Monday, September 8, 2008

Duhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuh BATCAKE!

I promised a cake, and here we are. Thank you to the birthday girl for providing the pictures.

My friend loves Batman. Her birthday was last month, so I made her a Batman birthday cake. Yum.

I didn't get to take any pictures right when it was done, so please excuse the wax drip and candle holes. And general squashiness of the cake. As we all know, I can't make a birthday cake without some sort of drama:

I work next door to a box and paper store and not far from a cake supply shop but could not find a box the right size for a 9", two layer cake. So I used a box that was slightly too small with toothpicks taped into the corners to hold it up. It looked more like a shirt box than a cake box, but I figured it would do. Guess who was wrong!

The cake left my house in perfect condition, I swear. Halfway to the party, some guys on the train started talking to me and asked to see the cake (don't ask me how they knew it was a cake). I showed it to them and it was fine. The cake was still totally intact. Somewhere between Queens and Brooklyn, the toothpicks fell off and the lid fell in. When I got to the restaurant and took the top off the box to show the birthday girl's husband the cake, half the bat symbol came off on the inside of the top of the box. And some the ganache was stuck to the sides. The cake was ruined! It was so bad the staff couldn't even tell what it was supposed to be (the husband could, though). I stood there shaking and shitting my pants (well, dress) while the staff brought us some chocolate sauce. The husband was able to fill in the outline left by the original bat with the chocolate sauce* and still get the basic look I had been going for. I didn't do it myself because my hands were shaking and they said the chocolate was at about 100 degrees.

We brought in the cake, everyone loved it and no one seemed to notice anything was wrong with it until I told them the story.

The cake is a doubled recipe of the Golden Vanilla Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Like the book suggests, I heated the soy milk and whisked in some tumeric, to get it really yellow (I was too lazy to do this for the Iron Man cake). I made this cake multiple times, because in my effort to get it good and yellow, I kept adding too much tumeric, and you could taste it. Blech.

I needed the cake nice and flat to get my stencil to sit on it, so I asked for suggestions on the PPK and got the idea to make my own cake rings:

They say cakes dome because the edges cook faster than the center. The slower cooking center puffs up, leaving the more done edges low. Cake rings are supposed to keep the edges from baking so quickly. I made mine by soaking some newspaper in cold water, wrapping it in tinfoil and taping it closed around my cake pans. I think the cakes were a bit straighter than usual, but it was hard to tell since one broke in half right out of the pan (I should have known that was an omen). Obviously, that was the bottom cake. I wonder if anyone noticed the break while they were cutting (if not, they'll know if they read this!).

I topped and filled the cake with the Fauxstess ganache from Vegan With a Vengeance because I think that one comes out closest to black. I printed the bat symbol out from the Internet, traced it onto cardboard and used that as a stencil for the icing.

Here's the cake with candles:

And the birthday girl blowing them out:

The birthday girl also loves Harry Potter. As a super nerdy bonus, this doubles as a Hufflepuff cake from the inside (assuming we keep pretending the ganache is actually black):

After this, the Iron Man cake, the Indiana Jones cake and the Yoda cupcakes, maybe I should change the name of this blog to Seitan Said Bake Dorky Things.

*Two days later, I realized I had no idea what was in that chocolate sauce and I just used it because I was desperate to save the cake. I doubt it was vegan, but such is life. It honestly didn't even occur to me at the time. I was the only vegan there, though, so with luck, my piece only had ganache on it.


Paula Dines said...

Holy Bat Cake Disaster!

It still looks great! I do feel your pain...I'll have to tell you about my wedding cake debacle at some point.

I'm now craving cake. Thanks.

Mihl said...

What an awesome cake! I hear you on cake disasters while traveling...I am glad you guys were able to reconstruct batman.