a mark in the fondant I carefully place my decorations to hide it ;)

Carving the hedgehog

In future I'll try to get progress photos to accompany my cakes but for now I'll have to describe how to create Mr Hog as best as I can...

1. Start with an 8 inch round chocolate sandwich cake. The 2 layers help to give the hedgehogs body some height. 

2. Carve opposite sides off of the cake to create more of an oval shape that's fatter at one end. The fatter end will become the hedgehogs body, and the thinner end his head. Cut small pieces at a time to avoid cutting away too much.

3. At the thinner end, on the top of the cake approximately a third of the way in, start carving down to where the layers join to create a gradual slope. This will start to form the hedgehogs head.

4. Use the offcuts of cake from step 2 to shape a nose and attach this with some buttercream to the hedgehogs head. If you look at the picture, the cake past the hedgehogs eyes is created from offcuts. The cake above his eyes was shaped in steps 2 and 3.

Decorating the hedgehog

1. Cover the carved cake with a good layer of chocolate buttercream. 
Use brown or chocolate fondant to cover the head and nose. 

2. Use a sharp knife to cut chocolate flakes and push them in to the buttercream on the body to create spines. Note: This will use a lot of chocolate flakes, hence my spines are quite short. Also some flakes will simply crumble as you chop them so expect left overs. I kept these and used them to sprinkle on cupcakes another day. It may be easier to chill the flakes before attempting to cut them?

3. Use fondant to create your hedgehogs features and moustache if desired :) I used a small piece of spaghetti to help keep his nose attached.

I hope this helps if you want to create your own hedgehog cake and good luck!


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