This was my first hand-cut novelty cake, for a fisherman's 40th birthday. The customer's only request that it be a realistic looking fish, not a Nemo or animated style that you'd see for a kids birthday cake. I made two square white chocolate mud cakes, put them side by side, then cut away the corners to make the rough shape of a fish body. I then used the off-cut pieces to shape the head/mouth end and lenghthen the tail, then it was a matter of carving to round the edges and refine the fish shape, and cover the whole thing with white chocolate icing to smooth it out.
I covered the fish with grey fondant, then coloured it by dry-brushing with petal dust and lustre powders. For the ocean effect, I put the cake on the board and then swirled blue and aqua royal icing around it. The banner was made from modelling paste and set into the royal on the board while it was still wet. The last step was the fins, which I cut free-hand from grey modelling paste and pleated by repeatedly pressing in a bamboo skewer, then coloured with the same dry-brushing technique, and sugar-glued them in place on the body.