Thursday, 19 July 2012

Owl Birthday Cake

This week one of my "nieces" celebrated her 5th birthday so I decided to make her a birthday cake with my new found excitement for cake decorating. Apphia likes owls so I sought out an owl design and found one here.

I made a normal chocolate sponge with the normal ratios:
100g self raising flour
100g butter
100g sugar
2 eggs
20g cocoa

For the owl I needed 4 bowl shaped cakes, 2 larger and 2 smaller ones. We had to go out and purchase a smaller bowl for the head but we found one fairly cheaply. Due to the shape and the material of the bowls I decided to microwave the cakes. The larger ones only took 4 minutes and the smaller ones were around 2 minutes. The finish of the cakes isn't so smooth but they work well enough. 

4 bowl cakes ready to use
Once the cakes were done I made some chocolate butter icing at a 2:1 ratio of icing sugar to butter. This made lovely soft icing but it was a little too running for later use. 

Chocolate butter icing
I sliced a chunk off the bottom of one of the larger cakes so that it would sit smoothly on the plate and then some icing on top of that with the other larger cake on top. Flat side to flat side. Then I sliced the top off one of the smaller cakes and even it all out so this would make the head straight and placed this on top of the larger cakes with some more icing. Finally finishing the head with the other smaller cake and some icing. 
The assembled owl
The owl was now ready to decorate. The first step was to thicken up the chocolate icing and make some vanilla icing. I tried to make these as thick as possible so they would stay on the cake and not roll down the sides. 

The vanilla icing was applied first on the front of the owl to create the lighter chest area. I just carefully spooned this on and tried to convince it to stay on the owl and not slide down the front, it just about managed to but I could have done with the icing being a bit thicker. 

I then applied the chocolate icing all over the owl carefully laying it on. The instructions I was following said to make a feather affect but I decided this was going to be too challenging and my icing probably wasn't thick enough for this any way so I just tried to smooth it over and again make it stay on the cake. 

To make the eyes I open up some oreo cookies and stuck these on with icing. At first they kept sliding down but with a few minutes of holding they stayed on as the frosting firmed up. The ears were made by snapping the other uncreamed side of the oreo in half and sticking them in the top. To make the beak and claws I used banana foams and stuck these on.

The final touches were made with chocolate chips over the front and minstrels stuck on top of the oreos for the eyes. 

Completed owl birthday cake
Overall I'm very pleased with the end product and I hope Apphia will be too, not a bad first attempt. It also didn't collapse overnight so that's another achievement!!