Archive for the 'The Kitchen' Category

Girl Genius Cupcakes!

Girl Genius Cupcakes by Emu Pics
Girl Genius Cupcakes, a photo by Emu Pics on Flickr.

This weekend, my friend and I decorated cupcakes to look like our favorite characters from the webcomic Girl Genius (which recently won the Hugo award for best graphic novel). On this plate are six of the twelve cupcakes we made (clockwise from top left: Gil, Violetta, Klaus, Tarvek, Oggie, and Agatha). We had so much fun! To see the whole cast in cupcake form, go here. If you want to see more of my people cupcakes, go here.

Thus Perish the Enemies of the Republic

I’m one of those lucky travelers who usually makes it through airport security with no hassles. But leaving Geneva, the Swiss Frontier guards asked to search my bag. The guard put on gloves and removed a small box tucked into my laundry. He opened it and pulled out the contents, a small chocolate marmite (cauldron). He smiled, said something in French, and carefully placed it back in the box. It made the trip back to Berkeley unbroken and this evening, we celebrated L’escalade in the traditional manner…smashing our marmite and shouting “Thus perish the enemies of the Republic!” The choclate pot and marzipan vegetables were amazing! Little did I know that the shop where I purchased the marmite is one of Geneva’s most famous choclatiers, Du Rhone.

Chemistry Set Cake

Peabody isn’t your typical chocolate cake kid. For his 8th birthday, he was looking for something vanilla with a laboratory theme. He filled plastic test-tubes with colored sugar and stuck them into the cake alongside the candles. It looked and tasted great!

Class Cupcakes

For our last homeroom, I decided to surprise my group with cupcakes that looked like their faces. I was inspired by the book Hello Cupcake, and an article in American Girl Magazine. Both featured cupcakes iced to look like real people. I used jellybeans for boys’ ears and a few of the girls’ eyes. Chocolate sprinkles were helpful in creating eyebrows and thick hair that stood up. I used candied cherries for everybody’s mouth, and little flower sprinkles for earrings and hair clips. I’m the curly-haired cupcake in the middle of the second row. I made myself much too tan by accident, but if you surround me with cupcakes with darker icing, it doesn’t look that much different. Making these for my classmates was really fun, and everybody loved them. I can’t wait to make them again!

Making Chocolate Bunnies

We made chocolate bunnies from the molds I’ve been using since I was a teenager. Only one rabbit came out decapitated and he was quickly patched up by Nettie’s confection surgery skills. The secret to having glossy and smooth Easter bunnies is to use high-quality tempered chocolate. We also used some smaller molds (picture here) and painted Easter eggs (picture here).

Chocolate Guinness Castle Cake

Inspired by the 250th anniversary¬†of Guinness and watching Timeline the night before, Annabel baked Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness Cake in our Nordic Ware castle pan. Much tastier than a Three King’s Cake. Trebuchet!

Feast of the Three Kings

We don’t celebrate Epiphany in a major way. With both St. Nicholas and Santa Claus visiting us, it would be too much to expect Balthazar, Melchior, and Gaspar to stop by. But we’re always ready to try a new dessert and I’m hoping Annabel might make Three Kings Cake tonight!

Mini Pretzel Charm

This mini pretzel is the newest addition to my charm bracelet. Father likes Snyder’s Sourdough Pretzels, and on a recent box I saw an ad for a “FREE Pretzel Charm!”. One more box of pretzels and three dollars later the envelope went in the mail and was forgotten. The day of our school Halloween parade I came home and found an envelope waiting for me. (Poughkeepsie? Who do I know who lives in Poughkeepsie?) My pretzel charm had arrived! It now hangs between a passport and the St. Louis World’s Fair ferris wheel.

Birthday on the Moon

Peabody celebrated his 7th birthday this weekend with a hike, games and a Tintin birthday cake. Annabel baked a pound cake in a Pyrex bowl to give it a moon shape. Nettie covered it in yellow frosting and Peabody added craters and paper cut outs of Tintin and Snowy. We’re stuffed with moon cake and Peabody is working on his new Lego Midnight Express train.

Roman birthday patrol

Peabody and Nettie positioned a couple Roman soldiers on my coconut birthday cake. They looked like a patrol from Varus’ legions lost in the German wilderness. Coincidently, and unknown to the the cake decorators, it was the 2000th anniversary to the day of the The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest where German tribes anialated three Roman legions.