Monday, September 6, 2010

That's No Cake! It's a Space Station!

When I was a little girl I loved my mom's Wilton Cake Decorating books. I spent hours looking at the photographs, marveling at what could be done with cake and frosting. It filled my head with possibilities.

Each time a birthday rolls around at our house, I go back to that place in my mind and dream up an amazing confection that will delight the children and impress their parents. Unfortunately, unlike my mom, I never took any cake decorating classes.

So I'm going to tell you how not to make a Death Star cake. Honest, that's supposed to be the Death Star. See the aluminum foil tie-fighters being chased by the Millennium Falcon up there?

It started out pretty good. I mixed up a batch of cake batter and divided it evenly between two Pyrex bowls that had been lined with greased foil. I built the batter up a little on the edges so the tops would be more flat.
Then I baked the cakes in the oven. It took longer than I expected, probably because the bowls were deeper than your typical cake pan.
After the cake had cooled, I peeled off the foil and put one piece, flat side up on a plate. I stuck a big glob of frosting on top, then squished the second half in place. Rather than making a nice round shape, it ended up more like a half-deflated beach ball.

If I do this again, I'll make three layers. The two bowls, and then one regular round layer of cake in the middle.

I tinted the icing gray (five drops blue, two drops red, one drop yellow), frosted the cake, and then made the rest of the frosting a darker gray and piped on those technical-looking dark gray panels that distinguish the Death Star from a small moon with a big crater on one side. When my work of art was nearly complete, my birthday boy helped me make some foil space ships to go flying over the surface.

My fully operational battle-station was ready to blow up a test-planet or two. When I brought it to the table at the birthday party, one of the guests remarked, "That's something that lives in the ocean, yeah?"


"No, it's the Death Star. See?" My son came to my defense.

Sea urchin or Death Star, it tasted great with ice cream.


Kathy said...

Wow! A cake to make Jonathan truly jealous!! That's the very object in question when his mom (that would be me) went into labor ... was it or was it not fully operational?? were or were not Luke's loyal band of friends about to be obliterated??? And WE had to leave the theater without knowing!!! Well, Dad did make us stop at the bookstore in the mall to buy the paperback on our way to the car (I could hardly believe it!). We somehow managed not only to make it to the hospital on time, but to actually finish reading the book from where we left the movie to the end before Jonathan came... ;-) I am delighted that my enjoyment of making creative birthday cakes lives on in you, Rebecca!!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

LOL! Good for the kiddo for coming to Mom's defense! They're the best, aren't they? :)

p.s. I personally think it's awesome.

matilda said...

It looks great! I made a death star once, the biggest challenge was cutting it and keeping the other half from rolling away.

LeishaMaw said...

I love the Deathstar cake! You are so creative. It almost makes me want to try to do more than just pull the cake out of the oven and frost it in the pan. Almost. I know my limits. :) You're awesome.

Rebecca J. Carlson said...

I've seen your cakes, Mati. I bet your death star didn't get mistaken for a sea urchin.

Loved that dalek cake, by the way.