Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bunny Cake!

Weeks ago, I got an email from my mom about a bunny cake from the Betty Crocker website. She envisioned me, my sister, and my cousin each constructing her own cake and judging the best bunny as if it were some kind of reality show. That didn't happen.

Each bunny consists of a layer of cake--cut and decorated to look like a small rabbit on a platter. Betty Crocker suggests using her carrot cake mix and cream cheese frosting--but since I've overcome my carrot-cake-making virginity, I made this guy from scratch. Instead of Tish Boyle's recipe for Cui's cake, I used Dorie Greenspan's recipe from Baking since her recipe made three layers, and I wanted to try something new. My goal of using three layers was to create two bunnies and some cupcakes for myself to taste and snack on. As you can see, there's only this one bunny. Those things next to it are Easter eggs decorated with jelly beans. (Wee took them to school--and Bob seemed to like it--even though he still won't tell Wee who the main band at Rutgersfest this year is.)

And so how did that happen?

On Saturday, Jon and I went to Food Emporium to pick up some staples that we ran out of--in particular juice and eggs. We also didn't have cream cheese for the frosting or coconut flakes like the recipe called for. Juice is a vital staple, since if we don't have that in our fridge, we drink the beer instead, which makes us bloated and dehydrated anyway. (And while I love milk, any time or place--sometimes it's nice to switch it up.) Eggs--we ran out of when we decided our eggs were getting kind of old and boiled them all for a macaroni salad that we now call: Buht Buht Juice. What can I say? Eggs help get the juices down there flowing--if you eat too much, too fast, which is usually the case since it's so freakin' delicious.

So we picked up everything that we needed. Unfortunately, there, on the shelf, behind the label "coconut flakes," a vast empty darkness. Was the whole world making bunny cakes?! Or coconut macaroons for that matter? Apparently.

My mom and sister made these coconut macaroons from scratch as well. They came out pretty good. Crispy outside, chewy inside, chocolates and coconut-y.

When all was said and done, we lined the bottom of the cake stand/holder under the bunny with these because 1) there was room 2) we are all sick and thought that it looking kind of like bunny droppings was hilarious.

HILARIOUS! (and it was.)

Anyway, I made the carrot cake batter (no tears this time) and poured it into two round cake pans and the rest I poured into a cupcake pan. The cupcakes were ready before the cakes--so when it was just about cool enough (not really--but who can really wait?) to eat, Jon and I tested them. It came out not so sweet and spicy as carrot cakes are known to be, which, was interesting. It tasted light and almost healthy--though I do recall the two cups of sugar and one cup of oil--but spread over three pans--that's not so bad! What was interesting is that there wasn't much batter--but the baking soda and baking powder seemed to be doing it magic really nicely--so they rose beautifully.

I saved creating the frosting until the next morning since I was too tired to think about cleaning my mixing bowl.

On Sunday, I made the frosting, but it didn't look like it'd be enough for two bunnies plus cupcakes. (I wanted to make the cupcakes into little chickens, but really, who wants to eat yellow frosting in addition to two bunnies? I thought better of it and decided that the bunnies will be chick-less, and that I can give away the cakes and snack on the cupcakes for the rest of the week so I can't be too generous with the portions I'm eating.) So, I threw another stick of butter and cream cheese into the mixer, and then added a pound of confectioner's sugar and lemon juice. Voila! More cream cheese frosting. Though I'm not a huge fan of citrus desserts--the lemon made the cream cheese taste kind of healthy and brighter than usual--so it went with the healthy feeling the cake gave me. As I continued to lick my fingers throughout the cleaning process and then frosting process, it didn't really seem all that healthy though.

In later photos, my Popo flanked the bunny with some salt and pepper shakers shaped like turkeys that my Aunt Isabel gave us for our Thanksgiving feasts. It's too funny. I'll try to post it--since it sort of makes up for the cupcake chicks I failed to make.

Anyway, I was having some difficulty frosting and the one bunny I started with. For some reason, having only two cake halves made the bunny kind of narrow. That wasn't the difficulty though, but when I asked my mom to help me fix the frosting, she decided to cannibalize the other bunny by creating one more layer to fatten up the one I was failing to frost. After that, PoPo came in, and said that the bunny should have legs. The funniest part was that she was imitating what the bunny's appendages do--so she was pawing and imitating how it would run and jump. She and my mom created little arms for it--that I guess were supposed to blend in and be the feet too. The shape sort of came out like a seal or one of those kinds of animals, but it was cute anyway.

I cut two little eggs out of the remaining cake and frosted them. We decorated the bunny with blue jelly beans for eyes, a pink one for the nose, and an array of other "tropical flavored" jelly beans for the eggs. Wee only found neon construction paper, so that's why the ears are so pink. Ayee cut up some carrots for the mouth and whiskers. (It's wearing my dad's surprised expression.) Uncle Al stopped by the supermarket and got coconut flakes which I patted on the bunny. I threw a handful into a bowl and a few drops of green food coloring then mixed to create the grass.

Overall, I think it was a successful bunny cake--perhaps we'll make it again next year.

Dinner and appetizers were, as usual, awesome. We had ham, roast beef, lamb, and shrimp. Sides included stuffed mushrooms, salad, rice, and cream corn. Desserts included bunny cake, macaroons, ice cream, and fruit tart. My stomach hurt so much--I swear I felt the skin cells multiplying rapidly to prevent it from bursting.

I went to the gym today and burned at least 400 calories...not sure if it means anything, but I really need to lose at least 10 pounds to fit into anything I own...Hippitus Hoppitus!
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