I'm not quite sure what got into me but when November's issue of Canadian Living arrived, I must have become possessed with either Hallowe'en fever or by Martha Stewart. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea and rather fun to make the "Spooky Spider Cake" pictured on the cover.
Let's just say, I don't have the cake decorating skills of Martha Stewart or anyone who works for Canadian Living, unless Dora is involved, of course.
So, Emily and I baked the cake. No problem there, except the spider's body fell into several pieces when I took it out of the bowl. But, as usual we had a good time baking it. Especially Emily. She has an unnatural relationship with beaters.
Then the decorating. And this is usually where I wonder why I thought I should try to decorate a cake. I'm great at baking, not so good at decorating. I tend to focus on the cake and its decadence, shunning cake mixes. Then, people ooh and ah over the cake, and no one notices the lame attempt at icing or the fact that I covered it in whipped cream, or that there isn't any icing at all.
Anyway, all this to say, our spider was a little on the lame side, if you compare it to the photo in the magazine. But, we had some good laughs and Emily (and Hope) loved eating the icing and Emily loved decorating the cake. Cibele, my sister-in-law, and Emily applied a good portion of the icing and sprinkles. John helped out by eating the Licorice Allsorts that were supposed to be his eyes. Apparently he thought I was being nice in buying him his favourite candy. Clearly he doesn't know me as well as he thought he did. Luckily, I had some juice berries but the result is Spidey is a bit dead in the eyes.
Photo in Canadian Living:
Cake we made (notice dead eyes of Spidey. Kind of makes it spookier though, dontcha think?):
I'm not going to give you all the instructions for decorating this cake or this will be one mother of a WCW post. Instead, I'm giving you the cake recipe because the actual cake? It rocks. Yum, yum.
Happy Hallowe'en everyone!
Chunky Chocolate Spider Cake
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/2 sp salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Grease side of 10 inch springform pan; line bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour 6-inch metal bowl; set pans aside
In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour,. coca powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of buttermilk. Stir in chocolate chips. Scrape into prepared pans, smoothing tops.
Bake in centre of 350F oven for about 50 minutes for small cake and 60 minutes for large or until cake tester comes out clean. let cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks; peel off paper from large cake. let cook completely. Do with them what you will. Allow your inner Martha Stewart to rear her ugly head. Or just eat it with a fork and some whipped cream to cover your crumbling spider head.
Should you choose to create a spider, make sure you have one of these handy for afterwards:
It really helped me a lot.