Monday, March 25, 2013

Animal Cakes

The Brave Astronaut Clan is staying put for Easter this year (although LBA will have some Nana time this week - he's off for the entire week)

There is an excellent chance that we will have lamb for dinner (no ham for the Brave Astronaut - although Mom's Ham and Turkey Pie was always welcome)

At a previous point in my life, I used to enjoy lamb cake for dessert on Easter.  I knew someone who had a lamb mold and she would make a lamb cake, usually a yellow cake, frosted in white icing.  It was pretty yummy.  I was intrigued when seeing this post on BuzzFeed, with "amazing and crazy animal cakes.  The lamb cake I used to enjoy was nowhere as intricate as this one.  I will point out these recipes come from the Devil Goddess of the Kitchen, of whom I am not a big fan - so I will likely not be pressing anyone to make these for me.

Happy Easter!

Lamb Cake Recipe
Serves 8 to 10
You will need an eight-cup-capacity 3-D lamb cake pan from Nordic Ware. 

  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for molds 
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for molds 
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 large whole egg plus 1 large egg yolk 
  • 3/4 cup warm water 
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 1/2 cup canola or safflower oil 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup seedless blackberry or raspberry jam 
  • 2 recipes Swiss Meringue Buttercream (white chocolate variation, recipe below) 
  • Gel-paste food coloring in brown and yellow 
  • 1 pound white chocolate, chopped 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter both halves of an 8-cup lamb-shaped cake mold. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. 
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add whole egg, yolk, the water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until smooth.
  3. Divide batter between halves of molds. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer molds to wire racks to cool 30 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely. 
  4. With a serrated knife, trim flat side of each half. Trim excess from edges, if necessary. Cover flat side of 1 cake with jam. Turn halves upright; stick together.
  5. Tint 1/2 cup buttercream brown. Tint remaining buttercream pale yellow to match color of white chocolate. Spread a thin layer of pale yellow buttercream over cake to form a crumb coat. Refrigerate until frosting is firm, about 30 minutes. Spread a second layer of buttercream over cake, smoothing around head with an offset spatula. 
  6. Melt white chocolate, stirring, in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Turn off heat; let cool slightly. Spread one-quarter of the chocolate over back of a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate until just starting to set, about 15 minutes. Holding a bench scraper at a 45-degree angle, scrape chocolate into 1/2-inch-wide curls. (If chocolate breaks, let it stand to warm slightly. If chocolate is too soft, refrigerate until just starting to set.) As you work, transfer curls to a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate curls until firm. Repeat with remaining chocolate. Store at room temperature in an airtight container, between layers of parchment, up to 3 days.
  7. Cover frosted cake, except for head, with chocolate curls. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip, such as #2, with brown buttercream; pipe eyes and mouth. Cake can be refrigerated up to 2 days; let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

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