Real Buttercream Chocolate Peppermint Cake or The Mistake Cake 2.0

Looking at the picture, I could have improved my technique somewhat.

There are random bits of Baker’s Chocolate in the icing that remained solid.  If I had added some cream to the Baker’s Chocolate and melted it, it would have blended more evenly into the icing. Since the cream goes into the icing anyway, I could have made a ganache by adding the cream to the chocolate, then melting them slowly together.  That resulting ganache would have mixed easier than the rather stiff Baker’s Chocolate.

Three squares of Baker’s Chocolate went into the icing.  You never add cocoa to an existing recipe that doesn’t call for it since it will throw off the mix.  Melt chocolate in a Bain Marie, in your microwave, double boiler, then fold it in to the recipe.  You will have a much better result, and it won’t be dried out.  Cocoa is a wonderful thing, but it is dry as dust and it will suck all the moisture out of your recipe.

I could have also used Chocolate Chips.  It would have made for a much sweeter icing, but that wasn’t necessary.  This icing will be my “Go-To” icing from this point forward.

It REALLY is THAT good!

The Starmints were melted to “glass” and could have been sanded on the edges for a sharper look.  They weren’t running into the icing, even after three days and the last pieces of cake were enjoyed.

But…

This turned out to be one of the tastiest cakes I have made in a very long time, and I do make them often.

First of all, it is what I will call the “Mistake Cake 2.0”.  When I was in Key West, FL for a visit, I went to a small shop a couple blocks off of Duval street.  The place was a wonderful shop, run by an amazing, warm, and friendly woman named Henrietta.  Her shop was called The Art Of Baking.  Henrietta had this “Mistake Cake” that was a deep, dark, and rich Chocolate cake.  I love a good chocolate cake, and this was an excellent one.

However.

Henrietta was apologizing because she had made a mistake and dropped a teaspoon of peppermint oil into the cake batter.  She didn’t know how it was, and I told her it sounded wonderful and I’d have it anyway. 

Watching me take my first forkful, Henrietta hovered like a mother watching her child take their first step.

The cake was amazing.  We enjoyed it together, and a conversation.  From that point forward I asked of her and her business, and … well you get the picture.

What happened was she moved “back to the mainland”.  From what I can tell she’s in Midway, Georgia, doing private baking.  If I ever go back up there, I will certainly try to find her.  All the information after around 2009 gets a bit sketchy.

Anyway…

The decorations are simple and can be done at the same time as any other baking.  On a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, place the needed Starmints or hard candies face down.  Separate the candies well or they will run together and create a sheet of “glass” for you – unless that is what you want.  Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for 4 to 6 minutes.  At 4 minutes, check the candies – remove if done.  Trim edges with a knife.

The cake is simple, the actual recipe for the cake is my scratch chocolate cake batter, baked in 9 inch round pans for two layers.  Add one teaspoon of Real Peppermint Extract to the cake batter.

If scratch cake is a bit much, try a chocolate cake mix from a box.  But remember to add the teaspoon of Peppermint Extract.

Now for the good stuff.  The icing.  Unlike most icings that use shortening, this is a true buttercream.  There is no cooking, there are no weird preparations.  It has to be done with a mixer, and I recommend a stand mixer.  If you want to make this icing as a Yellow/White icing, leave out the chocolate.  If you want to make this without the peppermint extract, I recommend adding in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and that will give you a “proper” white buttercream icing.  Or even a banana or mango extract.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature, softened
  • 3 to 4 cups of confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract – other extracts can be substituted such as vanilla if desired
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream or Milk
  • Optional – for chocolate icing, melt separately 3 squares Baker’s chocolate
  • Optional – pinch of salt

Process:

  • Cream your butter well in a stand mixer.  The more you cream the butter, the more fluffy it will be
  • To the creamed butter add in slowly 3 cups of sifted confectioner’s sugar.  
  • If a sweeter icing is desired, add up to 4 cups, however I found it to be perfect with 3 cups.
  • Add to the icing base 2 to 3 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream or milk.  I recommend 3 Tablespoons heavy cream.
  • Add to the icing base any flavoring such as your chocolate, vanilla, and peppermint at this time.
  • Mix well to incorporate as much air as possible.
  • This will be very stiff in the refrigerator so only chill when needed.
  • At room temperature, this icing will be soft and creamy.

Easy Cinnamon Muffins from Scratch – Recipe

They really are easy.  They’re also much better for you than the original recipe.

