It's Domo-Kun! I made my very first novelty cake for the flavour tripping party at ChocolateSuze's new home. Sorry for the late post as some readers had requested for the recipe a while ago, hope it's not too late for those who were planning to make the Domo-Kun cake for party.

What do you mean you never heard of Domo Kun? Domo-Kun is a cute mascot for Japan's NHK TV station. Just like other cutesy cartoon characters in Japan (eg. Hello Kitty, Doraemon), it has become a phenomenon, and Domo-Kun merchandises popping up everywhere! ChocolateSuze has a few Domo-Kun plush toys at home at least! And (ahem!) I myself also have a Domo-Kun hoodie. (Funny I am actually wearing it right now while writing this post)

The Domo-Kun cake is actually pretty simple to make. I just baked two chocolate cakes, cut into pieces and join them together. As for the chocolate cake, I want it to be more solid so it is a lot easier to cut them into shapes and coat in chocolate ganache. However, I did leave the cake in the fridge overnight and it gets harden and a little bit dry the next day. So, I would suggest you to just go ahead with your usual recipe for the chocolate cake. You can also slice the domo-kun's body into two layers, and add whipped cream or strawberry jam inside for that little extra moist and flavour.

My initial plan is to use fondant for the cake. Strangely, fondant is not something easily to be found in supermarket. The only thing that comes close to fondant that I could find is Marzipan, which I ended up using it for the mouth. But then I am also not very confident at covering the cake with fondant, since I've never done it before. Another option is to use icing. which is also another coating that is hard to work with, especially when you want a nice smooth surface.

I am so glad that Domo-Kun is in chocolate colour, there is nothing better than covering the chocolate cake with more chocolate ganache! The chocolate ganache works perfectly, it gives the cake a nice smooth shiny layer, and it definitely taste much better than icing.

As mentioned, the mouth is made of Marzipan. I bought a packet of marzipan, and since is made of almond, so it is not as white as I would hoped for, but more with a light yellow tint. I used red coloring for the pinkish mouth, which I think it works with the chocolate body, even though the original domo-kun has red mouth. As for the teeth, I try to make the marzipan as closer to white colour as possible by keep dipping the marzipan dough into flour while kneading it. It is still not as white but close enough, just make sure you don't add too much flour and the marzipan becomes crumbly.

The funniest part is probably the eyes. There is no way to get the marzipan to be as black as the black fondant which you can buy from supermarket. Then I also bought a packet of licorice, decided to roll it flat and cut into circles to make the eyes. Unfortunately, the licorice is not black at all when rolled flat, it becomes translucent dark brown, which doesn't work at all. Out of options, and running late for the party, so I just popped the lids off the film canisters I have at home and stick them onto the cake. Voila! It works perfectly, but just don't eat them. :)

Here's the recipe as requested.

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake (Double the ingredient for 2 cakes)

200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
200g butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease 2 square 23cm baking tins.
2. Place chocolate in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, until almost melted. Stir until smooth then set aside to cool.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
5. Add melted chocolate and beat until well combined.
6. Sift flour and cocoa together and then fold half the flour mixture into butter mixture.
7. Add half the milk. Stir gently to combine. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk.
8. Spoon into prepared baking tin. Smooth surface.
9. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
10. Stand cake in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make chocolate ganache: Melt 1 cup (250gram) of good quality dark chocolate to 1 cup of thickened (heavy) cream in a bowl over simmering water on low heat. Let it cool before using it.

To make Domo-Kun cake

1. Use one cake as the body, cut two corners off to form a V-shape for the legs.
2. On another cake, cut into quarters - two will be used as legs, and another two will be used as arms.
Note: best to use the 4 smooth curvy edges of the cake for better results, save you from cutting neatly.
3. Cut one end on each pieces in an angle. Pay attention to the angles on the body that already been cut, so make sure the leg pieces will piece together in the same angle.
4. Once you are happy with the shape, put each piece on top of cooling rack over a bowl to catch the chocolate drip to be reuse.
5. Pour a few spoonful of chocolate ganache on top of the cake and spread out evenly until well coated.
6. Put the ganache coated pieces in the fridge and let it set. Once harden, you can put the jigsaw pieces together and form the Domo-Kun.
7. To make the mouth, dip a toothpick in red coloring and smear over a lump of marzipan then fold-kneading until the dough is in even pink colour. Add more coloring if you want a deeper pink, but bit warn the marzipan will get sticky. Once you are happy, roll it flat, cut into square to form the mouth.
8. Same thing for the teeth, dip a lump of marzipan into flour and start kneading. Repeat the process until it becomes paler, then roll out and cut into zig-zag (4 teeth up and down) and put over the pink mouth.
9. For eyes, would be best if you can get black fondant. If not, then just use any round objects in the house that is black in colour and stick it on top of the cake.

So that's it, HAPPY BAKING!