Not too bad for a first try since I had to estimate the baking times for the various body parts, and I wasn't sure that the whole structure is able to remain stable :). The cake was soft and fluffy, especially the head. My friend and her boy loved this dinosaur design although she would prefer a deeper shade of red. I tried the cake with my kids and they loved it too :). Will make some changes to the recipe to make it a deeper but brighter shade of red using strawberry paste instead of vanilla, and probably change the color of the spine. But for this attempt, this was what I did...
Egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks
10g caster sugar
27g canola oil
36g fresh milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs beetroot powder (dissolve in milk)
Red gel food coloring
Pinch of salt
45g cake flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
3 egg whites
33g caster sugar
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
Glue and paint
Yellow and white gel food coloring
1. Prepare the following bakeware for dinosaur parts:
- round silicone ice cube tray for dinosaur feet and spine.
- 11.5cm diameter round silicone mould (glass or metal will do too) for the body.
- 6x6" square pan lined with baking sheet for the neck and tail.
- an egg shell thoroughly washed and dried with the inner membrane removed. This is for the head.
- satay stick/ long wooden skewer to secure the head and neck to the body (not shown in picture)
2. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and position rack at second lowest position.
3. Prepare the egg yolk batter. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and sugar has dissolved. Take your time to do this. About a couple of minutes. Add oil and whisk until thick like mayonnaise. Add milk with beetroot powder, vanilla extract, salt and a bit of red food coloring. I was afraid that beetroot alone will result in a brown cake. Gradually whisk in sifted flour and baking powder until no trace of flour is seen.
4. Prepare the meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and the bowl can be overturned without the meringue falling out. Fold in the meringue in three additions using quick but gentle strokes with a spatula.
The batter is pinkish. Will try to achieve a red batter next time.
5. Fill the egg shell to about 2/3 full, the silicone ice cube tray to full and the large silicone mould to about 1cm away from the rim. Fill the 6" tray with a thin layer of batter. Bake the various parts accordingly*:
6" layer: 160°C for 9-10minutes. Remove and immediately peel off the baking sheet. Place another fresh sheet over it to cool.
Ice cube tray: 160°C for 10-11 minutes. Immediately invert to cool. Carefully unmould by hand when cooled.
Egg shell: 160°C for 10 minutes followed by 150°C for 7-8 minutes. When cooled completely, crack the egg shell with as many cracks as you can with the back of a metal spoon and gently peel off the shell. Handle with care as cake baked in egg shell is very soft.
Round mould: 160°C for 10 minutes followed by 150°C for 20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Immediately invert to cool. Carefully unmould by hand.
* Baking times are an estimate and may vary from oven to oven even if you use a thermometer so always check your cakes for doneness with a skewer.
You may have excess batter like I did. I made an extra head just in case one is destroyed during unmoulding.
6. Assemble the cake. Cut out rectangular strip of layer cake and roll it into a swiss roll around the satay stick to make the neck. Check the length of stick that you need and break off unwanted part. It should be long enough to accomodate the head (egg shell baked cake), neck and stick deep into the body. Melt some marshmellows with a sprinkle of water and glue the swiss roll ends together. Assemble the head, neck and body with the satay stick.
Next, create the feet using 4 small cakes baked in ice cube tray. Use the back of a butter knife to create indents to form the toes of the feet. Hold the knife in place for half a minute or until the indent stays. Stick the feet on the body with marshmellow glue.
Create the tail by cutting out a rectangular or trapezoidal piece from the layer cake and roll in the direction of the shorter side to create a swiss roll. Trapezoidal piece will result in a more tapered tail. Bend the roll into a "U" shape and stick it to the body.
I added on the spine at the last minute after painting the dino. You may choose to add them on now or later. Take 4 more small cakes baked in ice cube tray and shape them into pyramids with pointy tops. Leaving them round is fine too. As the cakes are really soft, just press them for a while and they will stay deformed. Glue them on using melted marshmellow.
Ta-dah! Looking more like a creature...
7. Paint the features on. Make some yellow and white paint by mixing some milk powder with water, and then adding gel food coloring. Make some black paint by dissolving charcoal powder in water. Use a jumbo straw to dip into the white paint and stamp out two circles on dino's head. Fill in the circles with white paint and let it dry a bit. Clean the jumbo straw and dip it into the yellow paint. Stamp out yellow spots on the body and fill in with yellow paint. You may use a fine brush for painting. Use a regular straw to dip into the black paint to stamp out the black eyes. Fill in with black paint using a toothpick. Outline the eyes with black paint. Draw nostrils and mouth with black paint.
Dry the cake in an air tight container.
I am doing this post partly because I don't want the actual birthday cake post to be super long :p. Will just include the changes to the final cake in my future post without going into so much detail.