Monday, April 19, 2010

Ikura salmon roll sushi cake

Another "cake that looks like meat" project... large and small Ikura roll cakes! The cake part of this project was very simple, but creating the nori (seaweed wrap) and ikura (salmon roe) presented more of a challenge.

There's already an ikura sushi cake tutorial on the Internet, and I followed the same basic principles but tweaked mine to make it look more like an actual piece of ikura sushi. Here's what went into it:
  1. Cake: Betty Crocker white cake mix. Two circular cakes with the edges trimmed off, layered. I used the trimmed edges to build the smaller cake, which you can see in the large picture.
  2. Buttercream frosting between layers and on the outside of the cake
  3. Shredded coconut around the top edge for "rice"
  4. Nori: Homemade fruit leather (like a Fruit Roll-up) made out of applesauce, pear, blackberries, and lemon juice with green food coloring. You could use store bought fruit leather if you can find the right color. There are also many recipes online. I used scissors to cut it to the right size.
  5. Roe: Jello molded in half circles. An egg holder or carton with rounded sections would be ideal for molding the Jello, but I couldn't find one, so I ended up using the blister pack from a multi-pack of small bouncy balls! The larger Jello balls ended up falling apart under their own weight, so I would recommend using a heavier gelatin mixture just for looks. However, the tropical fruit Jello tasted nice.
  6. Ginger: Apple sliced thin on a mandoline, soaked in lemon juice with sugar and a little red food color
  7. Wasabi: Buttercream frosting with green food color
  8. Soy sauce: Espresso with rum and sugar

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Steak cake and bacon cookies

For a cookout billed as "Because meat is tasty," I decided to have some fun making desserts that look like meat. The bacon cookies are based on the excellent instructions from Eleventy. The cake (which my friend says I should call "beefcake") is my own idea, although I found a lot of pictures of other steak cakes online. It's basically a red velvet cake with red and white icing, strategically piped and smoothed into position using a spatula and a small paintbrush.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Ukulele cake

So, I play the ukulele, as do many of my friends these days. It's one of my favorite things in the world. For my friend Jasmine's birthday, I decided to build a ukulele cake. This turned out to be a pretty easy (and fun!) project which I made with a little help from other uke-playing friends, Vichu and Lou. (You can see Vichu crumb coating the cake in the small photo. Lou iced the neck with chocolate fudge icing.) Overall, I'm pretty happy with the finished result even though it could have been neater if I'd had more time.

Basically, we baked a sheet cake and a few small loaf-sized cakes. I only ended up needing one of those, for the neck. The headstock is made using one of the leftover bits I carved off of the sheet cake when I cut the body of the uke. The pattern for the uke body was made by tracing my Mahalo ukulele, and then I transferred that to the cake by punching around it with a knife.

The tuning knobs are lollipops and the bridge is a section of a chocolate bar. The soundhole is made using cocoa powder sprinkled into a ring mold (Vichu's idea, which worked great, although cocoa powder went everywhere when Jasmine blew out the candles!). Everything else is pretty much frosting, dyed green or piped.

Also, I think the finished cake with burning candles has kind of a Jimi Hendrix thing going on!

Blue heart cupcakes

Boston Swing Central Valentine

Illustration for Boston Swing Central Valentine. It's inspired by the 1926 "Life" magazine cover by John Held, Jr.

I'm posting the original illustration and a photo of the finished Valentine... I need to scan it for the color to look right, but I don't have a scanner at the moment.

Mike Hibarger of BSC put together the final version and added the text.