How to make a cake look like a Guitar Hero controller?
November 25, 2008 4:40 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions for making a Guitar Hero cake look like the guitar controller? The problem is all the black....

Okay, well, I posted a couple months ago about my Ultimate Guitar Hero Battle To The Death and it is this friday. (Yes, I am playing at Expert level up to about the 6th set, but no I don't expect to win, LOL) I am hosting it and I thought it would be fun to make a cake in the form of the guitar controller. The shape isn't at all the problem, but rather the decorating. I would like to use candy to make the various parts of the cake (ie. appropriately coloured gummies to make the buttons, the silver coloured beads as the whammy bar, etc.) The white face of the guitar I will just keep the white icing. My problem comes when I think about how much of the guitar is black (the head, the fret board, the sides). Any suggestions of candy I could use for the black parts?

Note: I'm unable to make black fondant, and black licorice would be nasty. Also, I find black coloured icing tends to have so much dye that it makes your teeth a weird green-ish colour, so that is kinda out. Some sort of easily applied candy layer would be best. Would oreo cookie crumbles work?

Also, if you have any other general suggestion for making it look awesome, I'm all ears!
posted by gwenlister to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
Chocolate Ganache? It's more dark brown than black, but it may be OK especially in contrast to the white body. I would probably coat the whole cake in a layer of ganache, chill it in the frige, and then frost with white frosting over that where needed.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:55 AM on November 25, 2008

chill the cake, cover the areas that need to be black with Magic Shell
posted by jrishel at 5:27 AM on November 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

Just don't make it black. With the shape and the buttons on the neck, everyone will know what it is. I'd make the fingerboard white and the guitar body red.
posted by mendel at 5:39 AM on November 25, 2008

Chocolate sprinkles!!!

In related news, one of the best things I learned while decorating a cake this summer for a 4 year old's birthday party: fruit rollups are your friend. You can get really granular and precise with fruit rollups, a sharp knife and a lot of patience. Amongst other things, I made a grille for the front of a truck-shaped cake.
posted by 8dot3 at 5:47 AM on November 25, 2008

I assume that the neck will be a dark brown / chocolate, so most of the go-to black replacements are probably out. If you can find black M+M-like candy that might work.

How about abandoning "reality" for that part and making it a different color? I know that a lot of the mini controllers are red instead of black, and some of the "official" ones are mostly white. Go wild!
posted by charmcityblues at 5:48 AM on November 25, 2008

a) no one ever complained about dark chocolate frosting
b) adding black icing color paste (for example) to dark chocolate frosting adds to your dark near-blackness, without the quantity, texture, or green-ness that starting from white does
c) there are companies that make true-red and true-black frosting, with no funny taste, texture, or after-color, but I'll be damned if I can google them at the moment.

(i have decorated a lot of cakes in my life, and really recommend the pasty colors instead of the drippy liquid ones.)

(also, is your iffiness on fondant about actually *making* it? because you can buy fondant in a box (e.g. Wilton), or buy fondant mix to which you add water and something else easy to find (CK brand comes to mind, but there are others).)
posted by whatzit at 6:09 AM on November 25, 2008

also, M&Ms come in black but you may need old M&Ms (Halloween) or an M&M store or patience (online). Also, black Jelly Bellys. Stick with licorice, avoid Black Pepper.
posted by whatzit at 6:10 AM on November 25, 2008

If I were making a Guitar Hero cake, which is a damn good idea if I do say so myself, I would model my cake off this picture, including making the blacks into light grey. Everyone will know it's the guitar, especially if you make it lifesize which is not that hard since the controller is pretty tiny. Your points about black teeth by icing are very true, so I would simply go with changing the color, everyone will be too happy having fun to care (and honestly if someone bugs you about it, tell em to go make their OWN cake!)

Great tips from whatzit. I love the idea of adding color to dark chocolate frosting, that way you can make your cake both vanilla and chocolate-y which ups the awesomeness factor even more. This sounds like it'll be a great cake, let us know how it goes :)
posted by Meagan at 6:29 AM on November 25, 2008

Just yesterday Mefi turned me on to Pimp that Snack. Someone made a Rubik's cube cake, and discussed on this page how she made the cake black. Her solution: use black food coloring to make a grey primer layer, then paint the black food coloring on directly. You can see the results in the second page I linked.
posted by frecklefaerie at 6:54 AM on November 25, 2008

I think chocolate (either in frosting or ganashe form) may be the best option so far. You're right - it isn't black but it is still dark and they will know what it is. :)

As for my aversion to fondant, it is more effort and fuss than I am willing to undertake. Plus, the yumminess of the frosting is half the reason why we eat cake. Fondant kind of negates that. ;)
posted by gwenlister at 7:52 AM on November 25, 2008

If you'd like to see what the different possibilities look like, check Flickr. Chocolate ganache seems to work pretty well.
posted by zamboni at 8:11 AM on November 25, 2008

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