Macaron Chocolate Cake

My little sister turned 25 in August. As per family birthday tradition, I planned an epic cake. The only requests were no fondant and make it chocolate, please.

Since she has been learning new cooking techniques every week and also enjoy a french food, I went with macarons.

I made the macaron shells a few weeks before, in case they didn’t work and I had to either try again or come up with a different plan. I added an extra surprise on the inside of the cake, with some chocolate mousse. Chocolate overload.

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Donkey Kong cake topper

Two of my brothers have the same birthday (no, they are not twins). I find it really hard to choose presents, so something handmade sounded like a good option. My inspiration came from Nerdy Nummies, which my sisters had shown me. This girl makes nerd cakes and has a Youtube channel to show you how.

This is her Donkey Kong cake:

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Looks easy enough. The only problem was, she made the topper herself but didn’t have instructions for that bit. So I went off these:

Fixed_Donkey_Kongf donkey kongI forgot to take photos of how I did it. My basic tips were to make the basic shapes first and then add detail.

Brown: I bought brown fondant gel dye and mixed the colours first, wrapping them in cling wrap until I was ready.

I started with the torso and head as one piece, molding it kind of diamond shape, so you have head, wide shoulders and narrower waist. I pushed in the bottom of the face and the chest area a bit so I could add the tan shapes easily. And I pinched the top of the head and pushed it over to one side for the hair flick.

Then I rolled a long, fat tube and cut arms and legs (the legs were together as one piece, and then bent into kind of a handle-bar shape to put the torso on top). I squeezed in the elbows a little to get some muscle definition. I stuck these pieces together at this point, but may have been able to wait and let them dry and set – the whole thing ends up a bit heavy for the arms to support it so he sank a bit in the drying process.

Tan: I rolled the mouth area into a oval shaped ball and then pressed it down a bit on the table to flatten one side, which I then stuck on with water. I rolled a thin rope, a little thicker in the middle, for the eyebrow. Then four balls for the hands and feet – the feet were smaller and flatter, and the hands stayed pretty round. I stuck these on with water. Roll out a bit more tan in a soft triangle shape for the chest – I tried to get some shape for the pecks, but it doesn’t matter too much because it’s hidden behind the tie (later). I let it sit for about ten minutes before moving on to more detail.

Detail: I used a small sharp knife to draw a mouth and used toothpicks for the nostrils. I just drew lines for the fingers and toes. And then flicked the knife tip many times all over the brown for fur. The eyes were pretty straight forward – I had to make the white bits more ball-shaped than I first thought, because they end up quite deep-set because of the brow. Use the tiniest little black balls for the pupils.

Roll out a little bit of red pretty thin and cut the tie shape from it. Then some yellow quite thin – be very delicate as you cut the letters and use the knife to transfer them to the tie. Use water to stick it all together – then stick the tie to the top of the chest.

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2013-09-23 18.34.36  2013-09-23 18.35.22 I let him dry two nights, the first night just sitting on the board I made him on, then when he was strong enough to handle, I moved him to a cake cooler to let the bottom dry. It still wasn’t enough; I was told four days should do it, but give this guy a bit longer because he’s so fat. I made the leaves as well and turned them over as each side dried.

Assembling the final product was easier. I made chocolate mud cakes (which ended up too tall) and chocolate ganache (dark chocolate and cream). Follow the youtube video for how to put it all together. I found the banana candies at Spotlight – I used two packets. I was going to sprinkle green sprinkles on the chocolate spread on the plate, but it dried on the way to mum and dad’s house (didn’t want to do it before because then my car would be full of sprinkles and bananas). I assembled the final product there.

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2013-09-25 19.27.17My brother took the Donkey home in a plastic container to keep.