You see, this started as an Ina Garten Recipe, the Barefoot Contessa, that I modified.

More that I changed the process to make it work for me.

Originally these were Donuts.   Now while everyone loves donuts, I didn’t want fried, and they were a little large.  I managed to get 16 muffins instead of her 12 donuts, so I didn’t feel bad about having Icing on top.

I also don’t have a donut pan for baked donuts so I got to thinking.   Ina made the comment that this was a thin or loose batter, and she was right.  It was about the same consistency as any cake or muffin batter so why not try muffins.   Muffins are basically cupcakes, so I may try this as an actual cake since they did turn out light and fluffy. 

A wee bit of science here.  Mixing flour and water gives Gluten.  That’s fine in bread, gives good texture, but with a muffin you want light.  So mix gently and use an all purpose flour or experiment with a cake flour with this recipe.

The taste comes from the Cinnamon and the Sugar and who doesn’t like that?

Ina’s original instructions are here on her web page, but the recipe is below for your convenience.   I really do recommend her recipes, they’re usually quite good.

This is the recipe for the batter only.  If you want the original donuts, follow this link.

Here’s that process…

Instructions:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Stir the dry ingredients well or sift them together.   I used a stand mixer and gave it a couple pulses just to stir it up.
  • Mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • Add the wet to the dry and mix them lightly until the batter is smooth but be careful not to over-mix.  Over-mixing makes this recipe “rubbery”.
  • Bake in Muffin Cups – 1/4 cup per cup.
  • 350F for 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean when pierced through the top.
 
Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 

Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
 

Really Simple Pineapple Angel Food Cake Recipe With Just Two Ingredients

You got this far. 

You must either like Cake, like Pineapple, or just like my writing and are wondering what I’m banging on about.

You may just like my picture.  Sweet, isn’t it?

Let me put it this way… You can bake this cake.

It took me about 5 minutes to make, and about 30 minutes to bake.

I saw the recipe float by on a feed of recipes, er… well you know what I mean by that… on Facebook and I thought I have the ingredients and didn’t have cake laying around so why not?

Angel Food Cake is very light, even recommended on some diets if you are going to have a snack.

Personally I just really enjoy Pineapple.

Ingredients?

  • 1 box of Angel Food Cake Mix.
  • 1 12 ounce can of Pineapple chunks – IN JUICE.  Syrup will mess the recipe up and besides you don’t really need the sugar.

Preparation:

  • To a large mixing bowl, add the box of Angel food Cake Mix.
  • Add to the mixing bowl the can of Pineapple chunks and all of the juice.
  • Stir until the mix is smooth.  It will foam a bit to give body to the cake.   That’s what you want!
  • Add the entire mix to a GREASED 13×9 Baking Pan.  Yes, you do not normally grease an Angel Food Cake, but it worked fine for me when I did this.
  • Bake as per the instructions on the box or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  My instructions said 375 for about 30 minutes.

Variation – Mash the pineapple chunks in a bowl before adding to the mixing bowl until they are smallish.   It will make the cake smoother and not quite as chunky.  Unless you like that sort of thing.  I have another box of Angel Food cake mix so next time, I’ll try it with mashed Pineapple.  Just use a big salad fork and take your frustrations out on the Pineapple!

How Would You Like Some Questionable Cake – Picture

This Cake is Questionable!

This Cake LIES!  It’s all LIES I tell ya!

I mean here’s this cake.  It doesn’t even have the common decency to be a full cake! 

It’s Not ROUND! 

What is with those candles?  They are QUESTION MARKS!  I mean, Come ON! Question marks?  What are they supposed to say?  Is it for a birthday?  Is it some secret how old they are?   The candles aren’t even NEW!  They were *GASP!* Burned Before!!!!!

Nobody just makes a Half of a Cake!  Sheesh! Two layers and not THREE?

And look at that icing… It’s NOT CHOCOLATE!!!!!   It’s Commercial Vanilla Icing that’s brown to LOOK like Chocolate!  On top?  Rainbow Jimmies?  I bet they are tutti fruiti too just BECAUSE!

I’m so confused *grabs fork*  What’s inside?  Orange Icing in the middle?  It doesn’t taste like Orange!  It’s … More Vanilla?  At least the cake itself is still Chocolate…

And oh so very fresh and tasty too. 

Ok, I’ll have the rest of that slice.

How To Make Icing for Four Cupcakes

I’m back into Mad Scientist cooking again.

