I have a very obsessive streak, so much so that it is borderline massochistic.
Well thats not really the best way to start a post - but my goodness this week has been one of the busiest ever. So why on earth would I attempt to make a 3D Domo-kun cake? Well because its Demos' birthday thats why!! Happy Birthday Demos - Please join me in admiring this cake while I collapse in exhaustion!
Happy Birthday Demos!
I have been excited to share this birthday suprise with Demos, he did have an idea that I was making him a Domo cake, but he had no idea what madness I was be up to! Yes, every spare moment of this busy week has been spent baking, ganaching, and decorating this Domo cake - and here is my honest account on how I did it. Oh, did I leave out the part where I have never made anyone a Birthday cake before?
It was no easy feat - TV shows make it look that way. This is how it all started - with a semi burnt white chocolate mud cake. This bloody cake took 2 hours to cook, and with my temperamental oven - it was an ordeal! Lesson learnt, I must not start baking at 10pm - night time is for sleep and infomercials. But its that obsessive nature that keeps me awake.
After trimming the mudcake, I froze it for about two days while I tackled the working week - I never really had a solid idea about the final look of this cake, all i knew it would feature Domo of course. I had this random idea to take a chunk out of the cake to make it look like Domo had attacked it.
See how rough and rugged this cake is? This is where ganaching comes in, if I just added the straight ready to roll icing ontop - I would have that dreaded "cake celliulite" look and my goal was to have the cake as smooth as possible, and I had to fill the craters I created while trimming off the burnt bits!
Two parts chocolate and one part cream makes you ganache. What is ganache you ask? It is the "cement" of cake decorating. I have never really ganached anything prior to this. Ganache hardens to provide a smooth layer of chocolate on the cake - so that you do not have to use a 1 inch thick layer of sugar icing - I find icing too sickly sweet so a layer of dark choc adds that bitterness.
I covered the cake and smoothed the ganache out to create a flat, even and sharp surface. This was not an easy task, and took me nearly an hour of smoothing and scraping the tops and sides of the cake - not to mention I burnt the ganache twice and had to keep running to the shops for ingredients!
Not bad for my first attempt, no? Patience is the key, and keeping in the spirit of honesty I was cursing under my breath the whole time while I questioned my decision to take this on. This perseverance resulted in a flat surface, sharp edges and no more "cake cellulite" under the icing!After smoothing the icing on - I finally have a base! Hooray! Moments later, my mother found me collapsed in the loungroom floor. "You still have to make Domo!" And of course it can't just be any ordinary Domo figure - it had to be a Brownie-in-the-inside figure of course!
MMM...choc-macadamia brownies!! Yes, I nearly burnt these too - HOPELESS!
I could say that I did not ganache Domo because I wanted a "Textured" surface but no - I had an hour before cake time and I needed to finish up pronto! The icing was not being co-operative at all in this heat, but cornflour keeps it from sticking everywhere.
I attach his little arms and legs with toothpicks - but with the head and humidity tonight, it caused havoc on my icing. Domo's eyes and mouth were drawn on with writing icing gel, and they were sliding down his face.Thanks to trusty bamboo skewers, I attach Domo to the cake base with no problemo - and now the final touches.
With minutes to go until the cake unveiling, I use my trusty cookie cutters and writing gel to add all the details and the leftover icing to cover the "Chunk" that he has taken. To tidy everything up, such as cornflour smears or stained icing, I dab on some vodka, to add that shine to the fondant. And then I take a shot. I learnt this vodka trick from numerous ace of cakes marathons.
The awesome Domo fairy lights were a gift from Danni-Jack (of words with friends cake fame) from the USA! They are the coolest things ever and added some colour and fun to the cake of course!
So why the obsession with Domo on this blog? He seems to be popping everywhere right? Well, our Domo was bought when Demos and I first started going out - we had no idea who or what this little creature was. Demos and I just saw this hungry looking monster - and instantly fell in love with him. Domo's expression is priceless - and he has tagged along in our travel adventures, most recently back to his hometown of Tokyo. We are quite attached, it it would be an ugly custody battle if we split up. I hope our little mascot brings a smile to your faces when he randomly pops up from time to time in this blog.
Demos' excitement when I showed him the cake made it all worth it! The mud cake really benefited from the freezing - it was deliciously dense and moist. The layers of ganache and icing. This was indeed a labour of love! Happy Happy Birthday to my other half - here's to having your cake and eating it too!
Quick Note: Recipes and Tips are from the amazing book Planet Cake : A beginners guide to cake decorating. Stay tuned for the review & more projects!