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Buddy Valastro's Animal Safari Cake

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • Black edible marker
  • For the Elephant or Hippo:
  • 3 ounces gray modeling chocolate (make by adding a few drops of black food coloring to white modeling chocolate and kneading to form gray)
  • Toothpick
  • 2 ounces white fondant
  • 2 ounces black fondant
  • 1 ounce pink fondant
  • Small punches
  • For the Lion:
  • 3 ounces orange modeling chocolate
  • 1 ounce white fondant
  • 1 ounce black fondant
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Fudge Frosting in a bag fitted with the #133 interchangeable grass tip
  • For the Monkey:
  • 3 ounces brown modeling chocolate
  • 1 ounce ivory fondant
  • 1 ounce white fondant
  • #10 pastry tip
  • 1 1/4- and 1-inch circle cutters
  • Toothpick
  • Black edible marker
  • For the Giraffe:
  • 3 ounces yellow modeling chocolate
  • Water pen
  • 1 ounce white fondant
  • 2 ounces dark-chocolate fondant
  • 1/4- and 1/2-inch plunger cutters
  • Black edible marker
  • For the Zebra:
  • 1 1/2 ounces ivory modeling chocolate
  • 1 1/2 ounces white fondant
  • 1 ounce pink fondant
  • Toothpick
  • 1 ounce black fondant
  • Black edible marker
  • Edibles:
  • 12 ounces (total) white and black fondant
  • 24 ounces green modeling chocolate
  • Two 6-inch cakes cut out of sheet cake filled with your choice of filling
  • 8 cups white Deocorators Buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with the #6 star tip
  • 5 pounds ivory fondant
  • Two 9-inch cakes filled with your choice of filling
  • 3 cups brown buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with the #7 interchangeable tip
  • 3 cups green buttercream in pastry bag fitted with the #7 interchangeable tip
  • 2 cups blue piping gel
  • Tools and Equipment:
  • Toothpick
  • 16-inch round wooden board, 1/4-inch thick
  • X-Acto knife or sharp, thin-bladed knife such as a paring knife
  • Four 5-inch plastic air-conditioning tubes (3/4-inch diameter) or 4 chopsticks
  • #133 interchangeable grass tip
PREPARATION

To make the elephant:

Form 4 marble-size pieces of gray modeling chocolate and roll gently into sausage shapes to make the legs. Set them on their ends right next to each other to make the base.

Make a small ball of modeling chocolate and roll at the center to produce a head with a trunk, curving it. If desired, affix a small piece of pink fondant to the end with a water pen.

Roll a slightly oval-shaped body, larger than the head.

Form 3 pea-size pieces of modeling chocolate: roll one into the elephants tail, flatten the other two to make ears.

Roll out the white and black fondants and punch out small circles to make the elephants eyes and eyeballs (the eyes should be just smaller than the eyeballs), gluing them together with a water pen. Roll 2 tusks out of white fondant.

Use a water pen to moisten the top of the elephants legs and press the body down on top. Glue the tail on the back. Snap the toothpick in half, stick it in the body toward the front of the head, and use it for support, sticking the head on top. Glue the tusks and eyes to the face and the ears to either side of the head.

To make the hippo:

Follow the same steps as for the elephant, but vary them to make a slightly larger head and body, affixing the ears to the back of the head and fashioning white toenails and pink nostrils and affixing them with a water pen.

To make the lion:

Fashion a golf ball-size ball of orange modeling chocolate for the body and a smaller ball for the head. Use a water pen to moisten the head and affix it to the body, smoothing it into place.

Roll 4 marble-size orange pieces to form the arms and legs and use a waiter pen to moisten them and affix them to the body.

Roll a small orange tail and use a water pen to moisten it and glue it to the back of the body.

Use the white and black fondant to make eyes and eyeballs. Make the eyes more like little balls, whereas they are flat for the elephant. Use a water pen to glue the eyes and eyeballs together and to glue them to the head. Roll a small white dot for the nose and use a water pen to glue it to the head.

Roll a very thin coil of black to make a moustache, and glue it on the lions head, under the nose, with a water pen.

Pipe the mane with fudge frosting.

To make the monkey:

Roll a Ping-Pong ball-size piece of brown modeling chocolate for the body and a smaller ball for the head. Roll 4 small coils, 2 long and 2 short, for the monkeys arms and legs. Roll out 2 small circles for its ears.

Mix the ivory fondant with just a pinch of modeling chocolate to make a tan mixture. Roll it out to 1/8 inch thick. Punch out a 1 1/4-inch circle for the monkeys belly and a 1-inch circle for its face.

Make 2 eyeballs by punching the white fondant with the tip of a #10 pastry tip.

