Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cake (birthday)

My blog started out of my love for making birthday cakes for my loved ones. I still 10 years on still love making a birthday cake most of all!

Recently my girls have started watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and words cannot express how happy that makes me. I have been a fan of the Turtles since I can remember! When we moved house, back when I was 6, my dad made my sisters and I a turtle lair out of one of our moving boxes and we played in it until it fell apart! Or until that time our basement flooded.... that flood ruined all our original Batman movie trading cards. Stupid flood. 

Anyway, my littlest one is now 6 years old and she asked for a chocolate turtle cake, I was happy to oblige! 

I have tried baking and tasted many chocolate cakes and most of them are dry and only mildly taste of chocolate. But I found one that works every time and it's super chocolatey!

Ninja Turtle Birthday Cake: 

chocolate cake
110g dark chocolate, broken up 
240ml boiling water, boil then measure
225g granulated sugar
195g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt 
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
225g light brown sugar
120ml sunflower oil
110g sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Heat the oven to 180C; line and grease two 8 inch or 9 inch cake pans - if using 8 inch there will be a little batter left over perfect for cupcakes or mini cake. 
Put the broken up chocolate in a large bowl and pour the boiling water over it, leave to the side and mix the sugar, flour, salt, and bicarb of soda in a separate bowl. Leave that to the side for a moment and go back to the chocolate/water. Whisk them together until smooth, then add the brown sugar, oil, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla one at a time whisking until smooth after each addition. Add a third of the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth repeating two more times until all the dry mixture is incorporated into the wet mixture. Pour into the prepared pans about 3/4 full and bake for 30-35 minutes. Do not over fill the cake tins as they will not bake properly and over flow, I know this from personal experience. 
Leave to cool in the tins for at least 5 minutes and leave to cool completely before icing and decorating.

250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter, room temperature 
25ml milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the butter until soft and fluffy - add the icing sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat until it's smooth and creamy. Add icing sugar if it's too soft and milk if it's too stiff. 

constructing the cake - once the cake is cooled spread the bottom layer with buttercream and place the other on top and cover that with butter cream as well. Leave a little bit of butter cream to use as a "glue" for the fondant mask/eyes/mouth. 

turtle decor
green fondant, enough to cover a 2 layer cake
white fondant, enough to make eyes/teeth
red/blue/orange/purple fondant, enough to make face mask
*I use store bought fondant. 

Dust your work surface with icing sugar to keep the fondant from sticking, roll it out as thin/thick as you like, but enough to cover the cake. I roll it out pretty thin as we aren't fondant lovers in this house. Gently wrap the fondant over the rolling pin to lift it up and lay across the cake. Gently smooth over the cake and press down around the edges. 
Then re-dust with icing sugar and roll out the color fondant for the mask. I free handed it, but if you want go online and print out a turtle mask and use it to trace. 
Again re-dust and roll out the white for the eyes and mouth. For the eyes I used circle cutters and the mouth I free handed. Like above go online and print a turtle mouth out if you want it to be exact. 

notes: recipe adapted from bake! by Nick Malgieri and hummingbird bakery cookbook by Tarek Malouf and the hummingbird bakers

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