Owl Cake!

Owl Cake
 Friends have birthdays. It's a part of life and we celebrate them surviving yet another year, hoping they are happier this year than last. This year, many of my friends are turning 30, which is a milestone. So, there has been plently of reasons to celebrate and be merry, and for me to bake! BAKE! Trying to find new ideas for every birthday is, however, not always so easy. This one was. Iezebel is a very close friend, someone I've been trought alo with, and am grateful for having gone through and come out the other side still friends. She means a bunch to me, and therefore also is entitled to some bad ass baking.

Iezebel has a kindred spirit, owls. The woman is half obsessed with them, but in a healthy way (?). Anyway, I decided I needed to bake her an owl.  I remembered seeing a Martha Stewart tutorial, so I looked it up. I was preparing to make that, before I came across this cake in stead. It is just so much cuter!!! I did a couple of changes to it, because it looked like she was wating more cake than needed the way she did it. My cake is smaller, and takes advantage of more cake at the same time. Additionally, you don't have to have three pans, you can just bake three sequential cakes in the same pan.

Stencil for Owl Cake
I used a Wilton 30 tip for the decorating, using different frosting flavour for the various areas. First I I "glued together the pieces with the light chocolate frosting, and frosted the whole cake so it was all light brown. Then I piped the darker chocolate frosting to make the contours of the owl and the eyes. I then used the vanilla frosting the the pupils, beak and talons.

Safe to say Iezebel loved it, and I'm glad I could make something she liked to much. Everyone also raved about the taste, and it turned out to be one of the cakes I liked the most!

Chocolate Owl Cake
 4 cups sugar
2,5 cups flour
1,5 cups cocoa
100 grams chocolate
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup neutral oil (grapeseed is brilliant)
4 tsp vanilla powder
2 cups boiling coffee

Break the chocolate into small pieces and pour the hot hot hot coffee over it. Let the chocolate melt for some minutes. Beat the eggs and sugar untill light and fluffy. While you wait, mix all the dry ingredients together.  To make buttermilk, pour about 1/4 cup vinegar in a measuring cup and measure the milk  in the same cup, making sure vinegar + milk create the 2 cups. The vinegar will thinken the milk and make it a good subsistute for buttermilk. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the wet (don't forget the oil) untill fully mixed. Stir in the chocolate coffee mix untill it creates a good paste, add this into the mix.

Grease and line the pan and add bout 1/3 of the batter. Bake in a preheated oven at 175C (360F) for about 40-45 minutes, or untill a toothpick comes out clean. Repeat two more times for all three pieces. Cool on wire racks.

Vanilla Butter Frosting
100 grams butter
1cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs heavy cream
2 topped tsp vanilla powder

Beat the soft butter untill light. Sift in the powdered sugar on a slow beat, then add the vanilla and cream. The powdered vanilla will create nice details in the frosting with the black spots in the white. Is you need the frosting stiffer, add more sugar untill desired consistency. Consider adding some more vanilla if you need more vanilla taste.

Chocolate Butter Frosting
200 grams butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbs heavy cream
1/4 cup cocoa

Same procedure as above. Frost the cake, gluing parts together and covering the whole cake. Make onther batch of the same frosting, but with 1/2 cup cocoa instead, if there is any frosting left from the light frosting add this to the dark batch.

Pipe the contours of the cake, adding the beak and feet last with the vanilla frosting.

VIOLA! Enjoy!

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