Saturday, March 14, 2009

Let them eat cake!

The boys' birthdays are the 3rd and the 11th of March. It's a busy couple of weeks! We don't do big parties, but I do make their cakes. This year Kiddo also got to have his birthday at school, which I'm jealous of as my birthday is in August so I never had a school birthday party.

I figured Kiddo's kindergarten teacher didn't need 27 kids hopped up on sugar, so I made my Chocolate Zucchini Bread as muffins, reducing the sugar even further by subbing Splenda for the white sugar. The icing is good old-fashioned wedding cake icing though, as the cream cheese icing I used for Valentines Day tends to stay very soft. I didn't want to spend an hour individually frosting them, so I used a star tip on a pastry bag to make sloppy little stars. I like the effect, it'd look cute with little star flowers in there. Maybe for Easter.

Kiddo's actual birthday cake I'm terribly proud of. I thought I'd try a ganache, which is basically chocolate and cream. Ganache can vary in consistnacy from a hard candy coating to the soft part inside a bonbon. This one was soft, and I kept it in the fridge until party time. The cake is just a plain yellow box cake; the icing, the leftover green from the cupcakes. The decorations came from two different bags of mini toys.

Junior wanted Teletubbies, which are not popular with the "make your kid drive you nuts until you buy it" manufacturers right now, so I found a picture to transfer to the cake. In hindsight the picture was too detailed for the cake size and the size of my smallest star tip, but Junior recognized and ate his favorite Teletubby. The cake is (again) a yellow box cake; I've tried making cakes from scratch and getting that light, moist consistnacy requires being very meticulous. And heck, a box mix is about $1.25. The center filling is actually homemade peach-pineapple-apricott jam, and the icing is plain white buttercreme. (I went back and outlined Lala's tummy after this pic!)

I'm not sure I'll ever do enough cake decorating regularly enough to get as good as the cake ladies in the stores, but I do enjoy being able to make a special cake for birthdays!

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