Sunday, December 23, 2007

Birthday Baking

Last Sunday, we threw a bit of a birthday celebration for one of my friends and I was entrusted with the cake detail. This was a real challenge because the birthday girl is allergic to most nuts, most fruits (except citrus fruits), soy, whole grains, beer and wine. And she loves pumpkin. I thought the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World would be good, but I didn't really want to bring cupcakes to a party again. Causing friends to be bored of cupcakes is a cardinal sin. So I brought my task to The PPK and with some suggestions from them and some idea stealing from other Internets, I ended up with this:

(I can't believe I forgot to get a picture from the side!)

I stole the pumpkin cake shaped like a pumpkin idea from BitterSweetBlog. It's a great idea that would have been absolutely adorable in more skilled hands (and in a bundt pan that didn't have points). I don't think my version is too terrible, though.

All I did was make a double recipe for the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin cupcake batter substituting the soy milk for rice, dump it in the bundt pan and bake it for about an hour. Then I made another half-recipe for six cupcakes. I also made one batch of the Cinnamon Icing, colored with Moss Green paste and colored some marzipan.

I stuffed the hole in the center of the cake with two cupcakes (unwrapped), then chopped off part of a block of fancy, frou frou artisanal chocolate I bought at Whole Foods (not because I'm a chocolate snob but because it was the only chocolate I could find that was close to the right size/shape, vegan and kosher) and stuck it in the cupcakes to make the stem. I shaped the green marzipan into a leaf. The green icing was supposed to do double duty as the birthday greeting and a vine with smaller leaves, but the vine looks more like a line made by someone with seriously shaky hands.

It's unfortunate that the bundt cake came out so much darker than the cupcakes. Of course, my family didn't care since they got to eat the leftover cupcakes.

The cake went over quite well and even the birthday girl's family was able to have some leftovers. I think I can consider my first birthday cake a success.

The raw cake:

The raw cupcakes:

Cake and cupcakes. Two tastes that taste great together (especially when they're the same damn thing):

Left over cupcakes:

With candles:

Blow it out!

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