Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Graveyard-Cake (Halloween Special)

Hey hey hey ... it is time for another international posting =) There are many reasons for that - first of all, the theme of this blog entry is a Halloween cake (which is a more famous holiday in America e.g. than in Germany).

Secondly, I was inspired by an international food blog to create this cake - you just know it, don´t you? Of course, I mean "Confessions of a Cookbook Queen" - one of my favourite and most read blogs, created and maintained by lovely Kristan <3 (she is so very talented in writing and baking .. just jump over to her blog and see yourself!).
I guess I mention her and her blog like every other entry :3 But well ... that is just the way it is. As I said, I visit her blog daily and she inspires me very often to try some of her creations on my own. So, why not mention the source? Why not linking her blog every other posting? It is just fair, isn´t it?
Oh yes, you want to know which of her creative works has inspired me this time. Sure you do. Ok, here we go.
It was her "Zombie Grave mini cakes". Click here. Or here. Or here. Do not click over there. Or, maybe ... yes, you could also click over there. I think that would be ok. Click it. Just do it.
Am I becoming flashy? Yes, I am ;-)
Well, just kidding. What I want to say is that these lovely (creepy) little cakes were a great idea for Halloween. I just do not own that many mini cake pans. 
So an idea began to grow in my brain (braiiiiinsssss.. zombiiiieeees... must have ... braiiiins) - why not creating a whole graveyard (cake) instead of many mini graves (cakes)?

Last but not least I would like to mention another (international) blog, "17 and Baking"- a blog with nice writings, lovely pictures and great recipes.
The author, Elissa, has a lovely way of writng down her emotions and thoughts and she shares gorgeus recipes with her community. Thanks a lot!
I mention her, because I adapted her recipe "Chocolate raspberry ganache cake" for this cake (and the Oreo cake, too) .. well, not the whole recipe, just the cake itself. And I have fumbled with the ingredients to adapt it to our standards (which means leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeess sugar ;-) ).
But still, it was her recipe I have used so I want to say "thank you so much :-)" ...

Wow, this entry is going to take forever - I still haven´t started with the recipe and baking and "how to" stuff ... but though the wall of text is growing and growing o_O
So, let us start with the long long long list of ingredients you will need:

Cake ingredients:
- 3 3/8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup neutral oil
- 1 cup joghurt (pure)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs

Additional (topping):
- 2 glasses of cherries (sweet)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- gelatin powder to make it solidify
( I have seen pictures in american blogs showing canned cherry pie filling - I guess you may use this instead, much more easy?)

- vanilla pudding (made out of sugar, 13 fl.oz. milk (which is less than asked for on the packaging) and vanilla pudding powder) .. what does it equal? 1 2/3 cup?
- gelatin powder
- 2 cups whipped cream

- 2 packages Oreos, crushed
- 1 cup crushed cookies (Americans will use Graham Crackers, I guess? In german it is "Butterkekse" ... but I don´t know if this equals Graham Crackers at all .. just take golden brown cookies and crush them.)
- 1 cup whipped cream
- marzipan
- red, green and brown food coloring
- edible modelling clay (Is this available in America? I guess you may use fondant instead .. or even more marzipan)
- a package of pocky
- cookies that will represent the gravestones 
- white icing for the "R.I.P" on the gravestones

Wow, before I can begin I must say sorry! I am very sorry for this totally messed up list. First of all it is very hard for me to convert our measuring units into the american ones.
I hope it all went well.
Secondly, sorry for all the doodling at the end of some ingredients - that is just because I don´t know wether these things are available in America or which things equal them :-(
Really, I am so sorry for the inconvenience.

Making the cake:
Oh, this is the easy peasy part of it. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a rectangular pan for the cake (I use a baking shee and a baking frame).
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, soda  and salt in a bowl and mix it.
Add oil and water, then mix it very well. Add vanille extract and rum and stir it.
Mix in the joghurt, beating for 2 minutes.
Add one egg a time and keep beating for a minute. Repeat with the other egg.
Pour batter into the pan/frame and shove it into the oven. It will take about 35 minutes to be finished (insert a toothpick to test if it is ready). 
Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely in the pan/frame before you remove it.

