lacytracy: (happy)

Yesterday was my aunt's 62nd birthday and she asked us to make her an Earthquake Cake. I'd never made one before, but that didn't stop us from taking it to another level.

Earthquake cake is German chocolate cake, with a mix of cream cheese and powdered sugar blended and thrown on top. As the cake bakes, the sugar/cream cheese sinks down, leaving cracks in the cake so that it looks like the ground after an earthquake. It's really yummy and I suggest you google the recipe and try it out.

Naturally, Ki had to idea to add to the cake, and create a crooked cityscape. We made the city by melting down chocolate into a flat sheet, then cut and carved out the buildings with an exacto knife and a fork (for the windows). The chocolate kept snapping so I became very adept at heating and healing it. Normally that would have aggravated me, but since there had been an earthquake, it just looked like some of the buildings had cracked : p

Note the chocolate rubble, and the broken building in the back right.
You can't see it, but one of the buldings is labeled GM. It doubled as an economic collapse cake.

Then we got the idea to put the birthday candles hidden behind the buildings, creating a real city in chaos effect.

Lighting the candles.

Our aunt really loved the cake, even though the candles burned some of the buildings : ) She and our neice had fun cleaning up the melting chocolate, and everyone fought over the tasty buildings.

The chocolate citizens never saw the disaster coming.

Yummy art

Jun. 16th, 2009 12:42 pm
lacytracy: (excited)

One of my favorite things to do is bake. When we were little, my mother would bring my sister and I into the kitchen to make a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. It was always so much fun to help measure and mix the dough, and of course we'd get to take little tastes along the way : )

I think our process of mixing may have been the best part. My younger sister mixed first. When it started getting tough, I mixed it. Once it was too hard for me, our mother took over. By the time the chocolate chips were added at the end, it was too thick for any of us so we'd call out father in to help. It's a very fond memory I have of all of us chipping in together to get it done.

We always had homemade birthday cakes too. I can't recall a single birthday party with a cake from the supermarket or some bakery. It was always made in our own kitchen, even if it did come from a box. To this day, my sister and I still make each other birthday cakes and over the years we've gotten more creative with decorating them. I'd love to take a cake decorating class to learn all the techniques, but for now I'm happy to experiment. If only these things didn't always take five times longer than expected. We've developed a habit of getting to parties exceptionally late!

Here is the cake Ki and I made for my sister last year. It was our first attempt to use fondant (handmade) and sugar. The fondant was so sticky that by the end it was covered in powdered sugar. Florida humidity is really rough on bakers. By the time we got to the party (only a few blocks away), the dragonfly's wings were already dropping. Oh well, it was pretty while it lasted.

Dragonfly made entirely by Ki:

And here's the Spongebob cake we made for our niece (technically 2nd cousin, twice removed I believe... Our family is big and confusing). We had originally planned to made it more 3-dimensional with raised eyes and his long nose, but we ran out of time. The frosting was a pain because we didn't have enough so I kept trying to extend it. That's why the frosting for the pants is a totally different consistancy. Well, that and all the die it took to get that color. In the end, that cake used a large can of frosting, two blocks of creamcheese, and a bunch of butter and powdered sugar. It tasted good though!

BTW, making frosting black is a chore and a half! The lines on Spongebob are actually dark purple. For the bees on my sister's cake, I just painted the stripes directly with black food coloring.

I still have a lot to learn, as these are rather sloppy, but we're picking up new techniques and ideas while having fun, and everyone is always happy to eat the results.


lacytracy: (Default)

August 2009

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