This weekend, with the release of Jurassic World, I am revisiting my favorite dinosaur cake as part of our Thousand Things to Do. On Saturday we all went off to the Arclight in Hollywood for a fun family movie night. We all loved the movie – the kids did a funny impression of me with my hands to my face squealing as the dinosaurs ate their way through the theme park. [Mini-spoiler alert: I’m still wondering why the poor British assistant had to suffer the most gruesome drawn-out demise – the kids say it was because she didn’t take care of the boys well enough!]
This fossil of a velociraptor with those talons and skinny arms never fails to please and is not that difficult to make. As a Thousand Things To Do why not make a cake based on a movie that you love – we did a fossil cake for Jurassic World but I can think of so many other great movies to inspire a cake…
A few days in advance make the bones out of white fondant. Print out a picture of a fossilized raptor to copy and lay parchment on top as you create the bones. Make some stones and boulders out of grey and black fondant.
Bake two flourless chocolate cakes (recipe below) and sandwich together with whipped cream and fresh berries.
Cover the cake with a thin layer of chocolate buttercream frosting and embed the bones into this. Cover this with a layer of sprinkles and soft brown sugar to look like rocks, sand and dirt. Finally, surround the cake with all the very realistic looking fondant pebbles.
Flourless Chocolate Dinosaur Fossil Cake Recipe
I made up two cakes, one after the other – I find this is always much easier for the homecook than doubling the recipe up and getting into trouble with overfilled bowls and worse still an overflowing electric stand mixer!
8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate melted and then cooled to room temperature.
8 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
[Makes one slab cake – you need two]
1. Preheat the over to 350 F. Line a large shallow baking sheet with parchment paper, let paper hang over the ends.
2. Whisk the egg whites until you get soft peaks. Add half the sugar (1/2 cup) and beat until you get stiff silky peaks. Set aside.
3. Beat the egg yolks with remaining half of the sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the melted chocolate and stir until incorporated.
5. Fold in one third of the beaten egg whites to lighten mixture then fold in the remaining two thirds being extremely gentle.
6. Spread cake batter into the baking pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until the cake has puffed up and the top is dry.
7. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. [I keep the paper on to help move cake]
For the filling
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
3 teaspoons vanilla essence or paste
Fresh strawberries and raspberries
1. Whisk cream with confectioners sugar and vanilla until it holds stiff peaks. Spread half of the whipped cream over the first cake.
2. Spread the berries out over the cream and then carefully place the second cake on top of the first – I found using a wooden board helped and then I slid the cake off it.
For the frosting and decorations
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pack black ready made fondant
1 pack white ready made fondant
1 pack brown ready made fondant
sprinkles and soft brown sugar that looks like sand/dirt
1. Cream the butter until white and fluffy in the electric mixer.
2. Sift together the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder and slowly add to the butter.
3. Add the cream and the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
4. Spread across the top of the cake in a thin layer and carefully work to the edges and down the sides.
5. Place the fondant bones of the skeleton into the frosting, scatter with the sprinkles and then arrange the fondant stones around the edges
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