Friday, January 22, 2010

Kwanzaa Cake (2 of 4)

This is the cake that started it all. It must have been sometime last summer that Andrew forwarded to me a YouTube clip of this cake. After that, I was hooked. It is this cake that inspired me to start writing about "semi-homemade" and the meaning of "from scratch." This is the cake we started with on our cake odyssey. It wasn't hard at all, but I had a hard time finding black tapers and didn't have the balls to go The Afrocentric Bookstore to buy some. We went with just red and green. It tasted gross. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE Corn nuts, what Lee call "acorns," so all is well.



1 angel food cake

I can vanilla icing

2 Tbs cocoa

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1 can apple pie filling

1 large bag “acorns” (Corn Nuts)

pumpkin seeds

7 taper candles (3 red, 1 black, 3 green)


Cut cake in half.

In a mixing bowl combine icing, cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla. Mix well.

Frost center of cake. Replace top.

Fill center with pie filling.

Frost exterior of cake. Top hole with pie filling.

With a knife make holes in top of cake for the 7 taper candles and insert the candles (3 green, 1 black, 3 red).

Place acorns around bottom of cake. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over top, then more acorns.

Contrary to Lee’s philosophy, “keep it simple,” this assemblage was all over the place – the flavor, texture, and presentation; the cake was fluffy, the brown icing was thick and rich, and the whole, salted nuts were abrupt. Many of us agreed the nuts were too much and should have been finely chopped or taken out. I took leftovers to my job, and everyone liked the apple-filling element; while it’s hard to argue taste, I think the idea of having these unexpected things together creates a sense of “gourmet” or uniqueness without being gourmet. The taste of the cake becomes secondary. While still using step-saving products, here are my suggestions of re-imagined fall harvest cakes:
  • Spice cake mix in bundt form, filled with apple pie filling, garnished with finely chopped nuts, like pecans or blanched hazelnuts. No icing or a light chocolate glaze?
  • Angel food cake served with fresh caramelized apples and whipped cream on the side
  • Doughnut cake with vanilla-cinnamon or maple frosting


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you actually took that to work! Have you no shame?!

Terri said...

I know, it really was crazy. And wasteful, too. Next time I'll just make a real cake.