Monday, March 9, 2009

Craft and Cake: my heart goes thump.

Unfortunately, the first time I heard about Craft magazine was in an article about its last print issue. As I was wandering around the magazine section of a bookstore last month, I decided to pick up the last issue. It had Amy Sedaris on the cover and I’m a sucker for a Sedaris, so…

The issue takes on parties—what cake to bake, what to stock in your bar and how to put together invitations, decorations and a groovy playlist. I was pleased to find an excerpt from Amy’s book, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, because she’s not a typical party host or homemaker. What I mean is, her cakes turn out looking more like mine than say, Betty Crocker’s, and for this, I love her.

Of course, I would be ecstatic if I could decorate a perfect, polished cake, but I know if I make this cake I’ll have a guaranteed conversation-starter. And more time to actually enjoy my party. So, here’s the cake recipe (with commentary from Amy) from the magazine and a photo of the finished mess.

1. Make an angel food cake from a box.
Take your 10” angel food cake and place it on a plate.
This is the only boxed cake I ever make, because to me it tastes just like a homemade one and you don’t have to deal with egg whites. Egg whites intimidate me (for some people it’s phyllo), but either way, the best part of making an angel food cake is that you get to hang it upside down on a wine bottle for an hour, and you can still do that with a boxed angel food cake.

2. Slice the top.
Slice the entire top from the cake, about 1½“ down. Lift off the top and put it somewhere else.

3. Make a tunnel.
Make a tunnel and scoop out the angel food cake.
Now there is a wall; it will look similar to a Jell-O ring mold. Take the angel food cake that you scooped out and put it on another plate.

4. Fill the tunnel.
Completely fill the cavity with either the chilled whipped filling (see recipe below) or with an ice cream of your choice.

5. Replace the top.
Put the top of the cake back on.

6. Fill the top hole.
I like to use the cake left over from the tunnel and stuff it in the center hole.

7. Cover the Cake.
Completely Slather the sides and top with whipped cream.

*Tip: You can optionally include 1/2 c of toasted almonds in the cake cavity and then sprinkle the outside with 1/3c of shaved toasted almonds.

8. Make a decorating tool.
Scoop frosting into a plastic bag, and twist the top tight. Cut the tip off the plastic bag.

9. Decorate the cake.
Squeeze the bag carefully so the frosting comes out, and decorate the top of your cake how you like.
Repeat steps 8 and 9 with different colors of frosting for an elegant, layered look.

10. Enjoy!
Cut the cake and scoop it onto a plate.


Loveanewidea said...

I've never seen this magazine, but like the retro graphics. This recipe looks pretty easy, and looks pretty to boot...seems like you could come up with so many different types of filling combos(like blueberries and lemon pudding, for instance).

Little Miss Tiara said...

ooo... interesting magz, and the lady with her classic look, ow! (or it's an old magz?)

and and and... that cake... ohh... I don't think I have that much patience to do all those steps, lol. duh.

Courtney said...

It would take way more time to do this one than to just decorate the cake. I tend to be partial though.

Blair said...

Loveanewidea, I like the fruit filling idea!! I hadn't thought of putting other things in there. Yuuum...

Little Miss Tiara, it's actually a new mag, but this is their last issue. :( But they're still online at!

And Courtney, I've seen the way that you can decorate a cake...clearly you are too much of a perfectionist to make such a messy cake! However, decorate with my haphazard ways, and I guarantee it wouldn't take that long. haha...although I wonder how long it takes to make an angel food cake? I'd probably just buy one already made at the grocery store. :O

Drew said...

can we plan a party together along Amy's guidelines? :D I WANT!