THIS CLOWN FISH design will delight customers, especially children. Add just enough detail to make the fish look realistic, but don't overdo it.
To begin, create the clown fish's fins out of orange fondant. After cutting the fondant into a fin shape, use a ball tool or a plastic spoon to thin the curve of the fin, creating a ruffled edge. Then, use a palette knife to indent lines into the fins. You will need one large dorsal fin, one small dorsal fin, two pectoral fins and one tail fin. Let the fins dry.
To create the fish's body, stack three layers of cake and carve into the shape of a fish with a rounded head and a pointed tail.
Cut indentations into the front of the cake for the fish's mouth and eyes. Also, carve indentations in the sides for the fish's fins.
Base ice the cake, and then cover with orange fondant. Smooth the fondant over the cake, paying special attention to ensure the eye, mouth and fin indentations appear.
Marble blue and white fondant together to look like ocean water, and use it to cover a cake board. Place the fish in the center of the cake board.
Cut a slit down the center of the body for the fish's two dorsal fins.
Insert one of the dried fins in the slit in the body for the first dorsal fin. Color white chocolate orange to match the fondant, and use a cut paper tube to pipe the chocolate around the fin. This will help hold the fin in place.
Add the second dorsal fin. Then, cut slits in the side and back of the fish's body for its two pectoral fins and tail fin. Again, use orange-colored white chocolate to help hold the fins in place.
Use a round tool or decorating tip to indent the fondant on the fish's body to look like scales. Leave the face free of scales.
Sheet white fondant, and cut into strips. Place three strips of white on each side of the fish, trimming the ends. Use water to adhere the stripes to the fish.
Use the round tool to mark the white stripes with scales.
Add water to piping gel, and paint the gel over the entire body of the fish with a wide fan paintbrush. This will make the fondant shiny and the fish appear wet.
Use a cut paper tube to outline the white stripes with black, wavy lines.
Cut round circles out of white fondant, and place them in the indentions for the eyes. Pipe orange circles on the white disks using a cut paper tube.
Fill in the orange circles with black icing using a cut paper tube. Then, pipe a straight line at the top of the mouth indention and a half circle underneath to create the mouth shape. Fill in the mouth, and smooth the icing with a palette knife.
Use a cut paper tube to pipe small, white dots in the irises of the eye. Then, make the opening of the paper tube larger to outline the mouth.
Fit a bag with tip No. 22, and spread blue gel on the inside of the bag. Add blue icing, and fill remainder of the bag with white icing. Pipe swirls around the fish's body to look like dispersed water. Finish the design by sprinkling edible glitter over the fish and water.
Tamara Montesinos, decorator for Central Continental Bakery in Mt. Prospect, Ill., began working in the bakery while in high school. After attending Kendall College, Chicago, she returned to Central Continental to work in the cake decorating department. Montesinos began entering decorating competitions in 2005, when she won second place in the Chicago Area Retail Bakers Association's regional competition. In 2006, she competed in the Retail Bakers of America's national Creative Decorating Competition.