You see I’ve been rightsizing my recipes.  I’m counting calories since I have no “off switch” around certain foods, especially baked goods.   So if it says that a serving is 200 calories, I tend to make it just a little bit smaller and call it done.

I made four cupcakes today from a mix.  The box said that 1/3 cup of mix would be 200 calories.  So therefore multiply by three and divide by four and you get four perfect 150 calorie cupcakes.

Of course they needed to be iced.

I have a foolproof icing recipe that unfortunately makes way more icing than you want to use at one sitting, or 1/2 the amount of icing you need for a cake.  Surf the internet and see if I can find a simple recipe I can downsize.

Bingo, right on one.  Who knows better than that cake decorating company, Wilton?  The first hit online when I searched was their Buttercream icing recipe.  After doing the math I figured out the recipe below:

All ingredients were done by weight – 1 ounce is 28 grams, 1/2 ounce is 14 grams.  Yes, I did use grams but you don’t have to it seemed fairly forgiving but add the milk in “drips and drabs” so you don’t get a runny icing.  It’s all about the “texture”!  If it looks right, it’s done.

  • 1/2 ounce butter (one tablespoon)
  • 1/2 ounce shortening (one tablespoon)
  • 2 ounces confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Add all ingredients to a large-ish coffee mug.  Mix with a regular fork until smooth.  Use as icing, but chill in refrigerator.

That’s it.  It’s all a bit Frankenstein’s Cake Monster,  but the results were tasty.

You don’t have to cut yourself off from good things, just be moderate with them.  Each of those cupcakes were 250 calories a piece.  It helps that I’m eating 2200 calories a day of course.  If you’re not at that level, just act accordingly… so enjoy!

I know I did… the icing was excellent, one of the best recipes I have ever stumbled across.

Chocolatey Goodness at a Manageable Size

Yes, I right-sized a cake.

You see, a home made from scratch chocolate cake will not keep more than 2 days without turning dry and crumbly.   You really can’t bring it back to life without a gallon of milk and even then it isn’t great.

The recipe I use for cake will make two 9 inch layers or three 8 inch layers.  A while back I got another one of my patented brainstorms.  Why not freeze all but one layer and treat that last one as a cake?

One round layer didn’t look right so I sliced it in half and made a two layer cake out of it.  Four generous slices made for a less-guilt birthday cake.

Since I made three layers and will make this cake into three separate “D” cakes, I’ll get 12 slices out of it and not feel too bad about the results.  

Since it was half a cake or more like a third of a cake, we sang “Happy.” and stopped.  Not the whole song, just the word “Happy”.  It seemed enough.

The Jimmies are leftover from Halloween.  I’ve got this Warehouse Sized container of the things and they just don’t get used up as fast as you’d expect.  There is enough for one or two more cakes at this rate.  D Cakes that is.

I’ve got the pictures of the before and during of the cake baking episodes so some day I may share the recipe.  It’s really quite good even if every time I make the thing, I do it wrong but differently.

Happy Birthday just never quite says it enough when you have a freezer full of chocolate cake “discuses” wrapped in cling film.

Cross Training Home Repair

There are certain things that you do in the course of the day in the kitchen that have some applications in unexpected ways.

I bake, rather a lot.  I’m taking a breather the last few months since all that baking in the holidays was adding weight that hasn’t quite all gone away.   It is now, I’ve lost 8 pounds in two months.  Minor adjustments and limiting myself to a normal diet instead of my usual training diet was what did the trick.

All that baking of cakes and cupcakes, sweets and tarts resulted in my getting passable at cake decoration.  Some of my cakes ended up looking like a wreck, others were surprisingly professional looking.  I would be better at it if I tried a Fondant icing or something similarly easy to decorate, but I don’t.  I bake for a small audience and that audience likes a specific fluffy icing.

The problem is like any baker at home will tell you, it never comes out quite perfect.  Every cake I bake, whether from mix or scratch will be a little uneven.  Frustrating to a baker trying to do something nice for a friend, and usually that friend either will not notice it or notice it and take it as the mark of a fine home made treat.

I usually look for those slightly uneven cakes and think “Mark Of Quality”.

When I get those slightly taller in the middle cakes, I could slice them even or just live with it by cheating.  Pack the divots in the cake with a little extra icing, and let it chill, then ice and try for a nice even look.

The end result is being able to spackle walls like a pro.  I’ve managed to get apartment walls so even that they were better than when I moved in. 

The trick is to spackle the walls, then come back about an hour or two later with a wet finger or a damp cloth and “sand” it even.  It can even dry to a shiny texture if all is right.

