Sunday, July 12, 2009

Star-Spangled Cake & Mad Hatter - 7/12/2009

This week had some preparation for a weekend trip (see next post), so this post is a little shorter than some of the other epic entries, but it's still delicious nonetheless.

Mad Hatter Cuban Sandwich

Early in the week, I had the chance to go to Mad Hatter for brunch. I opted for their Cuban, seen above. It is a very non-traditional take on the usual pressed sandwich. Instead of a relatively thin compilation, the Mad Hatter take is piled high with thickly sliced pork and a slightly spicy sauce on top, all on a thick, chewy bread (not Cuban bread, but still very good). On the side is a cold pasta with bell peppers and tomatoes. Not pictured is a "Mostess cupcake" in the style of the Hostess chocolate cupcakes with the curly-cue of white frosting and white cream filling. I was surprised to find the cupcake very dry, making the whole experience a little disappointing. I've had their cake before, and it was pretty good, especially after an overnight chill in the fridge. I will definitely go back to Mad Hatter, but I will be a little more wary of the desserts.

Star-Spangled Cake

The cake theme of the week was Fourth of July, despite the fact that the holiday has passed. I decided on some All-American flavors - vanilla spice cake with an apple butter filling - similar to what you find in apple pie. I will admit to save time I used a box cake mix, but I did throw pretty much every spice I could think of into the batter (including, but not limited to, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves). The cake was moist and a little more airy than is good for frosting, but luckily this week we were also working with fondant. Fondant is like a frosting dough. You can buy it from stores like Michael's and roll it out on a cornstarched surface. Then you drape it on top of your cake, smooth it out and cut away the excess. I can easily see fondant being a great way to save a cake that does not look like it will be presentation-worthy by itself. Most people liked the slightly chewy quality it brought to the cake. As a final note, the stars on top are made of gum paste, which when set to dry turns almost inedibly solid after a couple days (but they sure look good).

Fallen Stars Cake

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