Son 1, being quite a intuitive one, requested the usual party food as well as, “Mum, can you do some cupcakes too?”. Hmm, an opportunity to play with more decorating techniques? Well, as you asked so nicely, of course!! A quick Pintrest search of “Marvel Cupcakes” gave me a host or heroes to choose from, as well as various ways to create an Iron Man mask (though the Nerd in me did get miffed to see them alongside Batman and Superman cupcakes – they are DC Comic not Marvel, people!!). A quick review of the fondant and frosting colours available helped me decide who would make the grade and off we went.
|I can't work out how to rotate this pic!!|
For Hulk I used green frosting, the rest had red fondant bases, with black fodant details or yellow and blue frosting, with the ol' faithful black (and white) writing icing for the detail.
For The Birthday Cake, I was at a bit of a loss. In past years, I have done a Spiderman (see here ) as well as an Iron Man cake, so I was loath to repeat myself. The trusty printed Cake Toppers that have served me so well in past years were no help, as this game was only released 3 months ago and I don’t think the Cake Topper (or party decorations) people had caught up yet. Hubby suggested creating a scene from actual Lego figurines on top of the cake which was a great idea, but I wanted the kids at the party to actually Play with Captain America and Loki and such, so another idea was needed.
And while I was re-watching how to make a Lego Brick, I was reminded of another cool technique I had seen her use: A Zebra Cake. Kind of like a cooler version of a marble cake, but I thought it was something that might really impress a bunch of 8 year olds.
Now although I am a huge fan of Ro and her “nerdy themed goodies”, I do despair at her regular use of Box Cakes. I’m sure it an American thing, but I have about 3 or 4 cake recipes that are probably just as quick and easy (and yummier) than a packet mix. So I decided to use one of these. My standard Birthday Cake is a buttermilk cake that I found in Delicious magazine – it was a recipe for Cannoli cupcakes (you use ricotta cheese instead on cream cheese in your frosting), and I found that the cupcakes were nice and solid without being too heavy, and that if you combined the mix in a cake tin, you also got a lovely solid (not too heavy) cake that stayed moist for a day or two. This is very helpful when you are icing cakes over several days (which I often have to do due to work and child-minding time constraints!). To make a chocolate version, I just added 3 TBSP cocoa powder to my flour and off we went.
|Chocolate and vanilla ready to go|
The party day arrived and we have five 8 year olds running amok for a few hours, eating fairy bread and such. They were all quite impressed with the cupcakes, arguing over who was going to get which hero. "Happy Birthday" and blowing out the candles all went fine, and so we headed to the Cutting Of the Cake; which did look suitably zebra-ish.
The cake wasn't cooked through.
I will admit that I wasn't surprised; the cake had fallen in the middle quite a bit when it cooled which is never a good sign. But I basically had a crisp shell surrounding liquid cake - argh!! I think there must have been something wrong with my oven that day as my cupcakes had a few uncooked bits as well and I have made that recipe many times.
|Not my finest hour...|
But I will not let this beat me. Obviously the buttermilk cake is not a good option for the zebra cake technique, and definitely not a loaf tin. I think the next time I try will be in a round tin, and using a chocolate mud cake recipe which I know is runny mixture; I will just have to check that my white chocolate recipe is of a similar cooking time.
Or maybe I'll just use a packet mix...