Hachiko is the name of my brother's beloved dog by the way. She's a Yorkshire Terrier or what most people called Yorkie. She turns one last Monday and the parents (a.k.a my brother and my sis in law) were super excited about this. They want to have a little celebration so that they could have a picture of it. And when she died 15 years from now maybe, they can take a look at the picture and cry. Okay, maybe it's not the best reason to have a celebration for a dog's birthday, but hey who needs excuse or special occasion to have a little gathering, or more importantly, for a cake! Here's a sneak peek of the dog. She's super cute, isn't she? not to mention super smart too.
So, I thought it would be fun to make a cake covered with fondant, and maybe a little doggie figurine on top. The dog was allowed to eat a small cupcake size cake for her special treat on her birthday. As long as it doesn't contain alcohol, grape, or chocolate, it should be fine. Since this is gonna be fondant cake, I don't have many choices as for the type or filling of the cake. It should be something that doesn't need refrigeration, but still tastes good. The standard filling is buttercream, but what a boring cake I thought if it's just a plain vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream. After a long thought, I decided on super soft vanilla cake (the same one here), layered with a thin layer of very fragrant blueberry paletta (some kind of a jam and tastes like candy) that I mixed with blueberry preserves to cut down the sweetness that usually jam has, and to have texture. Then, on top of the jam, I layered cream cheese frosting that I had flavored with a little rum extract.
It might not the best decision ever because I forgot that cream cheese frosting is softer than buttercream. It took me a good 20 minutes probably just trying to smooth out the side and the top, making it even, not crooked. After a trip to the fridge for a couple of hours, I was ready to cover it with fondant. It became soft again quickly, but I tried to smooth it out as smooth as possible.
I made the doggie figurine the day before and it was my first time! I always said and thought that I would or could never made little figurines like that. I just don't have the patience sitting, kneading, coloring small fondant with multiple color, attach this and that, I just think it's too much work. But I tried last saturday with a laptop nearby playing youtube instruction of how to make fondant dog. I think I did a pretty good job on it :D. At least it looked like a dog, not bear, cat or some random animals. Luckily, I had a little piece of deep brown colored fondant from my last fondant cake and it was perfect for the dog.
I also made the paw prints. Now, I think this is harder than making the dog itself. I used small round fondant cutter to make the paw and shape it into oval by hand with the help of a toothpick. The little fingers were made using regular straw. The straw was a little bent, so it wasn't completely round, a little oval instead and it works very well for the job.
The morning after, I saw the front part of the cake was a little bent, not completely smooth anymore. It was because the frosting went soft and I guess it slide down a little :(. I can't do anything at this point, and besides, it's only for a dog's birthday and it's only 6-in just for the family to eat. So a little less pressure there. If it was a cake order, then I would really sweat it.
Overall, I was pretty pleased with the cake. I think it's simple but cute. I baked some in cupcake pan for the dog to eat. She was only allowed to eat one though. I didn't go overboard with the dog's cake decoration, just a simple swirl, some sprinkles, and ribbon to make it extra pretty :).
She was hesitated at first, and just licking the frosting only (we removed most of the frosting though), but then she gulped it down in a split second. I could tell she was a happy dog that night :D.
As for the adult's cake, everybody loves the cake (including myself). The soft texture of the cake, the sweet and fragrant blueberry and a little tartness from the frosting, compliment each other perfectly. I always love the combination of blueberry and cheese anyway. They're just one of those coombinations that are meant for each other :). It's not as light as mousse cake, although it's not over-the-top kinda cake, but it's definitely comforting and the type of cake that you'd like to have one slice each day ;)