Happy Owls

Once a upon a time, there live a clan of happy, cherubic owls. Granpa owl and granma owl have two sons and a daughter. The sons married and produced a baby-girl owl and a baby-boy owl respectively.

Granpa owl and granma owl like to bicker with each other, just like any old-loving couple. Elder-son owl and elder-wifey owl have their hands full with the energetic baby-boy owl. Younger-son owl and younger-wifey owl love to travel and have brought baby-girl owl to many far-flung forests. Daughter-owl is at the prime of her life and doing a lot of fun things.

The owls like to eat rainbow seeds and they have gained wonderous bright coats of fur. Meet the owls.

This hardly looks like a befitting cake for male senior citizen. Well it’s really hard to come up with a cool decorated cake for guy…. So, after sleepless nights, I came up with a family spin to this one, with all family members represented by the alter-ego owls. 

The cake is done up in vertical layers with lemon curd cream and sweetened whipped cream.

P.S. No owls are harm in the cake cutting process.

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Recipe adapted from Okashi Treats
Makes a 6 inch cake

Ingredients
For the sponge:
1 egg
3 egg yolks
1 tsp lemon extract
35g unsalted butter
60g cake flour
60g fresh whole milk

3 egg whites
85 g castor sugar

For the sweetened whipped cream:
100g whipping cream
1 tbsp castor sugar

For the lemon curd cream:
Lemon curd and buttercream

Method
For the sponge:
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 28cm X 28cm flat square pan with parchment paper, with some paper over the edge where you can use to lift the cake out later.
2. Sift flour twice and set aside. Mix egg, egg yolks and lemon extract and beat lightly to mix.
3. Melt butter over low heat. Add shifted flour and cook through.
4. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and add egg mixture a little at a time. Mix into a smooth batter. Add milk and mix well.
5. Strain batter and set aside. (I skip this step since the batter looks smooth enough to me as it is and I’m lazy.)
6. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites till foamy. Add half the sugar and continue beating till soft peak. Add the rest of sugar and beat till stiff peak.
7. Add one-third of the meringue to the egg mixture and fold in.
8. Add remaining meringue and continue folding.
9. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
10. Bake for 20 min. When done, take the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper. leave to cool on the rack.
A cool pictorial for the sponge here

For the sweetened whipped cream:
1. Whip cream and sugar in a chilled mixing bowl until stiff peaks.

For the lemon curd cream:
1. My lemon curd is based loosely on this recipe. With the sugar and lemon juice adjusted to individual taste. I skip the butter (step 3 in the link) as the curd will be mix in with buttercream. I make a batch of these and keep them in the fridge. Always handy.
2. For the buttercream, I use a normal italian meringue buttercream. Very good pictorial from Whisk Kid.
3. Mix the cooled lemon curd and buttercream. No measurement here, just go by taste. If you prefer more lemony, add more curd. more creamy, add more buttercream.

Assemble the cake:
1. Place sponge onto clean surface. Peel off the parchment paper from the sponge. Peel off the brown skin on top as well. Cut into 4 long rectangle pieces. Take care to have equal width. Measuring with a ruler will be good.
2. Spread lemon curd cream onto the slices. Then spread the whipped cream.
3. Roll the first rectangle as per normal swiss roll. Put it upright on it’s cut edge and place it onto a 8 inch cake circle.
4. Take the second piece and connect the short side to the edge of the first rolled up rectangle, cream side in. Continue in similar fashion till all slices are done. Slice off the edge of the last slice at an angle, so that the cake will look round. Swipe off any excess cream from the top with a spatula. Put into the freezer to set.
5. Cover the cake with buttercream and decorate as you like.

I’m really tired now. If it seems tedious, it is. One advice is try to prepare as much as possible in advance. The sponge is best freshly made so you can’t really make this in advance, but you can do the decorations, lemon curd, buttercream in advance. I hand modelled the decorations using gum paste.

Shared at Lady Behind the Curtain, Today’s Creative Blog on 25 Apr 2012.

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9 thoughts on “Happy Owls

  1. Very creative idea for a cake! Those owls are adorable an I like how you made them into a family. I am kind of tired myself, between sandwich cookies and iced cookies, I am pooped and ready for a massage! Have a great evening!

    • Hi Tina, thanks! I’m just really sleepy. I started baking/decorating late at night after my toddler son is asleep (no distractions). By the time I’m done done, it’s like 3-4am in the morning and my boy will wake up (and the whole family as well) at around 7-ish. For this cake, I did that 2 nights in a row, first to do the decorations and let them harden, then the actual baking and assembling.

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