Monday, October 31, 2011

Quoth the Raven...

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Back in 7th grade English, we studied Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven. I'm not sure why exactly we spent so many weeks on it, but we did. Like all of Poe's work, it's a bit creepy and dark...perfect for Halloween! So with middle school flashbacks haunting my memory, I set out to create my The Raven, in honor of Mr. Poe himself and one of the most sugar-filled holidays of the year. Happy Halloween!

Quoth the Raven   [click to print]
Supplies Needed: 
One batch of cake ball mixture/dough (see this post if you need a refresher; I used peanut butter cake and chocolate frosting because I had it on hand, but I recommend red velvet and cream cheese frosting if you're going for creepy)
One batch of chocolate ganache (see this post for recipe)
2 small pretzel rods (not "sticks"!)
1/2 c. chocolate chips; melted, spooned into ziploc bag with corner cut off
Wax paper for work surface
Cooling Rack and Empty Cake Pan

  • Shape two wings, using about 1/3 to 1/2 c. dough per wing. Flatten to just over 1/4 in. thick throughout with the top of the wing (where the bird's shoulder will be) forming a 90 degree angle. Wing should be about 1/2 in. shorter than length of body. Gently press wings to sides of body, lining up tip of wing where body and tail feathers join together; top of wing should be about 1/2 in. below top of body. Smooth shoulder joints to join wings to body.

  • Flatten about 1 T. dough and cut two small triangles about 1-1/4 in. long and 3/8 in. wide. Line up triangles and pinch ends together to form beak. Chill in freezer for about 5 minutes.
  • Roll about 1/2 to 3/4 c. dough into a round head. Carve a slot about 1/4 in. deep to fit beak; coat thinly with melted chocolate. Remove beak from freezer and carefully insert into slot. Line head up with top of body. Place strip of dough at head and neck seam; smooth to join together. Place bird in freezer while you do next step.

  • Dip two small pretzel rods in melted chocolate and allow to set. Pipe two bird feet on wax paper and all to set. When legs and feet are firm, pipe blob of melted chocolate on base of feet, attach to legs and allow to set until firm. Carve two round slots about 1/2 in. deep near bottom of body for legs; squeeze small amount of melted chocolate into slots and insert legs. Chill in freezer about 15 minutes.
  • Remove bird from freezer. Transfer bird from wax paper to a cooling rack set over dish or cake pan; this is your glazing station. If ganache has hardened at this point, microwave at 15 second intervals until it's about the consistency of warm syrup. Carefully spoon ganache over entire bird. While ganache is still warm, use a toothpick to smooth and remove excess ganache from around wings and beak. Chill about 15 minutes or until ganache is set.
Source: Inspired by PhotoBasement

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