The weather is getting chilly and as fall settles in it is time to think about Thanksgiving and all the wonderful food that is created with love for family and friends. Along with the ubiquitous pumpkin pie a great dessert idea is lovely fragrant pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing topped with fat fondant turkeys. These charming little birds can take a little bit of work but the results are definitely worth it. There are quite a few colors of fondant needed for this project mostly in the brown range so it might be less expensive to tint your own rather than purchasing premade products. The only color that is better premade is black.
To make a cute festive turkey you will need:
- Black fondant
- Dark brown fondant
- Light brown fondant
- Red fondant
- Yellow fondant
- White fondant
- Rolling pin
- Flower veining tool
- Sharp knife
- Edible glue
- Small wooden dowels
The body of the turkey should be big enough to sit on your cupcakes or cake and still support the fan of the tail. Roll the dark brown fondant into a ball a little smaller than a golf ball, about 50g, and then sculpt it into a gourd shape with a flat bottom. This will create a fat body and the neck and head of the bird. Take the veining tool and score some lines on the breast of the body to simulate the feathers. Set the body aside.
Take some more dark brown fondant and sculpt two teardrop shapes for the wings that are in proportion to the body. Take a veining tool and score the wings down the teardrop to represent the feathers of the wings. Attach the wings to the body on either side with a little edible glue.
The tail is created with rolled "worms" of dark brown, light brown and white with a white center. Take white fondant and roll it into a ball about an inch in diameter and then flatten it out. Cut the disk in half to form a semi-circle. Roll the dark brown worm so it curls around the white semi-circle and attach it with edible glue. Roll a worm of light brown fondant and curl it around the dark brown worm and attach it with edible glue. Roll a worm of white fondant for the outside color and curl it around the light brown fondant attaching it with edible glue as well. Flatten the entire tail so everything is a flush and trim the trailing edges so the semi-circle has a straight edge. Take the veining tool and create the tail feathers across the colors. Take your sharp knife and cut feather ends on the outside white ring. Attach the tail to the body with a small wooden dowel and edible glue.
The turkey face can convey emotion and character with the placement of the eyes, shape of the beak or wattle. Take two small pieces of white fondant and roll them into balls. Flatten the balls into ovals and attach them to the face with edible glue. Take even smaller pieces of black fondant and roll them into tiny balls for the pupils. Flatten them slightly and attach to the whites of the eyes with edible glue. Take a little yellow fondant for the beak and shape it into a fat cone. Bend it down slightly at the tip and attach it under the eyes with edible glue. Take a pinch of red fondant and make a thin teardrop shape for the wattle. Attach the wattle with edible glue, draped down one side of the beak.
You can create little hats or bonnets for your turkeys to continue the Thanksgiving theme but even unadorned these festive birds can enhance any holiday cake or cupcake.