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How to Make a Rat-Shaped Cake for Halloween or Birthdays

I live in Limousin, France, where I ran a successful B&B for a number of years. I created this cake for a Halloween party.

Remy the rat, as a cake!

Remy the rat, as a cake!

Make a Remy the Rat Cake

Everyone has heard of the Walt Disney Pixar film Ratatouille starring Remy, a rat who dreams of becoming a chef. Well, this is the cake that became a rat!

This is the best-ever cake for birthdays, Halloween, or the rat-lover in your life. Why? It is a quick, easy, no-bake, cheap cake that raises an instant laugh. It can't go wrong, tastes better on the second day, and lasts quite a long time. It's the perfect novelty!

Children love it, and if you're not keen on the rat, why not make a fat cat cake for the fat cats in your life? (Perfect for the boss?)

How Remy the Rat Cake Came About

This idea came to me when I was working on a menu for food for a child's Halloween party, and in desperation, I thought back to the truffle cakes of my childhood. I suddenly realised that those cakes were made from all the leftovers of the day and reproduced for sale on the morrow. I used to love them. They are also perfect for making shapes. You have cake-clay in essence. They are malleable when warm but will set fairly firmly in the fridge. I made mine very speedily, and it was the prototype, but you could take a little more care and come up with something even more life-like. You could really go to town on the presentation.

Simple ingredients for your Halloween treat. (Add marzipan; the dog ate ours.)

Simple ingredients for your Halloween treat. (Add marzipan; the dog ate ours.)

Ingredients

  • Plain, cheap, ready-made cake from the supermarket or you can use up your own leftover cake
  • Marzipan (not in the picture because the dog ate the last bit!)
  • Dark cooking chocolate (I used one slab of chocolate and most of this cake)
  • A little milk
  • Pink marzipan for tail and ears
  • Green or white marzipan or something else to make eyes; cake baubles, little sweets, etc.
  • Flavouring: Rum, brandy, whisky or amaretto flavouring or the real thing for adults, for the kids, orange or almond. Anything you like, really!
  • Brown or black food colouring or red, yellow and blue colouring mixed together
  • Chocolate vermicelli

You will also need:

  • Whiskers: I used bristles from a new washing-up brush but if you can think of edible ones, that would be better.
  • Fine paintbrush to paint the tail

Instructions

  1. Melt the chocolate and milk. Then add the cake.
  2. Mix together.
  3. Keep adding cake until the mixture looks as if you could shape it.
  4. Add flavourings or spirits.
  5. Let it cool until you can mould it with your hands.
  6. Form into a rat shape: pointed at front and wider at the haunches.
  7. Cover with chocolate vermicelli.

And that is all there is to this bit! Simple.

Photo Guide

Melt the chocolate and milk; then add the cake.

Melt the chocolate and milk; then add the cake.

Cover with chocolate vermicelli.

Cover with chocolate vermicelli.

How to Make the Rat's Tail, Ears, and Eyes

  • Tail: Make the tail by rolling a ball of pink marzipan into a ball, then, using three fingers, roll it backwards and forwards until you have a thin 'sausage.' Roll it more on one end so that it tapers to a point. Use your brown or black food colouring, or mix a brown with red, blue and yellow, or red and green colour. Make a hole in the back of your rat and insert the tail.
  • Eyes: For the eyes, again use pink marzipan, roll it into a little ball, then with thumb and forefinger pinch one side of the ball into an ear shape and curl it round at the base forming a little 'peg' at the bottom. Make a hole where the ear is going to go and then poke the peg into the hole. I used white or green marzipan for the eyes, but only because I couldn't find anything better. You might be able to find little sweets or cake decorations that would look better.
  • Whiskers: For the whiskers, I cut six bristles off a new washing-up brush, but perhaps you have some better ideas for this too. Edible whiskers would be ideal as I was worried that someone would get a nylon whisker stuck in their throat! Do leave a message in the box below if you can think of anything.
Roll out the tail (the black thumb is food colouring, honest!)

Roll out the tail (the black thumb is food colouring, honest!)

Get the Kids to Help!

Making a simple cake that is great fun is a super way to introduce children to cooking (and sculpting!). Enflame their imagination, improve manual dexterity and get dessert made for you. Here's a 12-year-old boy making this cake, and it took him about 10 minutes after I gave him the basic mix. How easy is that?

This cake is easy enough for kids to make it.

This cake is easy enough for kids to make it.

You can go to town with the presentation. Here I just quickly made a few leaves and flowers.

You can go to town with the presentation. Here I just quickly made a few leaves and flowers.

Add Sugar, Marzipan, or Edible Flowers

Let your imagination run riot! You could add flowers and grasses, or how about an urban scene with tin cans and dustbins? I added a little one to my first cake. You could make lots of lovely flowers from fruits, sweets, marzipan and icing or with sugar. Fresh edible flowers are pretty. I made the second cake late in the year so no edible flowers were available but fresh or sugared roses, violets or pansies are fun.

These flowers are not edible but you can use fresh or sugared edible flowers.

These flowers are not edible but you can use fresh or sugared edible flowers.

Have you tried this Halloween cake recipe ?

© 2010 Les Trois Chenes