Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mystery Machine Birthday Cake

My kids have become smitten with old school Scooby Doo cartoons. While I'm not a huge fan of television, it is one kid's show I don't mind watching, conjuring forth nostalgic glimpses of my childhood.

For my son's birthday he requested a Mystery Machine cake. The party was only a couple days after my birthday, so it worked out nicely. The less cake I've got around here, the better.

The cake was made using the marble cupcake recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I doubled it. In cake form, it made a dense cake perfect for stacking. I love putting the new mixer I won in a VegNews contest to good use!

Decorating the cake consisted of a layer of dairy-free butter cream frosting with fondant detailing. The vegan fondant I used was Satin Ice, which says right on the front page: 0g trans fats, 0mg cholesterol. Allergen information: Gluten free, dairy free, nut free. Contains no animal derived products (vegan). Certified kosher pareve. 

To top it off, we added figurines of the whole gang standing next to the Mystery Machine. I picked them up at Toys R' Us.

My husband helped with the detailing for the cake, and printed out versions of the mystery machine from all angles. Then he cut out and used them as a template for the rolled fondant.
  1. The cake was made using two 9 x 13 inch cakes. They were cut first length wise and the on the end to get the correct size. 
  2. I crumb coated the bottom layer of the first large piece of cake on it's own, making sure to cut out cake board slightly smaller than the cake. (we stacked it on a sturdy construction paper wrapped book to align the wheels properly).
  3. Add another onto the bottom one by piecing together the cut parts from the rest of the first cake.
  4. Next I put in dowel supports to hold up the two layers on the bottom.
  5. Cut the second cake and put it on its own cake board, cut to match its exact size.
  6. Add crumb coat and then last layer from the leftover pieces again, add crumb coat to it too.
  7. Stack the second cake on top of the first one. 
  8. I pushed a dowel through all layers, to hold both layers steady.
  9. Put the cake in the freezer for an hour.
  10. Remove and ice with blue colored frosting.
  11. Print off copies of the Mystery Machine to scale to create detailing. 
  12. Using a toothpick to trace the patterns on rolled out fondant.
  13. To attach fondant detailing onto the Mystery Machine, lightly wet the back of the fondant with water.
  14. The wheels we made using Oreos, piped frosting, and fondant flowers. 
That is the basic jist of making it. If you are interested and have questions, feel free to leave a comment or email about it.

My son thoroughly enjoyed his cake, as you can see below. Vegans can have their fancy cakes and eat them too!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Twin Cities Veg Fest

Coming up next month will be the first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest. I beyond excited about it! Every issue of VegNews, I peruse through the upcoming events, hoping and wishing for a local one. Now it is finally happening on July 14th from 10 AM to 5 PM at Coffman Memorial Union!

There is a huge list of exhibitors, you can check out on their site. Along with that, there will be vegan food samples! If you are curious and want to learn more about veganism, I highly recommend attending this event.

If you are anticipating Veg Fest as much as I am, you can help support it through Kickstarter. They are REALLY close to meeting their goal, so please pitch in if you can help out. If they don't reach the goal, then Kickstarter does not fund it.

Either way, you can be sure I'll be there. I'm helping out with the children's area, as well as visiting the exhibitor booths. Ethique Nouveau, our local vegan store, will be there too, as well as local business Bee Free Honee. Our family sampled their honee at Whole Foods, and are now hooked.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Vegan Food Swap: May

Hello, I haven't fallen off of the face of the planet. We've had a crazy past couple months with my neck disk issues and our Beagle Polly was diagnosed with a ruptured disk in her back. Her care required a lot of stay at home time/snuggling, which has kept us plenty busy.

I'm happy to report, she has been doing well thus far after being weened off of her pain meds. Anywho, onto the vegan food swap....

It is organized by Cat from The Verdant Life, and I have a huge thank you to send to her for setting it all up. What a fantastic idea!

This was my first month participating and it is fun to get a surprise package in the mail. Who wouldn't want that?? Mine came from Miranda from Royal Blue, who lives in the city where I was born ( I'm now living in the midwest). It is a small world after all.

Here is a picture of the loot:

Oolong tea, roasted seaweed sheets, and a gluten free baking mix.

The tea is absolutely delicious and my kids are seriously addicted to roasted seaweed. They wholeheartedly approved of this part of the surprise package!

My plan is to make some sort of vegan, gluten-free baked item using the tea and baking mix. We've got a birthday party coming up here soon, so it'll probably be next week. Glad to be back, and had a great time participating in the Vegan Food Swap!

Elisa from Elisa in Real Life, blogged about what I sent to her. Check it out!

If you are interested in participating, click here.