Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Battle of Wits Cake

My oldest child turned 21. This is a momentous occasion. I wanted an equally splendid cake to mark it. It's funny all the things you are allowed to do at 21 that she is not interested in doing, like drinking. I happen to be a teetotaler as well. I never liked the taste of alcohol because most alcohol smells icky to me.

But drinking is the theme I went for in the cake this year. I wanted to make cupcake goblets. The idea was in my brain, and it wouldn't leave unless I tried this out.

She originally gave me the idea because she was working on her own copy of The Robber Bridegroom for her Book Arts class. If you don't know it, this is one of the gorier of the Grimm fairy tales. There is a scene with poisoned wine and a heart exploding. But I didn't want gory, at least, not that much. My solution was to use The Princess Bride. We've always loved the battle of wits between Westley and Vizzini. And bonus, I get to make a vial for the iocane powder. Here is the cake:

I decided to make a cake book as the base. I used the Lady Baltimore cake from my Fannie Farmer cookbook and buttercream frosting again, since it is the most dependable for decorating. Unfortunately, after portioning out the batter in my square pans, I only had enough left for two cupcakes.Had it not been 11:30PM the night before her birthday, I might have mixed up extra batter, but I was tired from a long day and she had just gotten back from college so the living room was full of dorm room.

Anyway, all went well until the second cupcake. I used Pepperidge Farms Pirouette cookies for the wine stems and the iocane vial. The vial was simple. I spread chocolate and silver sugar over most of the cookie so that it looked like there was a cork in the bottle. I cut the tops off the cupcakes and used them as the bottoms of the wine goblets. Then I slit the bottoms of the cupcake liners to stick the cookie through and into the cupcakes. It worked fine for one, but the other crumbled. If I did this again, I would not have cut of the tops, since the frosting would have been enough to depict the base. It's such a simple design for a cake, but it took about two hours to decorate because of the issues I had.

I think I could have made this work if I had glued cookies to the Pirouettes with chocolate. That would have given the cupcakes a solid base to sit on. I try to always learn from these experiences. Here is a close up of the iocane powder vial and my happy family:

Still no luck for my husband in the job hunt. Thank you to all who have sent us their thoughts and prayers. I may have some part time work soon (fingers crossed). Every little bit helps!

Two cakes down, one to go.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful job Tina - you have both the imagination and artistic talent to make your visions a reality. Also, I'll bet the cake was delicious! Happy Birthday Marina. Love, Linda

Mrs. A said...

Beautiful! The cake, and especially your family! It's so interesting to read how you work up an idea to completion. Best wishes on the job front and good luck finding a place to stash the dorm room!

Inner Elder said...

I love your comment: "I always try to learn from these experiences." And the cake was delicious. I thought the cork was a real cork! Your cakes are works of art. Love, MOm

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