Coolest Hoot The Owl 1st Birthday Cake

It was my baby daughter’s 1st birthday recently and she loves the Australian kids TV characters ‘Giggle and Hoot’. I was really unsure as to what to do for her cake but thought I’d take on the challenge of Hoot. I have an eggless chocolate cake recipe that I use regularly and because I was trying something so new in the decorating dept, I didn’t want to go playing around with a cake I wasn’t sure was going to turn out perfect so I stuck with it.

I made 5 x 8″ round cakes to get the height I wanted. After they were cooled and leveled, I wrapped them tightly with a few layers of Glad Wrap (Saran Wrap) and put them in the freezer because I had quite a bit more to do and didn’t want to be rushed in doing it all.

I used ‘Satin Ice’ fondant (I always do), and mixed some orange fondant and some white fondant with some Tylose powder so it would harden up a bit. With the orange I made his legs, feet, beak and wings. With the white I made the heart he has on his chest. I put a wooden skewer through the middle of his wings because I knew they would be way too heavy to be able to just be glued to the side of the cakes. I then left them on a tray, which was on a shelf (away from the kids fingers) to harden. They were there for 4 days before I assembled the cake.

I also made his big eyes with the white tylose powder/fondant mix, but wasn’t thinking about the cake not being a flat surface for me to mount them to later. So they broke when I went to put them on. Of course. Because I wasn’t feeling enough stress. Next time I’ll probably not worry about it because in the end, I just shaped more fondant and stuck that into place and it worked perfectly.

I’ve always used butter cream underneath my fondant but recently realized that Ganache is more commonly used here in Australia. So I made my Ganache with Cadbury milk chocolate at a ratio of 2:1 (chocolate:cream) and it was delightful to work with. After I’d assembled the layers, I trimmed the cakes down. I don’t have too many different sized cake tins so I probably could’ve avoided too much trimming if I had have used different sized tins but I was on a roll in baking the cakes and didn’t think about it till afterwards. lol.

When the cakes were trimmed and ganached, I put it back into the fridge to set for a while so I could do the same thing to my son’s b’day cake (I’ll be submitting it under ‘Coolest ‘Transformers Bumblebee’ 5th Birthday Cake’ if you want to have a look.) While it was in the fridge, I got my black food gel coloring bottle and a tiny paint brush, so I could paint on the ‘stitches’ hoot has in his wings and on his heart, and I also painted the pupils of his eyes and the inside of the bottom part of his beak.

When the ganache was chilled enough I took it out and got to rolling out my fondant. That was easy enough. Phew! Then I used flower glue to stick his bits and pieces into place. I’ve since found out that it’s probably better to use colored Royal Icing for gluing bits together and to cakes. Oh well, next time.

When everything was stuck on, I looked at it and was super happy with how it turned out. The kids were so excited to finally see Hoot finished and I have to say, so was I. My baby had a wonderful time at her party and it was a massive success. Everyone loved the cake, inside and out.

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