When you hear "Ants on a Log" what do you think of? Maybe raisins on peanut butter celery sticks? Which is a pretty good treat by the way, and very healthy. My "Ants on a Log" took on another meaning. And of course it involved chocolate.
When I think of a picnic, I think of ants, and a red and white checked tablecloth. And chocolate. I think of chocolate for any occasion. While laying awake one night, I thought, I could make little ants on a log - with the log being a chocolate cake roll.
Ant's On A Log!
And their eyes bulging out of their little heads?
They remind me of me when I see chocolate.
Here they are, super excited because they finally got the watermelon slice knocked over!
I immediately got started on my picnic project by making the tablecloth first. There are lots of ways to go about this procedure (oh, I do sound like a doctor don't I?) Seriously, someone introduced me by saying she's "The Partiologist" and they responded by saying "Oh, she's a Cardiologist?" Ummm, no. Anyway, back to the tablecloth. Here's how~
Three ways to get little squares:
1. Rolling mincer.
2. Square plunger cutters.
3. Pie crust cutter.
How they work:
1.Roll out your fondant and slice with your rolling mincer, first vertical then horizontal. What do you know, you'll have lots of little squares!
2. Cut squares with your plunger cutter.
2. Roll out fondant and cut squares with your pie crust cutter.
After cutting all three ways, I decided to go with the pie crust cutter.
Now you need to roll out white fondant for the size tablecloth you want.
My tablecloth measured around 5x6 inches.
Then, one by one, place a row of alternating colored fondant squares.
If you're having trouble making the fondant stick - just moisten with a little water.
I wanted to edge my tablecloth, so I used the Wilton fondant roller to go around the edge. After my tablecloth was complete, I placed it in a zip lock baggie to seal and keep pliable until I needed it for my log.
Now it's time to make the watermelon slice.
Start with a chunk of dark green and light green fondant. Roll out the dark green fondant and cut with a large round cookie cutter for the base. Then roll out a few strips of the light green fondant and lay on top of the dark green fondant. Then roll the two together, making the rind for the watermelon slice. Recut the shape. Turn the striped piece of fondant over and lay a piece of light green fondant for the next layer of the rind, and cut to the same shape.
Now let's add the watermelon~
Roll a ball of red fondant and place in a half circle pan (dusted with powdered sugar). In another half circle pan, lay your watermelon rind to get the shape. Take the red fondant out and cut into half and then half again and lay in the watermelon rind. Trim to fit. Take a bite out of the watermelon with a round scalloped cookie cutter. Now make a few black seeds by cutting fondant with a ruffle decorating tip. Press on the watermelon.
Now for the part of the project you've been wondering...how did she do that?
To make the body of the ants, I pressed black fondant in my bead border mold - filling only the first five beads. I then removed the fondant from the mold and cut the ant leaving three beads for the body. The piece that was cut, I pinched together to make the head.
Then I added the eyes. Great Big Eyes.
Moistened the sugar beads and stuck into the ant head. After all the eyes were added, I laid them on a flower former to get a little shape. Some I left on a flat surface.
Now for those little legs...
Start by pressing black fondant out of a clay gun. Cut into small strips and bend into a U shape. I made lots and lots of legs, knowing that some may break. After letting the legs dry overnight, I piped a dot of black candy melts on parchment paper. Before the candy melts set, I added three curved legs, continue making lots and lots of legs. After the legs have set, turn over and add another dot of melted black candy melts and top with the body of the ant. Now your ants are finished!
If you're still with me, I'll be quick and show you the chocolate cake roll.
All the directions are in the recipe below.
After the cake is baked and frosted, add the tablecloth, watermelon and ants.
I hope you decide to take a few ants on a log to your next picnic!
Here's the Printable Recipe~
Chocolate Cake Roll
Cook Time: 15 - 18 minutes
Ingredients (10 - 12 servings)
- 6 oz. Bakers Semi-Sweet Chocolate (divided)
- 6 Tbsp. Butter
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1 Cup Flour, Divided
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
- 2/3 Cup water
- 8 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
- 1 C. Powdered Sugar
- 1 Carton Cool Whip
- 2 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1/2 Cup Whipping Cream
For The Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Line 15x10x1 - inch jelly roll pan with Baker's Joy. Line with parchment paper, and spray with additional Baker's Joy.
Melt 3 oz. chocolate with the butter over low heat until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar and mix well. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl on high speed until thickened. Blend the chocolate mixture into the eggs. Add 1/4 cup flour and the baking soda and mix until blended. Add remaining flour and water alternately, beating well after each addition.
Spread evenly in jelly roll pan. Bake 15 - 18 minutes until top of cake springs back when touched. Remove from oven and sprinkle with 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Invert onto clean towel and remove pan. Carefully peel off paper. Starting at the short side, roll up the cake and towel together. Cool completely.
For the Filling
Beat softened cream cheese and 1 cup powdered sugar until blended. Add 1 carton Cool whip.
For The Glaze
Melt chocolate chips, butter and whipping cream over low heat until completely melted. Stir together and set aside until thickened.
After the cake has cooled, unroll and remove towel. Fill the center with the cream cheese mixture. Reroll the cake.
Add the chocolate glaze with a spatula, spreading evenly over the cake. Before the glaze sets up, use a fork to make design.
P is For Picnic!