Results like that are what you expect on walls.  Lately the nemesis of the bathtub caulk has raised it’s ugly head.

When Caulking a tub, the tube instructs that the best results are where there is no dirt left over, no water drops, and it is best to remove the old caulk.

Great.  But it’s a tub.  Its purpose is to hold water.  That means you’re in for a challenge of timing. 

Shower in the morning, then late at night after dinner, do your caulking.  Oh and don’t forget that stuff you did yesterday has dried so you have to even that all out first.

Pretending it is a cake, Squirt out a reasonable amount of the caulk along the joint but not too much.  How do you know how much if you don’t do this every day?  Simple, yesterday’s caulk hasn’t dried.

The last time I caulked the tub was last week.  There are spots that were just skinned over and when poked, they poured white latex out over my hand and into the tub.  Heavy handed?  Perhaps, but there’s a gap behind that tub – there’s some serious hole going on.

I did look in to that gap and it goes on forever.  I thought I saw a sparkle back there, and I believe that it’s because I have a small black hole in the wall.  How do I know it’s a black hole?  Simple, I can’t see it and it’s sucking all the caulk into it.

The Singularity of Caulk.  The Black Hole of Tub-Caulkutta.

After trimming the stuff, there’s this crack that formed as the surface tension was relieved.  The first places caulk will dry is where it is thinnest.  No matter how good you are, there will be small differences in the thickness… trim and clean it all back with a knife or blade and you end up with a crack.

Go back at it with another bead and repeat as necessary.

A 1 hour home improvement DIY turns into a mulitple week project. 

That’s what I get for thinking I can ice a cake!

Looking at the walls, there’s this one spot that needs spackle.  Much easier.  Ahhhhh!

This is D Cake

Fine, I’ll admit it, I’m a carbo junkie.

Worse than that, I actually know how to make snacks and general… junk.  When I set my mind to it, I do it well.  I guess the spirit of competition comes in and I will refine the recipe until it’s perfect.   Or at least as perfect as I intend it to be.

Pretty much like anything, if you set your mind to doing something, you’ll achieve what you set out.  Throw yourself into something complex and who knows what you will get.

Thing is, that sometimes, you can be too effective.  My freezer is chock full of baked goods.  Yesterday I decided I wanted to have some cake for today, my 19th anniversary.  With no butter in the house, that set off a chain of events that basically emptied the cupboards and the freezer and taught me how to store butter in a tiny little space.

Put a measured 1/2 cup in a sandwich sized plastic bag and flatten.  It will go down to a very thin size and will fit anywhere.  Repeat as needed.

No butter means, churn butter for baking.  I had bought some 36% heavy whipping cream from GFS Marketplace earlier this week knowing I’d want biscuits.  Once I churn butter, I end up with butter and buttermilk.  So… the recipe is simple and I’ve written about it before.  Takes 5 minutes.  I did it twice.

With the kitchen counters beginning to pile up with mixing bowls and measuring spoons, I set onto the epic.  Three hours of Baking Frenzy.

Now with the butter, I looked at what I would have to do.  The original idea was Cake… but since the oven was going to be hot, I would have to make the biscuits, and it was getting late… Lunch time! 

Getting ahead of myself, the morning was done and the afternoon was filling up.  The list was going to be long but I had to stage everything.

  1. Butter
  2. Biscuits
  3. Lunch
  4. Cake
  5. Icing
  6. Collapse

There’s the plan, set out all the butter in little measuring cups in the refrigerator, and then just combine my ingredients as needed.  This would be Bright Idea Number One.


Ok, Bright Idea Number Two, make some Pigs in a Blanket.  There is always a little bit of extra biscuit batter in the bottom of the mixing bowl and if you try the biscuit recipe, it works incredibly well.  Just take the batter, wrap a good quality sausage or hot dog in it, and bake it on it’s own cookie sheet with the biscuits.

Breather time… while the biscuits are cooling, rinse everything out.  All of this baking was going to be done one after another and I only have one mixer here.  The Pigs in a Blanket were good, so time to move on.

While being watched for anything that would suffer deceleration trauma on the floor by the dog, I moved onto the cake.   There were 12 biscuits that were cooling and got moved over her head onto the dining room table.

Begin mixing all of this up and  realize I had to figure out how to store all of this.  There was going to be a cake which would glower at me from the refrigerator. By the time the fourth day was done, the cake would be dry and not so very good.   This time things would be different, I would do it RIGHT!  Remember the comment at the bottom of the recipe for the cake itself though, Sift the Flour.  Otherwise it will turn out dry.  But that didn’t really decide what to do about having too much of a good thing. 

