Thank you guys.....I forgot to mention the "debris" in and around the tornado. There were black angus cows, horses (both made of animal "cookies" that I hand painted with colored frosting, an SUV, a barn and a house both being ripped apart and roofs coming off, trees and of course....the hust amount of dust bilowing up at the bottom. It had to have a wall cloud and mezzo-cyclone (the latter which you can't see well in the picture.
Karen, since I no longer make cakes in my cake shop for customers, I decided that I didn't want to buy a box of premade fondant. Instead, I decided to be cheap and "wing it" with my own concoction of buttercream frosting. I took a big scoop of frosting and put it on an acrylic type cutting board. Then, I kneaded in a lot of powdered sugar until I had something that still had some elasticity, but was dry enough to roll out in small batches. But, then I had to add coloring to make black, red, yellow and goldish tan. So, I started with red....and it immediately turned to "goo"....and my hands were totally gummy with the stuff. So, then I added more powdered sugar to it and a small amount of frosting again to give it a bit more elasticity. Eventually, I was able to knead it into a ball. It was dryer than fondant and had the tendency to crack if not handled carefully, but I used an artist's pallete knife (which is very, very thin) to lift the letters, etc off the cutting board. I had very little breakage, but made extra of everything just in case. The taste was actually pretty good.....far better than eating fondant.....and I saved myself a trip to the store and the cost of the fondant. I'm going to use the leftover red buttercream dough to make my mom's name for her 90th birthday cake this weekend, only in very small letters that I will attach to the side of a 2-layer cake. I'm going to do the sides in basketweave....and arrange some fresh flowers in a small dish to put on top of the cake. . It sounds crazy....but the two layer cake done fancy, wedding cake style, will take me far shorter time than the tornado cake. I worked on that ...bakeing at 9:30 p.m through 7:30 a.m. The next day. I promptly went to bed for 4 and a half hours. . The cake for my mom will take probably about 2 hours and then arranging the flowers...and a LOT LESS MESS!!! But, Robert's cake was worth it....a labor of love.
"Just for today, I can get through anything." I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor. The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences. As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.