Saturday, October 25, 2008

Crazy times for Coco Cake: Night For All Souls

Crazy day! This evening was Vancouver's Night For All Souls event at Mountainview Cemetary, a truly beautiful and contemplative evening run by artists, a night to remember those who have passed and to honor them with art, music, ceremonies and song, bouquets of fresh flowers, candles, notes, flags and celebration.

I was asked to create a selection of dessert items for this event, and with the Day of the Dead theme in my mind, I went for a selection of colorful candied chocolate cake skulls, mini tres leches cakes and... well, not very Mexican Day of the Dead, but dainty little pink buttercream vanilla tea cakes to accompany the tea pouring that would be warming up the chilly cemetary goers.

It was super cool because they had a find-a-grave service, and my husband and I managed to maneuver the darkness with a candle (and our cell phone lights--- extreme nerd alert) to find my great-grandfather's headstone! I put together a bouquet of roses and mums for him, and wrote a little note as well. He died two days before I was born, so I never knew him but have heard many stories about him from my grandma. It was the first time I felt I spent time with him!

I made 75 mini skulls, 75 buttercream vanilla tea cakes for cemetery-goers and 30 mini tres leches (three milks!) cakes for the hardworking volunteers. For the mini skulls, I followed the general Bakerella idea of dipping chocolate cake balls (or in this case, skull-shapes which I shaped by hand!) into melted candy, letting it set then decorating. I used royal icing to pipe the skull faces on. If you ever attempt to do this, it's imperative that you do not overheat the candy melts, or get even a drip of water in it--they lose their dipping consistency and it's a real drag to waste!

The pink buttercream vanilla tea cakes are pretty self-explanatory! I used these adorable pink-and-brown design cupcake liners I bought off of Etsy, a great site for finding cool handmade crafty things as well as vintage plates, clothing and baking supplies even! Vanilla sheet cake sliced into squares and topped with a buttercream flower.

The tres leches ended up being quatro leches-- I finished them with a dollop of fresh whipped cream to kick it up to quatro, with a tiny mint leaf and a fresh organic raspberry! I adore the look of berries adorning cakes and cupcakes...! Tres leches gets such a name because the trick to the cake is to soak it with a mixture of, yep, three milks. Condensed, evaporated and coconut milk is what I used.

So we've rented 2DVDs ("The Long Goodbye" and "The Killing Of Sister George") and I'm about to kick back and relax. Yay for crazy baking jobs!


Billy Jack said...


Snooky doodle said...

wow how many delicious treats. Your work is awesome.

Anonymous said...

The skull petit-fours were stunning. We had the pleasure of enjoying one at the Night for All Souls. Eating it was somehow to acknowledge that death is as much a part of us as life. In addition, in a delightfully macabre and cannibalistic manner, cracking the firm sweet coating to get to the moist, dark chocolate interior was oddly reminiscent of skull and brain... very well done!

lyndsay said...

thank you for the nice comments! zakira, i'm thrilled to hear from someone who got to experience the skulls! glad to hear you enjoyed them.

Cakespy said...

OMG, I am in cute heaven looking at these. The petits-fours just make me want to die with their complete awesomeness!

Brandy Lotus Blossom said...

this is too funny and kinda random, but my good friend michael speier told me about you (and the mountainview thing--we all got the flu that weekend so sadly did not go)...but anyway, here i am googling cupcakes for my upcoming party, and i find you! small world--and lovely cupcakes! cheers!