"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wakey Wakey, Let's Have Cakey*

Despite the fact that it was Easter, I can safely say that our family just experienced the Weekend of Cake.

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We had this strawberry cream cheese cake on Sunday afternoon.

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And while Jeff was making it Sunday morning, he and I ate leftovers of his birthday cake from the night before.

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Which was homemade Boston cream pie (it does say 'pie' in there, but trust me, it's cake) and Jeff actually made it for himself for his own birthday. Ya, I know, I probably suck. But you should believe me when I tell you that both of us are much happier when Jeff is the one who does the baking.

In my defense, he didn't assemble the whole thing, but made the spongecake, pastry cream and ganche and I put it all together. (Which now that I think about it, is even nicer of him. He did all the hard work, but gave me the satisfaction of putting it together. )

As wonderful as this tasted, it's awesomeness may have had as much to do with how it was decorated as what it tasted like.

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Kenzie (17) and Randa (15) spent an hour or so on Saturday making their dad's face in chocolate. Actually two faces because we couldn't decide which picture to use.

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I realize that for those of you who've never met Jeff in real life, you may not appreciate how amazing this is, but these look EXACTLY like him.

I showed the girls this fantastic tutorial by Jojo over at Eye Candy of how to make a portrait out of chocolate. Though we did make a few changes. Instead of just using a plastic bag, I gave them actual pastry tips to apply the melted chocolate.

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We also found that it worked much better using my light box.

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Without it you couldn't really tell the difference between black and gray, which, apparently, made a big difference, as evidenced by Kenzie's first attempt below. We also found out that it's best if the chocolate isn't too melted as it's more difficult to control.

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Here's what it looked like on the back, using the white chocolate to fill in.

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When he saw the decorated cake (along with the extra portrait of himself), he didn't stop grinning for quite some time.

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In fact, he pretty much looked just like that one there on the right.

The girls enjoyed making these so much that they've decided that every single dessert from now on needs to have someone's face on it.

And I concur.


*Alternate title: Dad is Great; He Bakes Us Chocolate Cake.



Added Note- In case you're interested, these two recipes are from Cook's Illustrated, available both online and in print.
Strawberry Cream Cake (which also can be found in their magazine on Entertaining)
Boston Cream Pie (also can be found in their fantastic cookbook Baking Illustrated)
Their website does have a yearly fee to access the recipes, but they've also got a free 14 day trial you can sign up for.

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18 comments:

melissa said...

wow - that strawberry cake looks fantastic! but i can not get over the chocolate portraits! what an amazing thing! very cool!

::carol:: said...

OH MY!! I thought the strawberry cake was amazing until I scrolled down to your portrait cake!!! WOW!! I cannot say this enough, you are a very, multi-talented woman!!!! Brilliant!!!!!

Wendy said...

Thanks so much!

Carol, actually my stepdaughters did these! I found the tutorial and prepared the supplies (and gave advice), but they did all the actual piping. And also, Jeff made both cakes. I probably should have made a bigger deal out of the fact that I didn't actually do any of this. Well, I ate a lot of cake. And I do have to say that I'm pretty good at that.

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

"but these look EXACTLY like him" They do! They doooo! That is incredible, and out of CHOCOLATE! Wow.

You both amaze me, Jeff with his baking and you with your creativity -- oh and the girls for their work, too. Wonderful! You are, like, the Family of Amazingness. :D

Now I am saying this to myself like Cosby used to: "Dad is Great; He Bakes Us Chocolate Cake." Mmmmmmm. Cake is great!

Happy Birthday to Jeff. :)

Mommy, I'm Home said...

How cool! Can you post the recipe for the strawberry cake (not that I don't want the portrait cake, but strawberries are almost in season...)

Wander to the Wayside said...

It does look exactly like him! And I can't believe the things that you guys do!

Wendy said...

Mommy, I'm Home, I haven't asked for Cook's Illustrated's permission to copy it here. However, if you click on the link that says Strawberry Cream Cake at the bottom of the post, you'll be able to sign up for a free trial. Then you can have access to both of the recipes. Their recipe comes with some pretty handy pictures, so it might be worth it.

Glenda said...

Your stepdaughters did fantastic on the chocolate portraits!!

That strawberry cake looks divine :).

Hahaha, after seeing Bill Cosby years ago, the "dad is great, gives us the chocolate cake" song always pops into my head whenever we're having dessert for breakfast!

FinnyKnits said...

That is effin awesome. I *HAVE* to do this for Bubba someday. He'll freak out. And then we'll eat his face.

Too cool, W - too cool.

Jojo said...

I'm glad your stepdaughters tried technique. The results are awesome! And I love how you included some personal tips as well.

Amber Dusick said...

Wow, serious cake artistry! I can eat cake really well. That is something, right?

cake said...

my first visit to your blog (via_grow it. eat it._) and i must say, i am blown away by those cakes! i recently made a similar strawberry one, for a friend, but yours looks yummier.

the portraits are awesome, and i will have to try it. i have a light box.

http://whistlingleafblower.blogspot.com

Sarah@Neoteric.Traditional said...

Those are freakin' awesome! And that is not a phrase I use lightly HAHA! If my husband could / would make Boston Cream Pie, our marriage would be so different - and so would my dress size!

Apron Thrift Girl said...

Wow a fun idea. When I first saw it I just couldn't believe that you made chocolate into looking like the photo. Thanks for showing us how you did it.

Melanie Jade said...

That is so cool!
I just found your site after searching for reusable bag patterns. Great idea to use sheer curtains!

Melanie
www.NoNewPlastic.com
www.MyMagicalJourney.com

Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

This is so amazing in so many ways!!

Awesome.

Arunrith said...

Wow! Those cakes look amazing! I wouldn't be able to stop grinning too if I had been in Jeff's shoes! That was super sweet! I'm going to have to look at your tutorial and give it a go this summer when I have time! Hope you guys are doing great! It's Chula btw, in case you didn't recognize my first name. :)

Poogie said...

Thank you SO much for posting that Strawberry Cream Cake. I made it the other night and it was incredibly delicious. I even took some in to my coworkers and it was greatly appreciated.
Your blog is so interesting and fun to read. Keep up the fabulous work!!!