I’ve been trying to bake a lot of cute things lately and they’ve gone horribly wrong. Usually, my success rate is around 50%. It’s probably higher for savoury meals and lower for desserts and baking. It’s very disheartening to spend hours preparing something only to have it turn out poorly, and I hate wasting ingredients when my efforts turn inedible as well as ugly. I almost gave up and took a break for a few days when finally I succeeded. I’d been trying to replicate the famous Totoro cream puffs afrom Shirohige’s café in Tokyo but I just couldn’t get it to work. I made about five attempts before deciding I could’t do it. I still wanted to make something Totoro-themed so decided to do a cake-pop but without the stick.
This lone Totoro took at least an hour to prepare, but unlike the cream puffs, I could tell during the early stages that it was going to work. I’d never had a cake pop before, and to be honest, I don’t really like them. My boyfriend ate this and said it wasn’t bad so I guess it depends on the person.
The most frustrating part of the process is making the eyes, nose and leaf. Living in Australia means that room temperature (even with air-conditioning) is almost high enough to melt the chocolate. Add in touching it a few times, and it’s almost impossible to perfect the shapes. If you live somewhere colder, this will work better for you, or just refrigerate before assembling (I was too impatient).
(makes 1 totoro)
2 cups of sponge cake crumbs (blend sponge cake up in a food processor)
2 tbsp cream cheese
half a cup of white chocolate discs
green, brown and black food colouring
toothpick or latte art stick for drawing details
1. mix the sponge cake crumbs with the cream cheese in the food processor. Then transfer it to a bowl and mix it thoroughly by hand until you have a consistency that can be molded into shapes.
2. make the totoro by hand and put it in the freezer for about 15 mins.
3. melt half a cup of white chocolate discs. Add some black food colouring until it turns grey.
4. put the totoro cake on a plate and pour the grey chocolate over it in a thin layer. Scrape away the excess chocolate on the plate with a knife and refrigerate the totoro.
5. take a few discs of white chocolate, melt them and colour brown, green, dark green and black for the details. Draw the details with chocolate on some baking paper and let them set.
6. take totoro from the fridge, put him into a cupcake paper (I cut it so it wasn’t as deep) and stick the details onto him with grey melted chocolate.
Click here for more cute recipes!