Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monkey Cake

This weekend we celebrated another birthday, within the family, and I offered to bring a sugar-free desert. I always offer to do this because I know it can be a bit of a pain to manage all the food allergies/issues in the family. Family Camp meals are always interesting as many people have to ask what's in each dish.

Anyway, I was going to make a cheesecake, because I wanted to test a few things out on our normal recipe. I've also had several requests around the house for a cheesecake and figured a birthday was a good reason to make one.

While we were in town on Friday I told Jayden I needed to pick up things to make a cheesecake for his cousin's birthday. Now, this is a cousin Jayden adores and he was most put out that I was taking a cheesecake to her party. He said, "Mom, I want to take a monkey cake! It has to be a monkey cake! Jess loves monkeys and I need to take her a monkey cake!"

There was absolutely no explaining that her mom was making her a birthday cake and that we didn't need to make a monkey cake. I tried twice to talk him out of the idea, but there was no hope for it. So we gave up on needs for a cheesecake, much to Morgan's horror, and came home. Where I promptly forgot I was suppose to make a monkey cake until late Saturday evening!

You'll have to excuse my dark pictures, Mr S was napping and I was trying to take pictures, and convince Jayden I was not also making chocolate milk shakes because we had no ice cream. He pointed out that I could make chocolate milk and as long as it had bubbles on top it was a milk shake. Seriously, the child has never had a milk shake and I've no idea where on earth the need for one suddenly popped up, but anyway there's my excuse for dark pictures. Anyway, we made up our chocolate cake recipe, but instead of a 9x13 pan we used 2 round pans. One was a bit deeper then the other so we'd get the 3-d nose effect.

I cut off part of both cakes so they fit snuggly together, and then I used the leftovers (and there were much more then in the above picture, but the boys snagged them for breakfast on Sunday.. yes, really. I figured how often does one get to eat cake for breakfast and let them go..) to shape the ears, which if you look at the second photo you'll see are two pieces. I also cut little wedges to fill in a cap on each side of the nose where it connects to the face.

A little bit of frosting and the ears quickly become one piece, much to the amazement of my children who kindly said, "We don't want to hurt your feelings, but the ears just don't look right." I gotta hand it to them, at least they didn't say, "Mom, this cake stinks!"

Here's the thing about decorating cakes.. I normally make the cake up a week in advanced (or say on Monday if the party is on Saturday) I freeze the cake until the day before the party and then, while it's still frozen I frost it. That way you have very little, if any crumb. When you remember the day before the party you have to make your cake still you don't have time for that! So I did the next best thing and pulled some of the chocolate frosting out of the big bowl and used it for a crumb coat. Then I tossed the whole cake in the freezer for 30 minutes before doing anything else.

After being in the freezer we pulled it out and put on a second coat of chocolate frosting. I then put it back in the freezer to help the frosting crust more quickly. With the coconut sugar icing (we put the coconut sugar in the freezer until it's very fine and powdery) we don't get a good crusting buttercream, but it will be very solid if put in the fridge, thus putting it in the freezer speeds that process up when you're in a time crunch. Plus, once it's cold like that you can smooth out the bumps and lumps. Then we added a lighter frosting to the ears and nose. To get it in the ears exactly where I wanted it I pipped it in by putting a tablespoon of icing in a baggie and snipping off the end. Then I smoothed it over with a knife.

I really, really wanted to give it oreo sized eyes, but considering we only make those once a year and I wasn't about to buy a packet for a sugar-free cake we pulled out some sugar-free marshmallows we had and rolled them out to make the eyes. The lips are a bit freaky, all though the kids thought it was hilarious, but that was the smallest heart cookie cutter I had! We added the ribbon to her ear because this was for a girl's birthday party. Morgan really wanted me to give her big giant grinning teeth, but I told him that would be way too freaky to eat because she'd be more likely to bite us back!  The cake was a huge hit, and as soon as the candles were removed Jayden asked if he could eat the eyes and lips.


Tracey said...


Kendra said...

Aww, thanks Tracey.. I was unhappy with the mouth due to the size of the lips, but the kids adored it and that's what mattered most! Now J has all ready decided he'd like me to make a dog cake for another cousin.. Oh my! lol