Under the Sea cake – gumpaste, fondant and chocolate coral – Finding Dory Cake

Under the Sea cake – gumpaste, fondant and chocolate coral – Finding Dory Cake


Hi, I’m Ashlee Marie. And today, we’re making this fondant and gumpaste Under the Sea coral cake. I was asked to create this Under the Sea cake for our local aquarium. I was thrilled to do it. This was over a year ago. And I actually kind of forgot that I had filmed portions of this cake. So, when the Finding Dory movie came out last week, I was reminded of it and I pulled out the footage. Let’s get started. First off, this chocolate red coral. You need some chocolate melts in whatever color you want your coral. I’m going with red. You need some nonpareils, and again, I’m going with red. And then ice. You’re going to take your ice and you want to crush it so you have various sizes to work with. I’m going to take a couple various sized bowls. I have a more small bowl here, a large one, and a medium one. I would do a mix of crushed and not crushed. Melt your chocolate and make sure it’s nice and smooth, and there are no clumps. If it’s too thick, you can add some shortening to thin it down. And place it inside a piping bag. Now, you want to cut a hole in your piping bag. If you start piping and you feel like it’s a little bit too small, you can always cut it bigger. But you can’t cut it smaller. So, be careful. Now, just pipe right onto the ice. These are going to be all of our arms or fingers, as it were, of this crazy coral. The ice is cold, of course, water makes chocolate seize. So it will actually harden up very quickly and right away. So, as soon as you’re happy with it, take those nonpareils and really quickly sprinkle it all over the place. This chocolate’s going to harden quickly and we want to get these on there while it’s still wet. And go ahead and turn your bowl around so you can make sure to get all the different angles and as many nooks and crannies as you can with this chocolate. Now, once that coral has hardened, you just want to pull it out of the ice. And look how amazing it looks. Next up, these rock corals. We have pastillage, and we have half that weight in powdered sugar, a little bit of dye, parchment paper, and a bowl. First, what I’m going to do, is to really be able to knead all this sugar into the pastillage, we’re going to microwave it. I microwaved that for about 10 seconds. And you can see it’s nice and soft now. I want to make sure we work all this powdered sugar into it while it’s still warm. I probably have about half of the sugar kneaded in. And I’m going to add some drops- well, a whole squirt. I’m going to add a whole squirt of the gel dye. Getting really hard to knead this in, so I’m going to microwave it another 5 seconds. See if I can get a little bit more of the powdered sugar in. Try to roll it into a ball as much as we can. And the parchment paper inside our bowl. Now, what we’re going to do is cook it. We’re actually going to put this in the microwave for a whole minute. You can see that it’s grown and expanded, and it kind of crusted. So now, we’re going to wait for it to completely cool, and then we’re going to break it apart. So, we’re going to peel off the parchment paper. And you can see how neat they look. They really do look like coral. Now, we’re going to make the long seaweed. I don’t know how well you can see this in the video, but I can see the little star, I can see the circle and the lines, so I know I have it thin enough. So now, we’re going to have some fun. Real seaweed has a lot of variation in it. So, I’m putting my pressure on the left side, the right side, the left side, the right side, to get just a little bit of a wave as I’m doing this. And I’m just going to twist- And lay it down. And now, for these large, beautiful coral fans. You want to get this so thin that you can see through it. You can read the writing on the mat underneath. So now, I’m going to cut a shape into this. We’re going to add now, branches to the center of this. So, I’m going to roll out a little snake, as I used to call them when I was a kid. And then, I’m going to take some clear alcohol. And what it’s going to do is that alcohol’s actually going to eat away a little bit of the layer of the fondant and gumpaste mixture, and it’s going to make it tacky. So, when we add to it, like this strand is going to stick to it. It doesn’t matter what kind of tool you use. This tool I picked is supposed to be like a mini pizza cutter, but it doesn’t actually turn at all. It’s actually a little frustrating. But, I’m using it because it’s the right thinness and the right length for me, for what I want to do. So, I’m going to start just making little cuts in this, and I’m actually putting them pretty close together. Remember, because we did a fondant and gumpaste together, it’s actually much stronger. So, it can handle this- These cuts. Now, you don’t want to get too close to the edge. You kind of want to leave a little bit of an edge to this. I’m going to take this mixture of powdered sugar and corn starch, and lightly dust the whole thing, because I don’t want this to be tacky at all as I try to stretch it out. Now, what we’re going to do is stretch it out. We want this to start looking lace like. See? Now, you don’t want to