I made this cake for my friend, Rob. It was his birthday today and some weeks ago I told him I’d like to make a cake for him. So he knew I was going to make him a cake, but I kept the theme a secret ‘til I presented it to him today. He was so happy with what he got as Studio Ghibli’s “My neighbour Totoro” is one of his favourite films, ever.
This cake was an awesome challenge, learning curve, and a great step up from the “Yoshi’s Island” cake I made a couple of months ago. This is the second time I’ve modelled sugar paste and, although it’s not absolutely perfect, I’m really happy with the results. My biggest challenge, this time around, was actually working in this summer heat. My house, as it is in sunlight all afternoon and evening ‘til sunset, means our living room and kitchen become unbearably hot and the heat began to dry out the sugar paste at an alarming rate, resulting in some lumps and bumps to the cake’s exterior. Again, I’m still learning, so this is very much a case of “practice makes perfect”.
So the cake components are:
-3 layer cake (2 chocolate sponges and 1 blue-coloured vanilla sponge sandwiched together with Mars bar ganache)
-Blue sugarpaste background around the sides of the cake decorated with grass, flowers, butterflies and leaf border, also sugarpaste. (Thank goodness for shape cutters!)
-Leaves atop the cake in a variety of shades of green
-Three Totoro characters. Largest Totoro is fully edible with cake body, covered in dark grey sugarpaste & other colours for finer details. Medium-sized blue & white sugarpaste character, and lastly, the tiny white character, also made entirely of sugarpaste. The reason I made the largest Totoro edible is because I hate the idea of biting into a solid chunk of sugarpaste.
The perks of making birthday cakes for friends? Getting to eat some afterwards. It was really tasty, even if I do say so myself. This is definitely my most awesome cake creation to date. It took me 10 hours in total, but so worth it. I hope, with time, I’ll become a lot more proficient (and efficient) in my cake making :)
The following are some “making-of” pictures. Enjoy!
All cake sponges cooling down.
Forming Totoro out of blue vanilla sponge cake, making him entirely edible. Though, I know birthday boy, Rob, would feel rather guilty about eating him.
Last sponge layer is on.
Coating the cake in beautifully rich and creamy Mars bar ganache.
Ready to be covered.
Totoro and pals before being placed on top of the cake.
This tiny little guy was so cute, as he is in the film.
Rob, the birthday boy, with his cake :)
There it is - finished! I love the daffodil-type flower I made :D
My slice of cake! Yummy!