A few people wrote in to show me their versions of the creepy crawly cakes, and I loved them all, however many of the letters had self deprecating comments in them: “mine aren’t as good as yours…” I know this is meant as a form of compliment, but it made me realize I didn’t show you what came before the treats I eventually presented. So, in the spirit of living up to the name of this site I offer this behind the scenes action.
I started thinking about these a year ago, I mentioned needing specific pans last Halloween. I started test baking in early September and ended up with something entirely different than I had planned out. Originally I wanted to make molten chocolate cakes in the form of spiders, so that when you cut into them with a fork they’d bleed dark chocolate, ewwww. What I learned was that making dome shaped molten chocolate cakes is hard to get right, and that piped chocolate legs melt when inserted into warm cake (duh). Here is a list of things that didn’t work:
– one boxed cake mix
– two molten chocolate cake recipes
– lots of variations on greasing pans for smooth cake release
– five different cake pans
– sauce legs (though I might come back to this)
– piped chocolate legs
– piped chocolate legs melting when poked into warm cake
– lots of broken pocky legs
– my ability to visualize spider anatomy without research
– one last chocolate cake recipe (not molten, still botched it)
– planning Black Window colorings
I kept notes for myself as I went along. You can see them on here. That page is a list of my failures, you don’t even need to read the notes, just scroll down and peek at the pictures. In the end a burned thumb forced me to take my snack cake backup route, and by that time I had worked the kinks out of the Pocky legs. Who in their right mind would continue on after a year and a string of failures? I have documentation to show that that person is me.
I’m not finished with this cake though. I am now the owner of a shiny new mini bake n’ fill domed cake pan (as seen on TV!) and some super special chocolate from England. I’ll likely be baking spider cakes well past Thanksgiving.
You can see some adorable spider cakes made by Greeting Arts, some turned up on Flickr here by Kay and Matt (hee: spider killbot army!) and here by Queequeg18. And this one made by Hannah makes me feel like my snack has already been pimped: It’s a huge spider cake using Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookies for the legs. She used the full sized as-seen-on-tv Bake n’ Fill pan, which has tempted me in the past.