I went to New Zealand to meet the rest of my husband's family earlier this year, and decided to bake a cake for the big family lunch. I decided on a cake shaped like the Kiwi bird since it is the national symbol of New Zealand. And because I like birds, especially ones you can eat.
I started with a sheet of plain sponge cake baked in a roasting tin (didn't have a special cake tin at hand). While the cake was cooling down I traced a photo of a kiwi bird on some baking paper held against the image on the computer screen (if you do this make sure you don't press too hard!).
I then placed the baking paper on the cake and cut out the shape. At this stage I decided to make two layers, so I assembled a similar shape from the offcuts The rest of the offcuts were assemled beneath the bird shape to form the 'ground'.
I filled the cake with raspberry jam and then covered most of it with chocolate butter icing.
I made slightly lighter brown icing for the feet (I wished I had made the feet of something other than cake - the crumbs were getting mixed up with the icing...), and then a beak out of a chocolate biscuit cut in half, covered in the lighter icing.
The cake was finished with a small piece of liquorice for the eye and some kiwi fruit for grass - I figured since I was making a kiwi cake I should include some kiwi fruit in it as well!
The cake was well received at the lunch, especially by the younger kids