Making the cherry topping:
As I said, american residents may use canned cherry pie filling - guess that is much less time-consuming.
But you can also cook the content of the 2 glasses of cherries (with the juice) with sugar and gelatine powder (Deutsche nehmen 2 Packungen Instanttortenguss oder GelatineFix) to create a creamy topping.

Making the vanilla topping:
I have used instant vanilla pudding powder and cooked a pudding, following the instructions on the package (but using less milk than asked for).
Let the pudding cool completely.
Meanwhile whip the cream (in Germany, we add 2 Packages of "Sahnesteif" .. I don´t know wether this is something common in America? It is a powder that makes whipped cream more firm).
Mix pudding and cream as soon as the pudding has cooled down. Add gelatin powder (GelatineFix) - you can leave it out if you put the cake in the fridge over night.

Putting it together:
Place cake on a glass tray. Put a frame around it so the topping won´t flood the sides of the cake.
Pour cherries over it and smooth it with a spoon. (If you have cooked the topping: Do this while the cherries are still hot, or otherwise you won´t be able to pour them .. they will become very firm.)
Let the topping cool completely (or otherwise you vanilla topping will melt).
Pour the topping onto the cherries and smooth it, again. 
I put the cake into the fridge over night at this point. Everything has a chance to settle down and become firm now.
As soon as everything is firm you can remove the frame carefully. You are ready to create a graveyard, now :-)

Crush oreos and cookies and fill the crumbs into cups.
Whip cream and add some brown food coloring into it (will look like chocolate cream).
Color marzipan in green (zombies), red (spider e.g.) and brown (gnarled trees).
Prepare the edible modelling clay/fondant/more marzipan.
Unwrap pockys and cut them into halves.
Cut gravestone-cookies into desired shape and label them ("R.I.P.") with icing.

Making a graveyard:
Take 3/4 of the brown whipped cream and coat the sides of your cake (I think that looks much more appealling).
Pipe little "hills" with the leftover cream - they will form the grave mounds.
Take the Oreo and cookie crumbs. Start with the cookies crumbs, fill a teaspoon with them and pour them onto the cake. They will form the paths between your graves.
The dark Oreos will be the graveyard-ground. Pour them generously onto the top of the cake (let out the paths!) and even more onto the graves (make them big).
I know, you can´t really see the graves on the picture - but you will see them later.

So, the ground is ready - you can go into the details now. Put a grave-stone behind every grave and press gently into the ground (not too deep, but they will need some stability).

Ok, some more details from my graveyard:

1.) I made a zombie head and his two hands (coloured marzipan) and placed him on a grave ... like he was trying to dig himself out.

2.) I rolled balls (edible modelling-clay, red) and drew lines with a modelling-tool. Drew faces with brown food-coloring and formed leaves and twines (edible modelling-clay, green). Yeehaw, an army of creepy pumpkins.

3.) Made a very small ball (edible modelling-clay, red) and 6 legs (edible modelling-clay, red), drew a face onto the ball (brown food-coloring). Got a spider! (Yeahhh, I know ... 8 legs ... but that did not fit anymore..)

4.) Made more twines (edible modelling-clay, green) to entwine around some graves.

5.) Formed gnarled trees out of marzipan (coloured in brown).

6.) Made a creepy bird (edible modelling-clay) .. well kind of creepy .. kind of bird ... oi..

7.) Formed a worm and another zombie-hand for the graves.

8.) Pressed the cutted pockys around the graveyard as a fence.

And that´s it :-)


  1. What a lovely cake...and it looks super delicious, too!!

    You have tons of creativity...I love it!!

    Thank you so much for your sweet, sweet made my day. I am saving it so I can always read it when I need to smile.

    Cookbook Queen :)



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