Sunday, December 22, 2013

How to make a Birthday Guppy Fish Cake!

My father-in-law loves fish!  Little did I know before I met my husband  that there is a whole world of guppy breeding and showing out there. Who knew?! I found this quirky tidbit of information out the first time I met my future in-laws. I was immediately intrigued by the fish breeder aspect of my father-in- law  although somewhat disappointed when the chef in me found out that he was breeding guppies and not some other  exotic or satiating fish. The exact details of these shows is a mystery to me however I know numerous primped and polished fancy guppies are judged and awarded prizes and plaques based on fancy guppy standards, to which my father-in-law has apparently mastered according to the substantial number of plaques he has been awarded over the years.

 Besides adding another shade of color to our family crest, guppy breeding does benefit me and my family
 with a steady stream of new and colorful fish available to add to our home aquarium. Consequently I'm not sure the fish coming in have such an optimistic view of their impending situation.  While my father-in law has mastered the skill of fishery somehow the love and skills of 'fishing' were not embraced or accepted into my husbands genes. Our family history with fish is similar to a non-greenthumbers history with house plants.  The fish are brought in with the greatest of intentions but slowly, most times quickly, the inevitable happens and our tank is near empty once again. If fish were to haunt the tank they lived in, our house would be a near horror show for new in-coming guppies. Possibly one day our fishing skills will improve or my father-in-law will give up trying to replenish our supply, but neither seem likely to happen anytime soon.

Needless to say for my father- in-law's 60th birthday, fish was the mandatory theme! The guppy cake was my secret recipe of gluten free cake, with regular gluten-full cupcakes on the side. Each were topped with mini guppies and fresh lime filling and frosting. Hopefully the tutorial below will help you wow the fish lover in your life!

Enjoy life with cake,

 How to make a Fondant Guppy Fish!

Start with grey tinted fondant and gumpaste mix 50/50 of each.

Roughly shape it into a guppy.  The back of the fish needs to be 
flat to secure to the cake but I added extra fondant to 
give a rounded body shape to the fish.

Add an eye. Use a small amount of grey fondant and press it into 
the place the eye should go then press an even smaller amount of black fondant over the grey. 
Secure with a dab of water if needed.

Gently press a fork over the body of the fish to create scale texture.

Using a teal fondant rolled very thin cut a few mismatched shapes out and secure them with a few drops of water to the fish body. Texturize with the fork.

Mix teal and black fondant in equal parts with 
white modeling chocolate.
 Mix until smooth but streaked in different colors. 
Roll out and cut into a large fan shape for the tail.

Attach the tail with extra fondant or using gum glue. 
(Gumpaste dissolved in equal part of water)
The body of the fish will be very fragile until it hardens in the refrigerator.

Take a few small thin strips of black fondant and press it into the tail to 
form a striped pattern. Attach with a small amount of water as necessary.

Cut top and bottom fins out of teal fondant and 
chill the whole fish for at least 1 hour.

 Attach to the cake with buttercream first then with small skewers or toothpicks as needed to support the shape. If the fish breaks apart at the fins or tail reattach the part with buttercream.  Chill again for several hours to firm the buttercream before adding further embellishments.  I piped extra teal buttercream over the tail to widen the shape and add textural contrast.

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