Ethan wanted a Halo 3 birthday cake for his birthday. I almost fainted thinking about how to recreate the Halo 3 look - space, the main character etc.
In an inspired move though, I decided to fashion the cake on Noel's Halo 3 commemorative t-shirt, which he got as one of the first persons in Singapore to get the game (See how fanatic my boys are about the Halo franchise? *winks*). Also, since Noel's birthday is also in December, I figured I could make 2 boys very happy with one cake.
I baked 3 8-inch square cakes using my chocolate cupcake recipe. I wanted a dense, chocolatey texture for the cake and I love how moist my chocolate cupcakes remained days after baking it. I had to extend the baking time to about 40 minutes each cake. I then sliced the cake in the middle to get 6 squares, in order to get 3 layers of cake.
Next, I slather a layer of "instant" choc ganache to sandwich the layers together, with the final layer a mix of canned dark cherries and choc ganache:
In between layers, I brush the cake with the liquid from the canned cherries mixed in with a little rum (not enough to make drunk kids... it's a kids' cake after all), moistening the cake further. *decadence...sighs* When the 3 layers are done, this is what a slice of the cross-section looks like:
The rectangle cake is then cut into shape. I sliced the bottom square into 2 smaller rectangles, and half one of that rectangle for sleeves:
I shaped a collar and the sleeves, and then covered the entire cake with the choc ganache.
After that, I covered the entire cake with fondant:
After that, I added the collar and sleeve details:
I printed out the Halo 3 logo from the Net, and then cut it out from the blue fondant:
Here's the final product:
I used the leftover fondant to cover the cake base and voila! Cake done!
Here's the cake inspiration:
And the cake close up:
I figured in total, I used about 4 Cadbury 70% Cocoa choc bars just for the ganache filling and frosting below the fondant layer. For the ganache, I did a lot of research to find a simple recipe. I struck gold with this amazingly simple 2-ingredient-2-step method to making the most versatile chocolate ganache from this site.
170g Dark Chocolate (I used the Cadbury Old Gold 70% Cocoa)
1 can Nestle Cream Pure Dairy Sterlised Cream
1. Heat the choc in a microwave oven at short bursts of 20 sec at med heat until all the choc is melted. Be careful not to burn the choc.
2. Pour the can of cream into the melted choc and mix well until the two ingredients are incorporated.
The choc ganache is pliable and holds itself well in our warm weather. Excess ganache can be stored in the fridge and warmed in the microwave before use.
Whilst making the cake, Edna hid in a corner and stole bits of fondant to eat... I finally wisen up when I saw little finger pinches from the fondant pile. *grins*