Not Martha

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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.

added:

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.

· comments [0] · 11-2-2006 · categories:craft · mumbling ·

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