Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bunny Cake

When I was younger, I dated a fella, named Steve.  Unfortunately, he wasn't that nice of a guy, because his parents were awesome.  They were this big stereotypical Italian family.  And in fact, Steve was 1/2 Italian.  Both of his dad's parents were born in Italy.  They weren't still alive, but I enjoyed the stories and the warmth mixed with a little danger of the Dad.  I learned plenty from him.  But it was his mother!  Not Italian, but more of the stereotypical big warmth than any of them.  This cake is something she did around Easter.  Not the recipes, the decorations that shape it into a bunny.

Here's the old fashioned way to prepare a cake pan, (instead of spray.)  Dip your fingers into the solid shortening and get some.  Spread it with your fingers over the pan bottoms and sides until it is spread evenly and thoroughly covers.  Get addtional shortening in your hands and continue with both pans.  I recommend trying to enjoy this.  Kids love this kind of this for good reason; it's fun. 

Now spoon a little all purpose flour into each pan.  Hold the pan upright, shaking it and tapping it with my right palm.  Rotate the pan moving the loose flour until there is some flour stuck to all surfaces.  If any loose flour remains in the pan, pour it into the next and continue with the same procedure in the next pan.  When the final pan is coated, dump any remaining flour into the sink with the garbage disposal.
I'm not going to share this recipe because it is not original.  It is the basic yellow cake out of this late '70s Better Homes cook book.  If you want this recipe, e-mail me.

But, before you start cooking are your sink's clean.  If not, take the time to empty and clean your sinks.  Put away any clean dishes.  Get anything dirty shoved into the dishwasher.  On one side, start a sink of hot soapy water to receive any dirty dishes as they get created.  
Dry ingredients in one bowl, cream the butter in another.  The slowly start adding the wet ingredients to the dry while mixing.  I've never had a standing mixer.  My old Black and Decker hand mixer has always done what I need.  But if you have one of those nice Kitchenaide standing mixers, here is the time to drag it out. 

Stop from time to time and use a spatula to scrap the sides of the bowl.  It is just me, or does the combination of butter, vanilla and sugar have an intoxiating affect?  Maybe it just reminds me of good things. Take the time to taste.  I'm not embarrased to stand at the sink licking the bowl and you shouldn't either.  Pour the dough evenly into the two prepared pans and place in a preheated oven to bake. 

You test a cake for done with a toothpick stuck in the center.  It should come out clean.  Also the edges start to pull away from the pan.  Let them cool on a cooling rack so air can get all around them.  This will make two cakes. 

My pans are the old fashioned kind with the little thing that you run arround to loosen the bottom, but I prepared them well.  They had pulled away and popped right out.  Had to have husband help take the two handed photo.
I lined the bottom of my cake carrier with parchment, cut the cake in half and set the bottoms together cut sides down.  I cut out a little notch.  The cut out portion will be the tail.  The head is the piece on the cake to the far right on the photo will be the head.  Well, there is going to be some icing before we are done.  The picture below shows the tail in place.  There will be two rabbit cakes.

I made the butter icing recipe from the same cookbook and iced the cake.  I patted shredded coconut all over it.  

Black licorice cut up and stuck on for whiskers.  Belly Jellies for eyeballs.  The ears of index cards cut and colored, then stuck on. 

I wanted the tail pink, so I colored some of the coconut pink.  The grass is coconut colored green.  Food coloring of course.  There are jelly beans in the grass and peeps all around.  This is one.  Another to make and store until tomorrow.  Husband seems amused and entertained.  He knows his wife and is staying out of the way. 
Remember to play.

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