I would like to take a second and…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BECCA!
Ok, so this cake is (obviously) for my sister’s birthday. She came home over the weekend and we had a dinner for her at my parents’ house. I asked her about a week ago what kind of cake she wanted – fruit? chocolate? She replied “cheese”, as in cheesecake. And then said chocolate fruit. I replied “chocolate cheesecake with fruit?” She said “haha, I don’t think so” and finally ended it by telling me to make whatever I wanted.
I set out and found the perfect, beautiful cake to make – a chocolate raspberry layer cake from Bon Appetit. At the grocery store, I had a change of heart. Why stop at a beautiful cake? I should go above and beyond and cake-ify her favorite thing in the world – Domo.
Yeah, Domo. That weird brown creature thing that is actually really, really cute –photo from here
So, here’s my edible version of Domo. I’m going to be upfront – this cake was not a quick project. It took quite a few hours to get all the components ready, including my weird sketch of the Domo dimensions (Domensions?).
I don’t regret a second of it. The look on her face was priceless. We tried to capture her excitement when she first saw the cake, but all the pictures turned out really blurry. I guess bouncing around will do that!
Plus, Domo loved it, too :)
My suggested timeline – set aside one night and the next day to make this cake.
The night before: Bake cake and let cool. Store in cake pan covered. Make fondant and let rest in fridge overnight.
The next day: make frosting, roll fondant, decorate cake.
for the cake:
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup skim milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup canola oil
for the fondant:
8 ounces mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
red gel food coloring
for the frosting & filling:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 Junior Mints, for the eyes
1 teaspoon cornstarch, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons water
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9×13 pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper and grease well with butter. Set aside.
- Mix together lemon juice and milk and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Form a well in center.
- Whisk together lemon juice/milk mixture with water, oil, and eggs in a medium bowl until well combined. Pour wet ingredients into well of dry ingredients. Whisk until just blended.
- Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 – 30 minutes. Cool completely and cover baking pan with plastic wrap. Set aside until the next day.
- For the fondant: Place marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 1 minute. Mix in water and vanilla extract to hot marshmallows and stir until smooth.
- Grease mixer bowl and dough hook attachment well with shortening. Place mixture in well-greased mixing bowl. Add in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and knead on medium-low with dough hook until fondant is smooth. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can do this by hand. Grease hands and kneading surface thoroughly with shortening. Knead in powdered sugar by hand 1/2 cup at a time. Once all sugar is incorporated, continue to knead for 5 – 10 minutes, or until fondant is smooth.
- Divide fondant in half. Form one half into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon of red gel food coloring until remaining half of fondant and knead until color is well blended. Add more gel coloring as needed to reach desired color. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day:
- For the frosting: cream butter in a mixer on medium speed. Add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Beat on low until just combined. Increase mixer speed to medium and add in salt, vanilla, and whipping cream and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- To shape Domo: Place 1 cake layer on serving platter, short edge facing you. Trim off 1″ from one of the long edges and set aside (blue line). Trim a 2″ piece from the enter of the bottom short edge to form the two legs (purple lines). Remove the trimmed piece and set aside. Repeat with other cake.
- Take reserved trimmed pieces and form arms. The 1″ section (blue cuts) – 4 pieces formed the arm on the left. The 2″ piece removed for Domo’s legs (purple cuts) turned into the right arm.
- Assemble 1 layer of the arms on the bottom layer of the cake. Spread half the raspberry jam on top. Place other layer of the cake body and arms on top and spread remaining raspberry jam on top.
- To frost, fit a pastry bag with a Wilton #233 tip (the grass tip) and fill with frosting. Pipe frosting on sides of the cake first, working in sections. Continue to frost the remainder of the cake.
- To decorate the face: Place one Junior Mint about 1.5″ from the left side of the cake and 2.5″ from the top of the cake. Repeat with the other Junior Mint for the other eye.
- To make the mouth: Allow fondant to come to room temperature. Combine 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water and set aside. Dust surface and hands lightly with cornstarch. Take 1/4 of the red fondant and roll to 1/16″ thick. Cut into a rectangle 4.5″ long and 3.5″ tall.
- Take 1/4 of the white fondant and roll out to 1/16″ thick. Cut into 8 triangles 1″ wide and 1″ tall for the teeth. Brush the back of each triangle lightly with the cornstarch-water mix and place on arrange four triangles on the top of the rectangle and four on the bottom to make the teeth. Press lightly to adhere.
- Move “mouth” to cake. Place in center of the cake, about 1.5″ below the eyes.
- Take a deep breath, step back, and enjoy the cutest cake you’ve ever made :)
And don’t forget the candle. After all, it is a birthday!