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The Quest for Cake

What happens when you want to eat cake, but there’s no knife with which to cut that cake (and you feel like eating the whole thing right then and there with a fork would be frowned upon)?  Watch my epic journey unfold!

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The knife turned out really well.  I watched a video a while ago from Bob at I Like to Make Stuff, where he made a cake knife, and I’ve had this lil’ project in my mind since then.  I’m pleased that I finally got around to it, it was fun and only took an afternoon of work (between working on a larger project that I’m excited to share next week, hopefully).

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The knife was made entirely of scraps leftover from other projects.  The knife scales are a paduak off-cut, and the blade is a lovely strip of curly maple.  The paduak was a beautiful orange color as I was sanding it down, and I’m bummed it doesn’t keep that tint.

Orange Paduak

Curious about the cake?  That’s Yummy Cake (no, really, that’s what it’s called, but, yeah, it’s also an apt description).  It’s a recipe from Tiffany’s family’s cookbook, and it is super simple to make.  I can sum it up in two pictures, really.

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Mix these together for the cake (only 1 cup of the oil). Ignore the instructions on the cake’s box.
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Mix this stuff up for the frosting.

Bake the cake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center and have it come out clean.  You want the cake to cool completely before adding the frosting.  And I hope you like the frosting, because it ends up being about half as thick as the cake (not a bad thing!).

Full Disclosure!  We had plenty of knives available to cut this cake.  I staged the knife disappearance simply to have a more fun way to present this video.  I apologize if you feel as though you were misled.  But at the same time, it’s a silly video, so maybe do some self-reflection, and see what the root cause of that feeling really is.

Thanks for reading!  OH WAIT! Before you go, have you entered our giveaway yet?  It’s only open until this Saturday, May 5th 2018, so check it out here or watch the video here.  Ok, thanks, you’re free to go now!

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Cake or Cheesecake?

Why not both?

Most Sundays we get together with a few friends to play have some fun in our imaginations with a good ol’ tabletop RPG (we’re being pirates in 7th Sea right now).  Typically, this involves us making some sort of food.  If we’re hosting, it’ll be a main dish, but when we make the arduous journey to their place (it’s, maybe, 1.5 miles), we like to bring a snack, or side dish, or dessert.

Not long ago, we picked up a new bundt pan for 50% off.  What a deal!  I thought it was time to break it in, and am I glad I did.  While I can’t take credit for the recipe, I’ll take credit for googling it.  I knew I wanted to try a stuffed bundt cake, and this didn’t let me down.

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Not content with leaving the recipe alone, though, I wanted to kick up the cheesecake part a little bit.  My first instinct was to make a strawberry jam to swirl into it, and I was going to stick with that plan until we hit up the local farmer’s market.  There was a booth with a very friendly gal that let us taste a few samples, and after doing so, it was pretty clear some cherry preserves needed to go into this cake, not what would have been a lame attempt at strawberry jam by yours truly.

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My only regret is I should have used more.  The bites of cake when you get the cherry, it’s a delightful tartness to offset the richness of the dense chocolatey cake.  Those bites just didn’t happen enough.  Next time, they will.  Not that the bites without the cherry weren’t great, because they were.  It’s one of those instances where something awesome gets taken up another notch from one little addition.

As far as other modifications to the recipe, I omitted the espresso powder, simply because we didn’t have any, and I had to bake it for about 75 minutes.  I think adding a little cherry liqueur to the glaze would have been a welcome addition as well, but I thought of that too late to incorporate here.

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Part of what makes creating things fun and worthwhile is when you get to share those things with other people.  I don’t think I’d make nearly as many things as I do if I just kept them to myself (though I was tempted to do that with this cake, at the risk of suffering Tiffany’s wrath).  Luckily, when you bake something, it’s much easier to share the results with others.  They appreciate eating cake much more than they do anything I’ve ever tried to feed them that I’ve made from wood.