COOKING ADVENTURE # 65: Easter Nest Cake
You may be shaking your head while looking at the above picture and saying to yourself, “What is that thing?” If you are a supreme chocoholic, you’re probably drooling into your lap saying, “UMMM… Yes, please!” Believe it or not, my reaction is closer to the first one I mentioned. I was tasked with making some kind of a dessert for Easter… which was only a few days after my brother’s birthday. So, bare in mind that we’ve just had a rich Tetris-themed birthday cake not a couple days earlier. And the first thought of what I could come up with for Easter was… “Hmm… Why not cake again!?” …Bad idea, Katherine. Bad idea. I’ll be clear. Nothing was wrong with the cake per say. But when the last one (along with copious amounts of alcohol and coffee has caused your ulcer to be unhappy) the last thing you should do is feed the dragon, so to speak. But I went ahead and did it anyway… just to see if I could. Oh… I definitely could.
So, I got home on a Saturday night from work feeling exhausted and ready to start my weekend. As I sat down and started in with the obligatory Spotify/Facebook combo that is my life, I realized that I was out of eggs. And in order to make this crazy cake for Easter the next day, I’d have to get some that evening. All of the stores are closed Easter Sunday, which I discovered the hard way a few years ago when I was supposed to make the traditional green bean casserole. So I threw on my jacket drove back to the supermarket and snagged all of the necessities to make this thing… which ended up being a few more items, too. The next morning, I went to work.
First thing’s first: bake the cake. I didn’t pick up a non-chocolate cake because I honestly wasn’t thinking about it the night before. So, I just used the chocolate cake mix in my pantry, poured the batter into a bundt cake pan and let it cook for about 45 minutes. While that happened, I did some writing on my next book, Night Time, Dotted Line and once again, wasted time on Facebook. I’ve discovered that I spend way too much time on social media sites while not actually using them for my work as a writer. It’s a habit I’d really like to break, if I knew how. Then I’d have time for other things… like getting these posts up on time… haha.
When the buzzer went off, I pulled the cake out of the oven and let it sit and cool for 15 minutes… which isn’t nearly enough time. I found out last year while trying to frost The Great Pumpkin Cake, that if you frost it right when it comes out of the oven, the cake pieces come off and everything looks really messy and unprofessional (not that I’m striving for professional looking cakes or anything, but…). I know that giving the cake at least half an hour to an hour to cool is best but I was under time constraints and couldn’t wait any longer. So when I pulled out my spreader and the rest of my cream cheese frosting from the Tetris Cake adventure, I found out right away that I was going to ruin it. The moment my spreader touched the cake with the frosting, cake crumbles lifted up off of it and stuck in the frosting all over the place. It was then that I realized I should probably get the cake out of the pan before I frost the rest… because what I’d already done would end up on the bottom.
I flipped the cake into a 9 inch round pan without any incident and then proceeded to frost the “new” top of the cake. This is where I ran out of frosting. I had barely covered the top and maybe an inch of the sides before I was scraping the bottom of the container. I had planned ahead though. I had bought a tube of spray on frosting to use to make the nest. Now, when I say “spray on” I don’t mean like hairspray or anything like that. It’s more like a can of whipped cream where you press on the nozzle and the cream comes out and you can direct where it goes. Plus this one came with different tips for different looks. I decided to pretty much just wing it instead of adhering to some kind of actual model. I started applying the frosting in squiggles and curls and loop de loops, covering as much of the surface of the cake as I could with this white frosting. I sprayed down into the cavity and along the sides until I had what I thought was enough. The whole time, I was thinking, “Oh my word, this thing is going to be ridiculously rich.”
When the frosting was done, it was time to move onto the eggs. My original plan had been to take a bunch of Reese’s eggs, coat them in the left over pink, yellow, and blue frosting from the Tetris cake, and then lay them out on the top of the white frosting. I’d also found some Whoppers eggs at the store which look like actual bird’s eggs. I opened the package of those and filled the cavity with them until they reached the top of the cake. I applied a few spritzes of white frosting here and there to make it look a little more real. Yeah… I just said that. A realistic frosting topped bird’s nest cake. Oi.
I should have called it good at this point, should have just quit. But I was really stuck on the idea of at least trying the Reese’s egg thing. I grabbed one from the bag, unwrapped it, and tried to coat it with some of the pink frosting. It was just a little bit of a disaster. I couldn’t make the frosting even and it kept coming off on my fingers. And then, I placed it on the cake not even thinking to just eat it instead of ruining the overall look. I couldn’t just have one Reese’s egg on there. I’d have to do one of each color. So I proceeded to do a yellow and blue egg to join the pink one. Then, I stopped… which was a good idea.
Just looking at the cake made me practically diabetic. It was a very, VERY rich cake. I was worried that I was going to have to bring it all back home because no one would be able to eat it. Not only did everyone try a slice, some with eggs and some without, my Dad kept the cake over there… which was ultimately the best decision. I STILL have Tetris cake in my fridge which I’m trying to eat up. I’m not much of a sweets person, so they tend to last a long time in my apartment. But I can safely say that I’m done with Cooking Adventure cake desserts for a little while. Two weeks in a row is a bit of a stretch.
Next week, I’ll be making a sinfully amazing meatloaf recipe that I found on the Pioneer Woman’s blog. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about meatloaf before. This looks like it will be truly astounding. Know how I know? It’s wrapped in BACON. Stay tuned.