Since I’ve been a Pokémon fan for years and I am really looking forward to the new Pokémon Sun & Moon games, I thought it was fitting to finally make a Pokémon cake. Also: Rowlet is super adorable! As a collaboration between AVO Blog and MuchMunchies I love to share recipes with a Japanese side to them, but these are not my only recipes.
This is a pretty complicated recipe and although I won’t be making a video for every recipe, I did make one for this recipe.
Difficulty level: ✩✩✩
This is based on the long preparation time (not including the waiting time in between), covering the cake in chocolate ganache as smoothly as possible, covering the cake in fondant and the many parts of fondant you have to shape to finally create Rowlet.
What you’ll need:
♡ Cake pan 3D Ball or Sphere form (diameter of 15,2 cm)
♡ Cake pan Spring form (diameter of 20 cm)
♡ Baking paper + Scissors
♡ Pastry Brush
♡ Balloon Whisk (or Electric Mixer + Whisk attachments)
♡ 2 Mixing Bowls (at least)
♡ 1 Boiling Pot
♡ 1 Glass (heath proof) bowl
♡ 1 or more Silicone Spatulas
♡ Cake Board or a big plate (Minimal diameter of 15,5 cm, bigger is fine too)
♡ Small Palette knife
♡ Small knife
♡ Serrated knife
♡ Kitchen paper
♡ Rolling Pin
♡ Modelling tools for fondant
♡ Round cookie cutter (diameter of 7 cm)
♡ Optional: (disposable) piping bag(s)
♡ Dark Chocolate Ganache (Filling & Outer layer)
- 800 grams of dark chocolate (in small pieces)
- 400 grams of whipping cream (I always use lactose-free whipping cream, but you can also use the regular or soy kind)
♡ A little bit of butter, to butter up the pans.
- 120 grams of dark chocolate
- 230 grams of butter (I always use butter, meant for baking cakes, that doesn’t contain soy or lactose, but you can use normal butter, for baking cakes, instead.)
- 270 grams of flower
- 120 grams of cocoa powder
- 20 grams of baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 220 grams of (fine) caster sugar
- 320 grams of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (more or less, to taste)
- 240 grams of milk
♡ Simple Syrup
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
♡ Fondant (or marzipan or modelling chocolate instead of fondant)
- 750 grams of white fondant: Use the extra’s for elevations, beak and the shine in the eyes
- 60 grams of orange fondant: 20 grams per paw and 20 grams for the beak
- 650 grams of brown fondant
- 90 grams of green fondant: 30 grams for the bowtie and 60 grams for the tail feather
- 10 grams of black fondant
- Powdered sugar for rolling out the fondant
- Optional: Food Colouring (gel or powder): Orange, Leaf green, Chestnut brown & Black (only necessary if you just bought white fondant)
Preparation: Put one half sphere baking pan on a piece of baking paper. Trace around the pan with a pencil or pen and fold the paper over. Cut out the two circles. You can use the rest of the paper to cover the spring form. Grab one of the baking paper circles. Fold the circle in half and then in half again, so you see a quarter of the circle. Cut down on the folded lines to about halfway down and make three cuts in between the folded lines. In total you should have sixteen cuts in your paper when you unfold it. Repeat this for the other baking paper circle.
Butter up one half sphere baking pan, place the cut circles in these and make sure they’re pressed in well. Repeat this for the other half.
Take apart the spring form and put the bottom part on the table. Put a piece of baking paper on top of this and then press the sides onto it and close the baking pan. Cut off the piece of baking paper that sticks out. Butter up the sides of the baking pan.
Make sure the chocolate for the pure chocolate ganache is chopped up, if you’re using chocolate bars. If you’re using chocolate melts then the pieces are probably small enough already.
TIP: You could follow steps 1 through 3 beforehand, reheat the chocolate ganache later and then let it cool a little till it reaches the right thickness. You could even follow steps 1 through 17 beforehand and then wrap your cakes in clingfilm. The ganache and cakes can be frozen at this point, but you could also set them aside for a day, at room temperature, if you don’t want to do everything in one day.
♡ Step 1: Put the dark chocolate, meant for the dark chocolate ganache, and whipping cream in a glass heat proof bowl. Place the bowl on top of a pan with a small layer of water in it. The bowl with the chocolate and whipping cream in it should not touch the water, because this could easily burn your chocolate. Bring the water to a very slow simmer on a small burner. Use a silicone spatula to carefully stir from time to time, until the chocolate has fully melted. If you stir too vigorously you will create air pockets in your dark chocolate ganache. Once the water comes to a boil you can turn off the fire, the bowl keeps the warmth trapped so the chocolate will still melt.