Glue the monkeys legs to the lower sides of its body. Glue the 1 1/4-inch circle (belly) to its stomach and the 1-inch circle (face) to its head. Glue the arms to its sides, bending them to make them wavy. Glue on the ears. Glue on the eyeballs.

Use the toothpick to poke small indentations for the monkeys nose and mouth.

Draw on eye and eyelashes with the edible marker.

To make the giraffe:

Roll 4 marble-size pieces of yellow modeling chocolate and shape them into the legs.

Roll a long, bulbous body and bend carefully at the top to form the head. Use the water pen to glue the legs to the body.

Roll small balls that will become the eyes out of white fondant and use a water pen to glue them to the head.

Roll out the dark-chocolate fondant to 1/8 inch thick and use the 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch plunger cutters to make a total of 18 polka dots. Use the water pen to glue the spots all over the giraffes body. Also fashion a small, heart-shaped tuft of hair to go on top of the giraffes head.

Use the edible marker to draw eyeballs and eyebrows.

To make the zebra:

Knead together the white modeling chocolate and white fondant just until uniformly mixed. Roll 4 marble-size pieces and gently roll them into the legs. Fashion the body and head, then attach the head to the body, smoothing the chocolate where they meet. Make 2 small triangular ears. Make 4 tiny balls that will become the eyes and nostrils of the zebra.

From the pink fondant, fashion 2 small triangles and use a water pen to glue them inside the ears, then fashion a thin coil and use a water pen to glue it as the zebras mouth. Use the water pen to glue on the eyes and nostrils, using a toothpick to help set them in place if necessary.

Fashion a black tail from fondant and use a water pen to glue it to the back of the zebra.

Draw eyes on the zebra with the edible marker, then use the marker to draw stripes on the body.

To make the rocks:

Knead together the white and black fondant and make rocks of varying sizes. The exact ratio of one color to another does not matter, but its essential that you use more white than black to get gray.

To make the bushes:

Shape the green modeling chocolate into bushes of varying sizes. Scratch the bushes with a toothpick to texture them. At the bakery, we use a handcrafted wire tool (see picture); if you like, you can fashion one yourself by adapting a paintbrush.

Prepare the small cake:

On a turntable, prepare a two-layer 6-inch cake, filling it with the filling of your choice and dirty-icing it with white buttercream. Cover the cake with ivory fondant, smoothing it with a smoother and trimming it. Remove the cake from the turntable and set it aside.

Prepare the platform and large cake:

Prepare a double-layer 9-inch cake on the wooden board, filling it with the filling of our choice and dirty-icing it with white buttercream.

Cover the large cake with fondant:

Drape the cake with ivory fondant, letting it flow down and onto the platform. Smooth it in place with the smoother, but do not cut off the excess around the cake; instead let it extend to the edge of the board and cut it flush with the edge. Run the X-Acto knife around the base of the cake where the fondant meets the base, but leave the fondant on the platform in place.

Position the upper tier:

Center a 6-inch cardboard circle toward the back of the 9-inch cake. Use the X-Acto knife to cut around the circle, creating a shallow indentation to mark where the upper tier will go. Push four tubes into the circle to support the top cake. (We use a variety of sizes of air-conditioning tubes at Carlos to support cake tiers; if you cannot get tubes, use chopsticks, cutting them after embedding them into the cake so they are flush with the cake.) Pipe a small amount of white buttercream over the area defined by the pegs and smooth it with a spatula. Set the small cake on top of the larger cake.

Pipe the trees:

Use the brown buttercream bag to pipe tree branches along the side of both tiers of the cake. Piping trees on the back of the cakes is optional. If you do not have two #7 tips, you will need to move the tip from the brown bag to the green after piping the tree branches; be sure to clean and dry it after removing it from the brown bag.

Pipe the leaves:

Use the green buttercream bag fitted with the #7 interchangeable tip to pipe shell-shaped leaves on the trees.

Create the waterfall:

Ice a portion of the top cake with white buttercream, piping down the side, along the bottom of the cake, and down to the base. Smooth the buttercream with a cake icing spatula. Top with blue piping gel and smooth it over with the spatula.

Pipe grass all over the cake:

Switch to the #133 interchangeable grass tip on the green buttercream bag and squeeze-and-pull a grass border around both tiers of the cake, as well as alongside the waterfall. Vary the angle to create a wild, natural look.

Decorate the cake with bushes and animals:

Arrange bushes and animals around the cake, piping a dab of buttercream down before applying each one to it in place.

Decorate the cake with rocks:

Arrange rocks around the cake, being sure to put some in the grass on the side of the cake.

Decorate the cake with rocks:

Arrange rocks around the cake, being sure to put some in the grass on the side of the cake.

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