Help With Supporting A Dragon Cake

Baking By PatriciaGraham Updated 30 Mar 2016 , 11:53am by -K8memphis

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PatriciaGraham Posted 29 Mar 2016 , 10:28am
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[postimage id="3403" thumb="900"]Hi guys, could someone please help me with a dragon cake I am making? I need to know if this support system will be sturdy enough or if I should make it differently. I want to try and make it so only the fire and his tail is touching the cake board. Please help me, there are sooo many talented cake decorators here I didn't know where else to go. I have attached an image of my design:

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-K8memphis Posted 29 Mar 2016 , 1:50pm
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sure -- use plastic or cardboard boards inside the structure -- masonite is too heavy except for the bottom board but i use mdf for bottom boards --

no no no no no -- don't put your support in halfway laying down -- structure is all about defying gravity not flowing with the design -- use boards parallel with mother earth and perpendicular, straight up and down support rods -- i use pvc although there's talk the outside of pvc is not food safe --

...more in a second...

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-K8memphis Posted 29 Mar 2016 , 2:34pm
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the fire and neck: i would test this with a bendy straw -- i would fill the straw with chocolate and insert a fat dowel for each side to then extend down into their respective boards below -- one side for fire one for neck -- and granted this is all at odds with gravity but very tight and safe within itself -- the head is just a station on the bendy straw -- and you could wrap this with a wire too --

but first i would wrap these items with candy clay -- would have to be tested out for all the right measurements -- would fill with chocolate last so the chocolate never breaks in there while the candyclay wrapping goes on --

actually the end of the fire dowel needs to be implanted into something very secure too -- like a layer of foam secured to the board -- 

but while i'm testing and planning i'm learning a lot and making the necessary adjustments for success -- but this is how and where i would start --

so for this 'structure' phase -- don't look at it like a fire breathing dragon -- look at it like a secure structure you are going to place a cake on -- see what i mean --

masonite is not going to hold all those elbow angles is it?

part of the dragon belly might be a thin mound of candy clay placed on the bottom of the board so it's rounded like a belly -- then the cake on top of the board makes up the rest -- and if you make him rearing up a bit more you'll have a bit more gravity friendly fire breathing dragon ha! 'friendly' fb dragon -- it's on your side :)

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-K8memphis Posted 29 Mar 2016 , 2:35pm
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'and you could wrap this with a wire too' meaning the bendy straw not the head

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-K8memphis Posted 29 Mar 2016 , 2:40pm
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you could also dip the wire wrapped bendy straw that has dowels protruding into chocolate for an extra layer of protection before wrapping with candy clay --

i mean depending on how big this is too ^^^ is for a smaller one

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PatriciaGraham Posted 29 Mar 2016 , 7:47pm
post #6 of 9

Great! Thank you soooo much K8memphis ! Would this be a better design?:[postimage id="3408" thumb="900"]

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-K8memphis Posted 29 Mar 2016 , 9:02pm
post #7 of 9

it looks some better --

i would center the pvc under the butt there or move it as far to the left as possible and make the body taller less over hanging length -- but the body will not hold up there -- nothing to hold it up --

the boards in the body need to go all the way across and be dowelled (every three to four inches of cake height)

the fire will not support the body hanging out there -- it's only going to support itself -- there needs to be a dowel through the straw into the board for the neck too

if you can see this picture -- it's cartoon-y but see the structure -- this needs to stand up a little more too but standing up more ^^^ will work -- place your pvc underneath -- place boards and dowel at correct intervals 

more like this next one -- just curl the tail up underneath

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PatriciaGraham Posted 30 Mar 2016 , 9:03am
post #8 of 9

Thank you again soo much K8memphis and thank you for your patience with me too. I'm not new to cakes but I'm new to these kinds of things. Is this what you meant?[postimage id="3409" thumb="900"]

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-K8memphis Posted 30 Mar 2016 , 11:53am
post #9 of 9

better yes --

now a couple things -- so this is a three tier cake -- if you remove the body of the dragon you'll see the bulk of your third tier -- all the weight of it --  seems to be suspended over not so much -- it has little support from below and it will fall over to the left from the weight -- that needs to be solidly supported from below because the flame/neck  (aka the third tier) is doing all it's work to hold itself together in one piece and attach itself up there (like an edible topper it's just taking care of itself) -- it can't hold up the weight of itself, the third tier too -- i would not depend on the counter weight of the wings to keep that all balanced  -- i want my dragon to stand up securely all within the structure then add on the wings and neck/flame see what i mean -- 

build a stable three tier cake -- then make it into a dragon --

your diagram would tip your cake over to the left but the wings would sort of balance it back over but that's potentially a heartbreaker -- it might work -- if you are not delivering and are serving where you make it -- if it's not very tall -- it might work that way --

there are drinking straws that are designed to bend -- they use them in many places including hospitals so patients can drink  more easily laying down --

so my proposal was to stick a dowel in each end of the straw utilizing the bend as the neck affixing each end into the respective  boards to create enough tension that will keep the head/neck on and for the flame to ride down on -- the dowels being kept taught within the straw with melted chocolate etc as described earlier -- might want to use rice krispies treats for the base of the neck --

i'm all set for more discussion/questions if you have any -- otherwise i'm ready for pictures when you are :)

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