decapitated Barbie and marzipan
August 19, 2008 § 1 Comment
We had an ice cream social at my workplace and each program in our building brought a cake for the cakewalk. I of course jumped on the chance to help make the cake. We decided to make a nest and the idea evolved to include a Barbie doll head in the nest too. Mostly because we think it’s wacky and funny and we didn’t want any of our co-workers to think we are to normal. One of my immediate co-workers in my program, aptly named Barb, makes Barbie art which usually involves decapitating Barbie dolls and always involves transforming a Barbie in some way. We have a Barbie encased in a fiber cocoon on our office wall.
We made the marzipan from scratch (even blanched our own almonds!). The texture wasn’t fine as genuine European marzipan, but it still tasted like sugar-crack*. I love the marzipan part because it’s like sculpting clay and it tastes a lot better then play-do. I like making pretty food so I have always liked decorating cakes but I’m not a fan of frosting so I don’t reap any of the added benefits of licking the spoon or any thing like that. The nest it self was a masterpiece (I think) based on a Martha Stewart recipe (Lle Flottante, May 2006) for a spun sugar crown. Our nest is more “rustic” looking and in some ways a better fit for what we were making. See more pic of the cake at flickr.
The process was interesting since the sugar is only at the peak temperature for a very short time, possibly less than a minute. After that we just pulled out our own drips of sugar and built up the nest by hand. I’m sure Martha would not have been impressed with the process but it could have been worse, really there was very little sugar spattered, dripped, flung, or encrusted in the kitchen after we were done. The nest did deflate a bit over night and lost some of the body of structure due to moisture, so it would be most impressive to serve it right away. Now it feels like a challenge to try the recipe again and make a light dreamy nest like Martha’s, oh I mean like the people Martha pays to do all off her work.
I don’t think most of the people at the cakewalk were sure what to think about the cake-obviously they were blown away by our creativity.
*sugar in it’s most addictive form