It's that time of year again...time for graduation. Do you know a graduate this year? Whether they are graduating from college, high school, or Kindergarten, this is a great decoration to add to any graduation cake.
To start with, you will need something to use as a mold. Since Easter just passed, you might have one of these plastic eggs in the house. If not, just look for something that is the right size and shape. It doesn't necessarily have to be food safe since you are going to cover it with plastic wrap.
Knead some black food color into regular modeling chocolate. Since it is already dark brown it doesn't take much to turn it black. Smooth a piece of modeling chocolate over the plastic-wrapped mold with your fingers. The warmth of your hands should keep it nice and pliable.
Use a sharp knife to cut a clean, straight edge. Place the cap in the freezer to harden. It can be gently removed from the mold once it is cold. The plastic wrap will peal right off.
Roll out another piece of the modeling chocolate on some parchment or waxed paper. I rolled mine about 1/8th of an inch thick. Using a ruler and pizza cutter, cut a 5" square. Adjust the size of your mortar board depending on the size of the cap you made.
When you are ready to assemble the cap on your cake, attach the board to the cap with a little royal icing. You can also use the royal to make a tassel. I made the mistake of trying to use royal icing that had been made with meringue powder for my tassel. Don't be like me...use real egg white for your royal and you can get your tassel at least twice as long as this. Real egg white has much greater tensile strength.
The pieces for your graduation cap can be made well in advance. Store them in an air tight container in a cool place.