Friday, June 19, 2009

I Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Bake Sale Shilling

To bring you cake.

We're just days away from a bake sale, so I decided it would be a good idea to make a birthday cake*. I clearly have no desire to ever leave my kitchen.

I'm lucky to have friends who sometimes challenge me to make new things. Last year, my friend wanted a crepe cake and it didn't go so well. Inspired by last month's fiasco, she asked about a cannoli cake this year. I had no idea what this was, but that's what the Internet's for, right?

Fun fact: Everyone on the Internet has a different idea of what a cannoli cake is and it doesn't even usually have cannoli in/on it.

I pieced together assorted bits of Internet and concluded that cannoli cake is a layer cake made of sponge cake soaked in rum syrup and cannoli filling, topped with a buttercream/heavy cream sort of frosting and here's what I came up with:

This is a great make-ahead recipe. I made the cake over the course of three days, taking less than an hour of active time each day.

Monday, I made my Super Secret Cannoli Filling, which isn't so much a secret as an offhand mess. It's basically squished up firm tofu, lemon juice, vanilla extract, granulated and confectioners sugar, tofu cream cheese and mini chocolate chips. It needs to drain at least over night.

I made the sponge cake Tuesday, using VeganYumYum's recipe. When making a cake from a cupcake recipe, I usually double it, but this one says it makes fifteen, so I just 1.5ed it, which was perfect. As you can see, I would have had a major mess on my hands had I used any more batter.

Wednesday started with the rum syrup. That recipe was so strong sniffing the steam coming off the pot made my eyes water. I upped the sugar and reheated it in an attempt to boil off some of the alcohol. It still seemed very strong to me (I don't really drink much), so I used a minimal amount and now have a container of orangey sweetened rum in my fridge. Boy, I sure do hope someone can figure out something to do with it.

Next came assembly. Here's the first rum-soaked cake, topped with cannoli filling:

I had another collapsed cake problem last month and vowed not to let that happen again. My weapon of choice in the war against cake collapse? Skewers!

I just kept shifting them around as I frosted the cake with a mashup of the buttercream and cream cheese frostings from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World., then threw some extra chocolate chips over the cake right before serving to cover the holes.

I know I said I wouldn't plug our upcoming bake sale in this post, but this is what I did at work. I think I may have convinced some people it would be in their best interest to attend. I also attached a flier to the lid of the cake carrier, to give people on the subway something to think about.

Now I'm off for a a few hours of sleep before I get cracking on this bake sale. Hope to see you there!

* Do YOU need a birthday cake? Father's Day cake? Bar Mitzvah? Graduation? Communion? New baby? Old baby? Let us know in advance and we'll have one ready for you on Bake Sale Day. I promise to try not to drop it.

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