Monday, August 30, 2010

Appa Cake!

Alright, so this project actually happened back in July, but I have been a slacker and am just now posting it....sorry!!! As this blog is dedicated to my creative outlets, not everything you see will be done on paper. Some of you may remember my Han Solo Chocolates from February, which were a fun/nerdy undertaking, and the final outcome was delicious! So today I would like to share with you the cake that I made for my birthday! I have been watching Nickelodeon's Avatar the Last Airbender with Josh and completely Love (and want) Appa! For those of you not familiar with the show, Appa is this wonderfully adorable Sky Bison that can Fly!!!!!!! He's just adorably fluffy and large, so who wouldn't love to have one? Thus the reason I chose Appa as the theme of my birthday cake! Here's a picture of Appa (Copyright Nickelodeon) for your reference:

Now, the cake!

I started out by baking 2 13x9 chocolate cakes. While they cooled, I started working on the raspberry filling, I LOVE chocolate and raspberries. I followed a simple recipe, and used frozen instead of fresh because they were cheaper. It was delicious all the same though! Here's the raspberry filling on the stove. (Recipe Below)

Now that the cake was cool, it was time to let the filling chill and start cutting and shaping the cake. I used just under half of one cake to make the body, and stacked a second equally sized cut from the second cake on top. Next was cutting the shape for the head including the cheeks. Followed by a second piece for just the upper part of the head. Finally I would use the leftover cake to shape the legs and tail. Here's some of the cut up cake.

Once all the cake pieces were cut, I laid out the bottom layer of pieces first, then covered it with a thin layer of butter cream icing. Then I took my raspberry filling and spread it across the butter cream. Next I stuck the second layer of cake pieces on which ended up looking something like this.

Yes, I did add a very small third layer to add some height to Appa's back, depending on how this your cake rose, you may not need to do this yourself. Now that Appa was all put together, I covered him with with butter cream icing. This would help to serve as a glue for the fondant that I would be making next. As of this step though, he sorta looks like a fluffy marshmallow Appa!

You can totally buy pre-made fondant, however I could not find it at the store, so I just made my own following a recipe I found online using butter, marshmallows and powdered sugar. (Thank you Peggy Weaver for the Fondant Recipe!) It worked great, and was pretty easy to work with. I rolled it out and draped it over my butter cream covered cake. This was my first time working with any sort of fondant, but it was neat to see how flexible it was. I could easily wrap it around the cake, and tuck it into the crevasses between each of his legs. Then once it was all on, I just trimmed off the excess. I also twisted some of the extra fondant into his horns, and stuck them on with toothpick, to provide extra structure. To create the face, brown cheeks and arrow on his head and back, I mixed melted butter with cocoa powder and applied it with a paint brush. It was neat to be able to paint on a cake, as that'd not always very effective when using regular icing. What I did like about using the brush, was I was able to give him a little bit more of a fur look with all the brush strokes.

So finally, here is the finished product of the Appa Cake!

These first two were taken in the kitchen the night before, so they're a little blurry, but I like the above shot, plus it was a very rewarding moment when I finally stepped back and saw that he was finish!

Here are some photos from the lunch table. I took him into share with my boyfriend and friends at ILM. I think it went over well! ^_^

Not only did he look adorable (as Appa should) he was very delicious! It was a really great birthday!

Raspberry Filling

* 1 pkg (16 ounces) frozen raspberries packed in sugar thawed
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Makes: Filling serves 2 cups.

-Drain raspberries, reserving liquid.
-Add enough water to liquid to equal 1 1/4 cups.
-In large saucepan, combine liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; mix well.
-Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens.
-Cool completely.
-Stir thawed raspberries into cooled mixture.

Thank you for checking out my blog, and as always any questions, comments, thoughts, etc. are always welcome. Have a great day!