So last time I left off having just completed making modeling chocolate.  Well, I actually made two batches; a white chocolate one and a milk chocolate one. For the white one, I used Ghiradelli white tempered chocolate bars.  For the chocolate version, I ended up using the Wilton cocoa candy melts because they taste like milk chocolate but have a much better melting consistency.
I used different combinations of the two chocolate batches to create different shades of brown. Hint: think, “Tint white brown, not brown white.” Basically it only takes a little brown to tint white a deep color, but it takes a mountain of white to lighten brown, and you will end up wasting a lot of modeling chocolate on one color.  I actually didn’t do most of my color mixing until I had the body of the owl completed.
This is the ratio of white to milk
modeling chocolate for one of my colors.
This is the resulting color.  I put it next
to the original white chocolate
The owl’s body was a Rice Krispy treat.  A big 6 inch egg shaped krispy treat. I crushed the rice cereal down before mixing it into the marshmallow butter mixture so when I sculpted it the surface would be as smooth as possible, without the krispy treat turning into one big hunk of marshmallow/rice cereal mash.  I used pure white Crisco on my hands as I was sculpting the body.  It make it really easy to handle the krispy treat.  When I was finished I put it in the freezer to cool and harden a bit.  That makes it less sticky and easier to handle when decorating.
After the body was finished, I started on color matching for the chest feathers.  I really wanted to get this right.  When coming up with your own designs, it is easier to take artistic liberties with your project.  When you are making a duplicate of another person’s interpretation of an owl, it’s important that you get it as close to the picture as possible.  I used a circle cutter to cut out the feathers and at the bottom, for the first two rows, I put them around the entire body.
Then when I knew the wings and body pieces would cover the body I only layered the feathers on the chest area.  The issue with modeling chocolate is it’s very time consuming.  I would roll out the chocolate to the desired thickness (If I did this owl again, I think I would actually roll it a tad thinner. If it wasn’t a whimsical owl, I would roll it even thinner.) which would make it too warm to pull the circles out without ruining them.  So then I would put it in the freezer to firm it up, take them out and pull the circles up, and possibly have to put the circles back in the freezer for a tad to keep them cold enough to attack to the owl without problems.  This freezing process had to be done the entire project.
Keeping your chocolate cold will help in cutting and removing chocolate pieces.
After the chest feathers were on, I started planning on how I was going to do the wings/body.  In the picture, it looked like it was all one piece.  But I know that was done in fondant, and fondant can stretch into shapes whereas modeling chocolate cannot.  If modeling chocolate does stretch, it’s because it is way too soft and no good for decorating with until it gets cold again.  I knew I couldn’t do the body and wings in all one piece.  So I made the body from a strip of modeling chocolate that went from the owl’s forehead down to its rear.
Then I attached the wings.  I shaped the wings by cutting out a general shape and then lifting it to the owl to see if it looked right.  If not, I adjusted it until I got it where I liked it.  Then I used it to make a duplicate wing for the other side.
 
Side note: Most the time, chocolate will stick to a lot of things.  If it doesn’t, then you need to heat up chocolate (not modeling chocolate) and use it as a glue.
After the body, I started on the eyes.  This actually took a bit of time.  It’s amazing how just one tiny detail can change the expression the face makes. If the eyes are to narrow/tall, the owl looks a little too serious.  Too round can make the owl look too goofy.  I wanted to go for bubbly innocence.  I did the same thing as I did for the wings.  I cut out a general shape and molded it to fit the look I wanted.  I originally planned to put the eyes side-by-side, but it gave a odd look so I overlapped one a bit. Then I put on the ears, irises, beak (The beak was a straight forward yellow fondant triangle), and pupils.  Of course, when I needed it, the only gel color I didn’t have in my supplies was blue! :/  I used a mixture of water and lustre dust I use for my gum paste flowers and painted the irises blue on white fondant.  I usually use 80 proof vodka or sometimes everclear to paint with, but this is a sculpture for a 1 year old ;).  Vodka doesn’t have as much water thus doesn’t make the fondant gum up.  It also evaporates quickly.  Eyes, irises, beak (dyed yellow), and pupils (dyed black) were in fondant because I would have to use a lot of titanium dioxide to turn the white chocolate white. Titanium dioxide is food safe and edible, but I really didn’t want to put that much into the owl. The ears were the milk chocolate modeling chocolate.  I put a peice on and molded each ear until it was in the shape I liked.
After that I did the bow.  It was a strip of pink fondant that I created two loops with at each end.  I then wrapped another strip around the middle.
The last few things I had to do were the feet and branch.  They were white fondant tinted yellow and chocolate fondant.  I shaped the fondant into three toed feet and secured them onto a branch I create by just randomly rolling chocolate fondant into a log.  They would travel like that to the party where the owl would be placed on them.  It was a safer travel for the owl.
This was not the actual bow.  I remade it to look much better and thinner,
but I took this picture to show what it would look like. I also,
changed up the feet so you would see less solid foot and more toes.
The branch is dusted with cornstarch to keep it from getting sticky as it comes to
room temperature from the freezer.  It will absorb into the branch and leave no trace.
And that completes the owl 🙂 Next post will be on the cupcake toppers.

Sarah

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Sarah