Bright Idea Number Three instead of making a three layer cake once, make a two layer cake twice.

Having the baking pans in front of me, I realized that it was easier to slice a cake before it is iced to make a smaller footprint in the oven but what to do with the “rest”.  I made two 9 inch pans of cake and when they cooled, I put one in the freezer for a couple days.  The other one got sliced down the middle, iced and presented as the picture you see on the page.

I guess that solved it.  We had fresh cake yesterday, we will have sort-of-fresh cake today, and when that one is done we can have another in a couple days. 

Bright idea right? 

Empty the freezer to create space so a 9 inch round slab of cake fits in your own freezer.  I’ll wait.  See not so easy!  I now have freezer blocks of “ice” all over the kitchen.  They don’t fit with the cake in there, and I couldn’t put the cake on top since it would flop over the sides and you’d end up with a Salvador Dali cake, all droopy and melty and that is even before your cake gets out in the rain.

Anyway, the cake was out, I could turn off the oven and make the icing which was an easy recipe.  First rinse everything again, spilling water on the counter, my cargo shorts making it look like there was red wee all over the front from the food coloring that was on the counter, and water all over the dog. Add to it the water from the condensation from the “ice” blocks warming to temperature and I was creating my own “Waterworld”.

She didn’t like it either.

Icing was a success, it turned out very light and fluffy and it is a bulletproof recipe even when you make it “black” or some other color.  After last week, I wanted white. 

Or did I.  Getting silly with Jimmies is one of the fun things you can do while baking, so I turned it into a big blood orange slice.  I did spill more Jimmies on the floor and there by apologizing to the dog to turning her into a wet sponge for counter slop. 

But the results were tasty, I have extra icing to do it all again and a very full refrigerator.

After all… I have a 9 inch cake layer in the freezer and I know how to use it!

Birthday Cake Saga – How Not To Take Pictures

Yeah… I’m almost done with this cake thing.  I had the last piece of it last night.

On the other hand, on Sunday, Kevin’s birthday I got a phone call.

David is a friend.  We met about 25 years ago in Key West.  I went home, he moved in there and does Property Management as well as a long list of other odd jobs. Basically any friend of 25 years is one worth keeping so when he called with a simple request I said I’d do it.

He thought we should take a picture of the cake with Kevin and I. 

Pretty basic huh?  Still life?   Nope.

Step one.  Get Kevin out of bed.  It’s his birthday, and he wanted to lay in.  Some time around, oh say 11AM, he finally got out of bed and I filled him in on the back story.  That morning I had finished icing the cake, and was just going to decorate it as you see in the picture.  David called with the picture request so go get cleaned up and presentable.  

Step two.  Get everyone presentable.   I got into the shower, and told Kevin it was his turn.  I busied myself finishing the piping on the cake with the prefab icing in a can.  It came with a set of four little nozzles and that way I wouldn’t have to figure out where an Icing Bag was with tips to decorate the thing.  The letters were all there and in place, I just wanted to put a ring of little snowy looking things around the edge. 

Step three.  Have Lunch.  Kevin was still on his perch playing on facebook, looking out the door at the dog across the street that is basically tied to a fence all day barking, and some of the other things that go on in this quirky neighborhood.

Step four.  Kevin has finally gotten into the shower.  I begin to do the set up for the picture.  Funny how when you have a cake on a room divider that is waist high you find out how your camera equipment basically … falls short.  The cake was about 4 feet off the ground when you place it on the glass cake saver my sister had given me years before.  So that means with a minimum focal length of 3 feet, the camera had to be at least 6 feet off the ground.  To get the picture of the two of us with the cake we would have to be in a specific angle, which means…

Step five.  Move all the paperwork, all the junk, and all the “desk toys” out of frame.  Picking up a living room full of junk and stashing it means that I’m cleaning house and making more heat.  The shower is getting extra humidity into the room.  I draw the blinds, turn on the air conditioning and start to pick things up. 

Step six.  Chill the cake.   This all has taken 2 hours and a half.  The cake is no longer “cool” and the icing does something I had never seen it do before.  The piping begins to run.  Kevin is still in the shower – that takes on average 20 minutes in itself… and I have a cake that is getting to look like someone exposed it to Mac Arthur Park.  Donna?  Is that you singing in the background….

