What’s a Hokie Bird?

A mere 13 days after my birthday was my friend David’s…. and as a staunch VTech alumni, (yeah, he wears one of two VTech polos to work every casual Friday, alternating between Maroon on Orange and Orange on Maroon). So, what better to give him on his birthday than a little VTech Pride, in edible form?

We debated over this for a while… what represents the infamous Frix the best? He has a mini stuffed Hokie bird that sits on his desk, so we tried looking for ideas with that for a while. However, who would think that a bird like that is so difficult to recreate in cake?! Good-ness. If we did something like that, it’d either be a maroon turkey, or lame.

Needless to say, idea abandoned. We picked something a bit more simpler, and Laur and Nick had at it! Some frosting, tons of burgundy, red, brown, orange and violet food coloring, and a bit of manpower, and you get the proud Virginia Tech logo:

In the works- cupcakes all aligned, white piping on the edges in process:

The final product:

 

Laur did a most excellent job at piping. Nick, at coloring. 🙂 Happy Birthday David!

Aye, best Birthday Cake Aye

July is my birthday month, and I was pleasantly surprised by my oh-so-crafty friends with only the best pull-apart birthday cake ever! I know, this is cheating, because I didn’t bake it, but I just had to post this. Can you guess what it is?

It’s ok, it took me a second 🙂 Well, I love pirates (yeah, even my mum didn’t know) and maps (to be a cartographer, I wish!) So they combined the two into a treasure map! And it’s full of all sorts of meaningful symbols of things… Like the Olympics wafer next to the Great Wall (the brown brick structure towards the back)… because I was in China during the Olympics, 2008. Then some cacti for our humble desert environment, and some water complete with Swedish fish, that represents the Great Lakes that I lived by for school. Not to mention, one-of-a-kind foil and toothpick fencing swords, you get the gist.

 

 

Here’s another photo complete with the thumbs up!

The cupcakes were lemon with homemade cream cheese frosting, delicious!

Thanks friends, for celebrating my special day, and for all of your efforts, I feel really loved. Shout outs to Meg, Ghiya, and Laur!

Blog-forest cake

Haha. Couldn’t come up with a better title… rely on the good ‘ol puns!

I’m home for Thanksgiving break (love it) and Dad does so enjoy the Black Forest cake (Chocolate cake with cherry filling, often soaked in Kirsch. [Definition: Kirschwasser (pronounced /KIRSH-VAHS-ər/, German for “cherry water”) is a clear, colorless fruit brandy traditionally made from double distillation of morellos, a dark-colored cultivar of the sour cherry.] Copied and Pasted verbatim from: Wikipedia’s definition of Kirsch.

Before I got into the whole “only making things from scratch,” I used box cake mix and jazzed it up a bit… and that has become the standard for Black Forest. So why not, it works and is an easy dessert for holidays.

The Cake (from Jean Pare’s “Almost a Scratch Cake” recipe)

  • 1 box Devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 small box of instant pudding mix (vanilla or chocolate both work)
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 4 eggs

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 min depending on the size of the pan. This time I did two loaf pans (9×5) and 40 min worked well. Usually I’ll do one 10″ round and that takes around 45-50 min. Use a toothpick to test for done-ness.

For the cherry filling, I use a can of cherry pie filling and add a few tablespoons of sugar to taste (sometimes it’s really tart). Optional is some sort of liquor, like Kirsch, Sherry, or Rum. My parents like the flavor, so I’ll add in maybe 1/4 cup.

For the frosting I just use a tub of Cool Whip! Easy 🙂

Cut the loaf into 3 layers. This time I used a dish of the same size and did it tiramisu-style- adding layer by layer instead of making it more of a cake, which is what I usually do. (Again, going for the easy-factor).

Layers go like so: Cake–Cool Whip– Cherry mixture–Cake–Cool Whip–Cherry–Cake–Coolwhip (Top). If you decided to do a stand alone cake, same thing, except in the last step you’d cover the entire outside of the cake.

(3 layers)

If you do it nicely (unlike my image), it can turn out to have a very pretty layered effect, almost like trifle.

Today’s lunch was cake and black cherry ice-cream… 🙂 yumm… with a cup o’ tea!