Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chess Jawa - Medium

 My younger son combines his love for Star Wars with his true passion, chess, by cosplaying as the Chess Jawa.  (Look for him in front of the Marriott Starbucks during DragonCon!)  For his birthday, I made a Chess Jawa cake!

This cake is pretty easy if you have worked with rolled fondant.  Here are the instructions.

The day before the party, I baked a cake in the Wilton Stand-up Bear cake pan.  I followed the directions, using a regular pudding-in-the mix yellow cake mix and a pound cake mix, together.  The resulting cake was very nice both taste and texture.  One caveat - the directions say bake in the center oven rack, but the cake was too tall.  Use the lowest rack.  Also, the directions say 2/3 cup batter in the core, but only use 1/2 cup.  Mine baked up to the broiler element! 

If you want to include a chess board, make the chess pieces the night before too.  Because our party was close to July 4, I used red and blue fondant to make the pieces.  (Just shape the chess pieces by hand, as it if were play-doh!)

The next morning, I mixed a batch of buttercream icing (see recipe in the side menu), frosted and inserted the cake core, then trimmed the bottom of the cake so that it sat flat on the cake board.   I cut off the bear's ears and feet, then covered the entire cake in a layer of the icing.  Set it aside for an hour or so to really set the icing.  I used this time to make a pan of rice krispy treats for the chess board.

I rolled black and white fondant into sheets and cut out 32 squares of each color, sized to fit my chess pieces.  I turned the rice krispy treat upside down, so that The flat bottom was on top.  Starting with one corner of the rice krispy treat, I layered the chess pieces to make a traditional 64 square board.  I used a large knife to trim the rice krispies from the edges, then cut those into squares for folks to eat. 

Greg prepared 2 small orange LEDs for me, attaching them to button batteries and covering the batterse and wire with tape. The LEDs really make this cake pop!  I rolled a small bit of black fondant into an oval for the face.  Greg pushed the LEDs through the fondant.  The batteries stuck into the fondant on the back side. 

I covered the Jawa with a layer of Satin Ice dark chocolate fondant.  For this cake, use a high quality chocolate fondant - you can order online if you don't have a local source.  I used a little more than 1/2 of a 2 lb. tub.   Knead the fondant quite a bit - you want it smooth, pliant and glossy. 

I rolled about 1 lbs of well-kneaded fondant into a roughly triangular shape.  Using your rolling pin, position the fondant over the cake, so that the top of the triangle is above the head.  The "arms" of the triangle wrap around the cake, to form the robes.  

Greg helped hold the hood part of the fondant open while I got the bottom together.  I smoothed the seam where the edges overlapped and used my fingers to emphasis the arm of the cake bear underneath.   (I made the fondant reflect the shape of the bear.) 

Then, while Greg was holding the hood open, I slid the face (with the LEDs) in place, and arranged the hood piece around.  I tucked a little bit of trimmed rice krispy candy on top of the head to help hold the hood up, then trimmed the fondant on the sides of the hood to remove excess.

The face was a little short, so I rolled a bit of the trimmed chocolate and added this aound the chin.  I also used some of the trimmed bits to create sleeves and the bandolier.  For the arms, I made 2 small balls of rice krispy candy, covered them with black fondant, then inserted them into "sleeves" (really just a ring of chocolate fondant).  I pulled the ends of the rings and used 1/2 a thin bamboo skewer to attach them to the cake. 

I also rolled a long thin strip of chocolate fondant for the bandolier and finished that with little black fondant pockets. 

I finished Jawa by adding some "fraying" texture on the edges of the robes.  If you have a fondant toolset, use the shell tool.  If not, use the tines of a fork.  

Since it was a birthday cake, the Jawa is holding 3 sparkler candles! 

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