Awesome kid and possibly the heaviest thing I have ever created (outweighed kiddo’s birthweight, definitely) both went to the bowling alley yesterday for a very belated (due to me being extra sick lately, holidays, other birthday parties, etc) Birthday celebration!
He asked for a Mario themed cake…Our local purveyors of baked goods all have soy or ascorbic acid somewhere in their cakey creations, so we originally decided to bring Alex a cupcake from home, and have a themed cake for the rest of the kids. Alex was totally down with this plan (it’s amazing what he is flexible with lately… really makes me appreciate the amount of progress he has made). Then I found out that Publix did not have a Mario theme in their catalog, so the plan was switched to get the cake and put Mario figurines on the cake…
But he had his heart set on a really awesome cake and that seemed a little too pieced together for this gal and her creative tendencies.
And the kids loved it! The cake itself is fantastic (from Sur la Table’s Baking Kids Love)… The mushroom “stem” was more of a brownie to offer increased support for the weighty mushroom “cap”… As probability would have it, one of my kitchen accidents would have to be a happy one- last week I tried to make the chocolate cake with Alex but because of constant narrating and ironically, the Mario theme song as Alex danced around, playing with his Nintendo handheld, narrating every moment and demanding I look (and me refusing and trying not to get more distracted) I forgot to put in the baking soda. Ooops. The “cake” came out more like very dark chocolate velvety brownies… Tasty (especially when garnished with a bit of finely ground Celtic grey sea salt)…. So when I was building the mushroom then EUREKA! I set aside 1/4 of the batter and left the baking soda out…..
Here are the “failed” cupcakes (they were still tasty, but not cakey…very dense) that inspired the stem…
The fondant. Well, it was my first time working with fondant, and I felt guilty about all of the red food dye (but I was making this under a major time crunch)…I did darken the red fondant with some dark cocoa powder first, which seemed to help and gave the fondant a nice buttery and slightly chocolatey flavor….
So here is what I came up with. I have seen other mushroom cakes online and they look much more professional (smooth fondant is something that just boggles my mind. With RA I can’t chill the fondant and then roll it, and with hand tremors placing it neatly is another issue (and sensory issues? Yeah. Fondant (and the post-cake making aftermath that was my kitchen and kitchen floor that I finally excavated using the steam cleaner) is definitely some sensory mayhem…Albeit, sweet sensory mayhem))
All in all, it was a nice birthday party. We had five of the nicest kids show up, Alex was happy (I don’t think I have blogged, yet, about last year’s party…Soon I will. It’s on the “to blog list”)… A good time was had by all….
And now we have the leftovers of the beast of all cakes taking up all of our top shelf in our fridge…The little figures are all on the space left by the part of the cake that was eaten. It’s like a Super Mario Land massacre… Or maybe a parallel to Boston’s Molasses Flood would be more appropriate, as the Mario, Luigi, Shy Guy, and a turtley thing are firmly encased in sweet, paralyzing fondant…
(I definitely recommend the chocolate cake recipe… I used “Special Dark” cocoa powder- which is super-chocolatey, and with the sea salt I use in all of my cooking, I think it made it perfectly yummy. And soy free, so Alex could eat the same food as his non-G6PD deficient friends. Which is why we undertook this adventure to begin with.)
Sometimes we put on our “normal” to fit in and sometimes we bring the circus and invite everyone to grab a trapeze and join in.