♡ Step 2: Take the bowl off of the pan and dry off the bottom with a kitchen towel. Put the bowl on the counter or on a coaster on a table. Be careful when taking the bowl off the pan because of the hot steam escaping and the hot glass bowl.
♡ Step 3: Cover the dark chocolate ganache with clingfilm, place this directly on the ganache. Let the dark chocolate ganache cool off, until it’s spreadable. You can check whether it’s spreadable by pressing on the clingfilm lightly. While you wait for the chocolate ganache to cool off you can continue with the next steps.
TIP: Make sure your house isn’t too cold, my ganache became too hard so I had to heat it up again and wait for it to be thick enough to spread.
♡ Step 4: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
♡ Step 5: Put the, chopped up, butter and chocolate pieces in a glass heath proof bowl and melt this au bain-marie or in a microwave with short time intervals. Don’t forget to stir it regularly, with a silicone spatula, so the chocolate doesn’t burn.
♡ Step 6: When everything is fully melted: Take the bowl off of the pan and dry off the bottom with a kitchen towel. Put the bowl aside for a little while so the melted chocolate and butter can cool off a little.
♡ Step 7: Put the flower, cocoa powder and baking powder in a mixing bowl and mix it through well with a balloon whisk.
♡ Step 8: Put the eggs, caster sugar, brown sugar and the teaspoon of vanilla extract in a different mixing bowl and mix this together well with a balloon whisk.
♡ Step 9: Add the melted chocolate and butter into the mix of eggs, sugars and vanilla extract. Mix this through well again, with a balloon whisk.
♡ Step 10: Add half of the flower, cocoa powder and baking powder mixture to the bowl and mix this through well.
♡ Step 11: Add the milk after this, you can do this in small amounts to make mixing it easier, and mix his through well.
♡ Step 12: Finally add the last bit of the flower, cocoa powder and baking powder misture to the bowl and mix this through well. Scrape down the bowl with a silicone spatula, to make sure everything is combined well.
♡ Step 13: After this I measured my cake mix, this turned out to weigh about 1700 grams, you can skip this step, but I wanted to be very precise. In each half sphere baking pan I put 685 grams of cake mix. The remaining cake mix goes into the spring form. Even when using the silicone spatula you’ll lose a little bit of cake mix while transferring it. As long as both of the half sphere baking pans have about the same amount of cake mix in them it’ll be okay. You can gently shake the baking pans to flatten the tops a bit.
♡ Step 14: Put the baking pans in the oven, make sure the half sphere baking pans are straight and not crooked. Make sure there’s a baking tray, preferably with baking paper on it, below the rack with the baking pans on it, this way if they overflow your oven won’t become dirty. Put the spring form at the front, this one will be done earlier than the half sphere baking pans.
TIP: How long the cakes will have to bake will be different depending on your oven, so make sure you don’t burn your cake.
♡ Step 15: Check whether the spring form cake is done after 15 minutes. You can do this by sticking a small knife in the middle of the cake. If there’s no wet cake mix stuck to your knife then your cake is done. It took me 25 minutes before the spring form cake was done. After 15 minutes I checked the cake every 5 minutes.
♡ Step 16: Check whether the half sphere shaped cakes are done 20 minutes after the spring form cake is done. You only have to check one of the two cakes, because both of them have the same amount of cake mix in them. It took me 40 minutes for the half sphere shaped cakes to be done, after the spring form cake was done. After 20 minutes I checked the cake every 5 minutes.
TIP: As you can see the tops of my half sphere cakes burned a little, this can happen. You’ll cut off the tops later, so it’s not a big deal.
♡ Step 17: Let the cakes cool entirely.
♡ Step 18: Meanwhile you can make the Simple Syrup, all you have to do is combine 1 part water with 1 part sugar, mix this and warm it until the sugar is dissolved. For this recipe you need about 3 tablespoons of water with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Let this cool. You can keep this in a closed container in the fridge once it has cooled down.
TIP: It’s best to put all the pieces of cake you cut off in a bowl with some clingfilm over it. If you happen to have cut off too much by accident then you can add some of these pieces onto the cake.
♡ Step 19: Cut the tops off of the half sphere cakes, it’s easiest to do this neatly if you leave them in their baking pans. Cut the top of the spring form cake off neatly as well.
♡ Step 20: Brush the cut sides of the cakes with some Simple Syrup, using a pastry brush.
♡ Step 21: Take one of the half sphere cakes out of its baking pan. Cut off a little of the sphere form so it can stand up on the cake board. Put a little bit of dark chocolate ganache on it and place it on a plate or cake board.
♡ Step 22: Put the empty half sphere baking pan on the spring form cake and cut along the baking pan, so it fits on top of the half sphere cakes well.
