I admit, I have wanted to do a Minecraft cake since last year, so as soon as Sierra made this request for her birthday, my mind was turning about how to make it happen. After our bad news on Monday, I wanted to make it as special as I could. She had requested ocelots. Every time she builds anything on Minecraft, there a lot of cats.
This was probably one of the simpler cakes I've done. I used my dependable Buttermilk Chocolate Cake from the Fannie Farmer cookbook and froze it for an hour after baking to make cutting easier. If I did this again, I would level the tops. Even though the cakes are relatively flat, once you start stacking that third and fourth layer it starts looking tilted from even the smallest rounding. I asked Marina to make a brownie layer for the bottom to raise the cake up a little more. I think that gave more of a Minecraft feel. For frosting, I made chocolate whipped cream to use between the brownie and cake, then buttercream for the rest, since it has a flatter look and takes color easier.
I figured the best way to make the animals and tree would be to use sugar wafers. What I didn't know was that it is hard to find sugar wafers. Are customers that scared of sugar in our area? I finally found some in the international foods aisle after having no luck in the cookie aisle. These were Bauducco chocolate wafer cookies and Manner milk-vanilla sugar wafers. I used a sharp serrated steak knife to gently saw cookies to size and glued the pieces together with melted chocolate to form the cats. I applied eyes and noses using a toothpick dipped in the melted chocolate. For the ear, muzzle, and tail details, I split off layers of wafer so they wouldn't be as thick. I had limited success with the tails. I broke a lot of tails trying to cut out an angle, so some cats had shorter tails than others.
The tree was hard because it was top-heavy. I used buttercream frosting to glue it together and make the leaves green. Chocolate would have worked better. The buttercream would only stay solid for so long and then the tree started falling apart. I ended up keeping it in the refrigerator until I needed it and I used a toothpick to anchor it to the cake. A wooden skewer might have worked better.
In all, I think it was a success. Tricky figuring out how to cut it, but tasty.
It was nice to end the week on a happy note.