rip it so far that it starts to rip. We just want to open that, the holes we already have cut. And now, what we’re going to do is take some foil and squish that foil into kind of like a flat cone shape and slide it underneath the fan. And that’s going to give our fan some ripples and some life and movement to it. And leave that to dry. Now, we’re going to make these thin spikey corals. I’ve taken a half fondant, half gumpaste mixture and actually softened it by kneading it with a lot of shortening. Because, if it’s not soft enough, it’s not going to go through all these holes. But, I’m going to come in here and I’m going to cut them up. And then, I’m going to kind of squeeze them together. I want these to fan out. What I’m going to create is a bunch of fans that later I’m going to put together. I’m going to fan it out and I’m going to flatten it. And we’re going to let them dry overnight, and then we’ll put them together the rest of the way tomorrow. This oceanous cake, one of the things I wanted to do was add some texture to the side to go along with the marbling that we already did. So, I’m going to take one of these tools that’s a small round. I’m going to dust it so that it’s nice and powdery. I’m actually going to press into the cake, but not too hard. Just a light touch. And create waves. Now, you can do this all around your cake, but you want to work fast. Because, like I said before, if you let your cake set too long before you start making all these textures, you’re actually going to end up with a lot of problems and a lot of drying out. But I’m just going to keep going around the cake adding the little details. We have all of our different corals done, and we have our cake covered in fondant and etched, so we’re ready to put it all together. Whatever clear alcohol that you like, and I’m going to start with some of these tall strands and put them down here. So you just paint where they’re already flat from laying there drying. And then you can just press those right against- And I want a couple different heights. Now, we’re going to take our next biggest coral, which are the large orange bands, and we’re going to paint along the bottom half of this with that clear alcohol and then stick it to our cake. And then you’re going to want to hold it there for a second. Moving on, we’re going to just start laying various pieces around. So I started with pieces that I knew that I would stick to the side, like these pink little corals. They’re just round fondant circles with little indentations, and then all stuck together. Hold it on the fondant as long as you need to. This was actually one of my favorite corals, but it was a last minute thought. So I didn’t actually film making them. What I did was I cut out some yellow half circles really, really thin gumpaste and fondant mixture. Then, I put those little half circles inside some bowls to hold their shape and let them kind of hang over the edge to create that outer lip. And they dried beautifully. So then, I was able to just paint them with some clear alcohol and shove the edges into the cake a little bit and create this layered coral that went from bigger to smaller cups hanging on the wall. Now, it’s time to add the red coral. This was a really fun one. Now, because it’s chocolate, you just have to rub the edges that are going to be touching the cake with your fingers and warm it up. It will melt that chocolate just well enough that it will hold it to the cake. So just press it into place, let that chocolate reharden, and it will stay. And these little yellow pieces, I just made a small snake, cut them into 1 inch pieces, thinned the edge, and I have these great points that are all going to come together. I just dip the point in a little bit of that clear alcohol and then press it into the cake, starting inside out, letting it fan and get big as it goes. As it gets taller, it holds itself up kind of like a little pyramid, if you would. And now for the most delicate pieces, the little spikey fans. You just put one of these into the bottom and then build them on top of each other trying to get them to stick out as best you can. Just add a little bit of that clear alcohol to that flat part and then just press it into the fondant and hold it until it can hold itself up. And they look fantastic. I’m really happy with how they turned out. Then, finally, grab some of those big huge coral rocks and kind of shove them into the cake in a couple various places, and you are done. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I enjoyed making it. It was fun to reminisce as I edited this video for you guys. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave me comment down below. What is your favorite ocean fish or ocean coral? I’d love to hear. Thanks for watching.

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  1. amazing cake love it i have a question if you don't have a microwave is there another way of making the sponge?

  2. Tried to make the rock corals but I wasn't able to knead all the powdered sugar into the pastilage after heating it up…it ended up in crumbles and it didn't puff like how it did on yours. I did the amount you suggested which is 1:2. I don't know what I did wrong.

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