♡ Step 23: Spread some of the dark chocolate ganache, using a small palette knife, on top of the cake and place the flat round cake on top of this. You can also use a piping bag to put the dark chocolate ganache on top of the cake and then spread it out with a small palette knife.
♡ Step 24: Put another layer of dark chocolate ganache on top of the cake, as described in the previous step and place the second half sphere cake on top.
♡ Step 25: Wipe the crumbs away, off of the cake board or plate the cake is on.
♡ Step 26: You can do one of two things now: Either you spread the ganache onto the cake, or you put it in a piping bag and pipe it onto the cake before spreading it out. I chose the latter because this cake crumbs a little and some cake could break off if you spread the ganache on. Smoothing out a sphere cake is easiest to do when using some acetate.
♡ Step 27: Clean the cake board or plate your cake is on with a piece of kitchen paper. You could even wet this kitchen paper a little. Put the cake in the fridge.
TIPS: If you see a lot of clear lines or holes in your ganache layer then you’ll be able to see this when you’ve covered the cake with fondant. To solve this you can rub the lines away with a hot palette knife or you can use some extra (slightly heated up) ganache to fill up the holes.
You can take a break now! I left the cake in the fridge like this for 1 day before I covered it with fondant. Do make sure you don’t have any foods with a strong odour, the cake could start smelling like it or maybe even taste of it a little. You can make the whole cake in one go as well, or wrap it in clingfilm and freeze it after step 27 and defrost it before covering it with fondant.
Before you start working with the fondant it’s good to wash your hands well and clean your workspace very well. You’ll see dust particles and such clearly in your (white) fondant.
For the next steps it’s important to have a clear image of the Pokémon you’re making, in this case Rowlet. Find the official drawings of Rowlet here to find out what your cake should end up looking like.
♡ Step 28: Roll out the white fondant on your working surface, using some powdered sugar. If you make sure the thickness is between 0,3 and 0,5 cm then your white fondant shouldn’t be see-through. Make sure the diameter of your rolled out fondant is bigger than the circumference of your cake. If you want to measure the circumference then start measuring on one side of the cake, go over it and to the other side. As long as you cleaned the cake board or plate under your cake well, you can reuse the fondant you cut off.
♡ Step 29: Roll the fondant around your rolling pin and gently place it on the cake. Press the fondant onto the cake at the top carefully with your hands, and work your way from the top to the bottom, adjusting the fondant when pressing it down, to make sure there are no folds. You can use two pieces of cut off fondant, shaped into balls, to smooth the fondant.
TIPS: There are a lot of videos online with tips on how to cover a cake with fondant, if you think it’s hard to work with fondant you could watch these before starting to work with the fondant.
If you see any cracks in your fondant you can solve this by mixing a little bit of white fondant with a little bit of water and brush this paste onto the cracks to fill them.
♡ Step 30: Shape, using your fingers and rolling pin, part of your green fondant so it looks like the tail feather of Rowlet. Place the water onto the cake, using some water.
♡ Step 31: Shape, using your fingers and if you’d like some modelling tools, the other part of the green fondant into a bowtie that Rowlet has on his chest. This looks like two leafs. When it’s done put it on a plate in the freezer.
♡ Step 32: Create two sort of balls out of orange fondant, or one ball if you’d prefer and cut that in half, for Rowlet’s paws. Shape the paws by slicing the fondant balls almost entirely through half and shape the toes separately. Press two lines into the fondant, per toe, after you’ve put these against the cake. Make sure the white fondant has a little bit of an indent in between the two paws.
♡ Step 33: As you can see in the video I rolled out the brown fondant thinly after this and placed it on the cake. Then I cut it into the right shape and put fondant padding underneath, piece by piece. You could do this or you could make the padding for the feathers first and place these on the cake ahead of time, then you place your brown fondant over it and carefully cut it into the right shape.
♡ Step 34: Remove the brown fondant, of the mask, using the round cookie cutter.
♡ Step 35: Create two beaks, one made of white fondant, one made of orange fondant. Cut off the pieces, like Rowlet’s beak, and put them together. Place this onto the cake with a little bit of water.
♡ Step 36: Use a little bit of black fondant and a little bit of white to make the eyes. Make sure the shapes are very similar. Use water to add the eyes onto the cake.
♡ Step 37: Take the bowtie, or two leaves, out of the freezer and cut a hollow shape out the back. Place it onto the cake with some water, in the right place.
Honestly I’m not a big fan of fondant, when it comes to taste, and I took some of it off before eating a piece of the cake. The fondant is necessary to decorate the cake. This isn’t an easy recipe and does take quite a bit of time, but the end result is definitely something to be proud of!