Step seven… open the door to the refrigerator, walk into the kitchen with the cake and place it in the cleared shelf.

Step eight.  Swear loudly and give up in disgust.

You see what happened here was a quirk of my eyesight and inexperience of moving my “model” around.  I brushed the half melted piping against the refrigerator door.  Yep!  You guessed it I was screaming at everything from the refrigerator to the oven to Betty and her melty icing.   I was done.  The cake was not going to be pictured, other than the one set up shot.  If you look closely, my amateurish ring of white piping “blobs” around the edge had started to topple off the Death Edge of Cakey Goodness and down to the cliff below.   It was done.

Oh well, David, no pictures.   We’ll try again this weekend.   You see, I have a 19th Anniversary to celebrate… and a cake to bake.   Went to GFS last night and got some confectioner’s sugar and the rest I need to make some icing.   This time it will be a white cake with red and white jimmies.

Yes, they are called jimmies… this sprinkles nonsense has to go … just like it is a Hoagie and not a sub or anything else….

Want some cake?  Here you go! 

Birthday Cake Saga – How Not To Make Black Icing

Ok, the last two days, you have heard the recipe.

The first recipe was the recipe for making the layers.
The second recipe was that for making nice fluffy icing.

Now, things get dark. 

Specifically I had a weird idea that this cake had to have Black Icing.  If you read some other blogs like Cake Wrecks, you will know they have a strong distaste for the stuff.  Black Icing has a nasty taste usually, it does weird things like pass through your body pretty much intact, and it is notoriously difficult to get right. 

I was determined to give my friend, Kevin, a black birthday cake for his 50th Birthday.  How bad could it be?  After all, what more apt a day would it be to get a black birthday cake than on your 50th birthday, or 40th or 30th… you get the picture.

Kevin had already gotten his AARP Letter, as you would have expected, and he wasn’t too happy about being marketed a membership to a group that is a pressure group for senior citizens.  The man still has a lot of life left in him.  50 is the new 30 now anyway so he didn’t really want to hear about it all….

Back to the icing.

The night before, while the cakes were cooling on racks, we went out to get some pet food for my parrot, and came up empty.  Walking from the pet store to the Publix supermarket next door, we then looked for food coloring.  I had seen plenty of it before, and this was a large Publix.  Unfortunately the rainbow of food color that they had did not include black.

We left empty handed and went to the local craft supermarket, the Pearl on Oakland Park Boulevard.   Getting there we were greeted with “Hello Pearl Customers, this store will be closing at 8PM in 15 minutes, please make your selections carefully”. 

Marketing speak for “Get it and get out” I suppose, so we went on a hunt.  I had told him what I had in mind, and with a cringe he knew he had better come along.  It turns out that Cake Decorating in the home isn’t as popular as it once was.  Who knew, people still bake at home don’t they?

(Sound of crickets chirping)

Ok, I guess SOME people do, but not as many as there once was.  Politically correct descriptions aside, we asked and found out that Pearl was discontinuing their cake decorating supplies and what was left was “Over There”.

Over there was back in the back under the stairs and rather dusty.  I did find some Black Candy Coloring as it was described and bought it.  At that point I had an evil look on my face, and a sheepish Kevin padding along beside me as we left.

The next day, I made the icing, and it turned out perfectly white.  That wasn’t what we wanted, was it?

I began to add the coloring a drop at a time.  That didn’t work.  You see it takes a LOT of coloring to make a cake look something approximating black.  I would say it is more like gunmetal grey but it worked. 

It also was very messy. 

There were spatters of black food coloring on my mixer that I won’t get out for years.  There are spatters on the wall, there are spatters on the counters.  I found some of the stuff across the room on the electric range.  There were some black fingerprints on the Iced Tea container inside of the refrigerator.  I found some on the refrigerator, thankfully that was easy to remove due to it being stainless steel.  

Some of the stranger places I had found black food coloring finger prints were on the wall in the bathroom, the front door knob, the TV power button, the remote for the internet radio.  The stuff stained my shoes, and it got on my clothes. 

It is today, Wednesday.  I made that blasted icing on Sunday morning, early.  I STILL have the stuff under my fingernails. It is fading, to a deep blue so it doesn’t look like I was arrested and sent in for fingerprinting any longer at least.

Ok, so Jen at Cake Wrecks is definitely right, Black Icing should be avoided at all costs.

On the other hand, I had a request to get a picture of the cake with Kevin … that story will be saved for a later time… I’ve got some fingerprints to clean!