Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 316: ACK! More ANTS!

Like we needed more of THESE, after the invasion at the beginning of the summer.  But Adam wanted an ant cake, and it was either a cake shaped like an ant (and the last thing I needed to see was an ant of ENORMOUS proportions*shiver*) or this idea, of ants invading a picnic.

The uninvited picnic ants won.

Grainy photo.  Didn't want the flash.  Set the ISO too high, and the aperture was set too fast, so the depth of field is freaky.  But I didn't have time to fiddle, so once again, Adam's birthday photos are less than stellar.  I think it might become a running gag!  LOL

OK.  How to make this cake.

The cake itself is a Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with fresh strawberry filling.  If I say so myself, it was really yummy.  I'll definitely do this one again.  Yes, definitely, since Julia wants the same cake flavour for her birthday in less than two weeks.  OK.  Here's the recipe:

2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/3 C. buttermilk or sour milk (or half buttermilk and half skim for lighter recipe, but who wants to do THAT for a birthday cake, I mean, really!)
1/2 C. butter (Yeah, the recipe says use shortening, margarine, or butter. 
But what's a cake without butter?)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3-oz. pkg. strawberry-flavored gelatin powder
4 egg whites
1/4 C. water
3/4 C. mashed strawberries


Beat together sugar, gelatin and butter until creamy.  Add egg whites and vanilla and beat until smooth.   Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add to egg and sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in strawberries and water.  Pour into 2 9-inch round greased and floured cake pans.  I use parchment paper when I do cakes to lesson the frustration of getting them out of the pan.  Bake at 350-degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Fresh strawberry filling:  This made loads more than needed.  Next time I'll only half the recipe, or maybe I'll just use the remainder that I put in the freezer for Julia's cake.  Here you go.

2 pints strawberries, hulled and washed
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a food processore, process half the strawberries, honey, syrup, juice, and vanilla until a smooth liquid.
Add the rest of the strawberries and pulse until chunky.

That's it!

How to make the cake.  Freeze the cake after baking to make it easier to decorate.  Fill.  The frosting recipe can be found here.  I put a fairly good layer of white frosting over the whole shebang to seal in the filling.  Looking at the cake makes it fairly self explanatory as far as the tablecloth and grass.  The buns are made from vanilla wafers.  The hot dogs are Starburst candies warmed up in the microwave until soft-ish, and then formed to make the hotdogs.  Same with the mustard, using a yellow Starburst.  It was either that or colour a miniscule bit of frosting, which made me want to cry!  HA!  The burger is a Snickers mini.  The ants are made by using the biggest plain tip (I don't know the number off-hand) and then the teeniest tip for the legs and antennae.

And there you have it!  And then you'll take all that time to make it, and end up with this:


Chris said...

I love the photo of Adam hovering over his birthday cake! Ants and all! It looks like he's four, what a wonderful age! Happy Birthday, Adam! Love the cake Lynn and your wonderful sense of humor.

Lynn said...

Thanks, Chris. The candle blowing photo didn't turn out as I'd hoped. I think I had the ISO set too high, among other things. I didn't want to use a flash, but instead ended up with a grainy, busy photo. Bleh.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday as well from Athens, Greece.
Said this probably once or twice before, but one can only be impressed by your being and ability to create. Please have you all a great Thursday.

Amynonymous said...

That cake looks delish! I think I'm gonna try it. I'm not quite artistic enough to make that awesome picnic spread on top though!