Sunday, November 10, 2013

poo cake

I'm about to let you in on a little family secret.

The best cake in the universe. It also happens to be the easiest cake in the world to make. I think I was making this cake by the time I was ten years old. And I could barely manage making rice krispie treats in the microwave, so that should tell you a lot. 

My brother's birthday is four days before mine, and it caused me a lot of strife as a child, because he always got the first choice birthday cake.  My saving grace was the years his birthday was on thanksgiving, when he got a candle stuck in a pumpkin pie. Also, I could eat roast beef, yorkshire pudding, and artichokes on those years because he defaulted to the turkey dinner. 

Truth talk: the best cake in the universe may also be the ugliest cake in the universe. I've tried a lot of techniques to make this cake more attractive, but it's just not happening. Uncomfortably awkward looking on the outside, crazy insanely awesome on the inside.  Kind of like me between the ages of 9 and 20.  Poo cake hinges on a secret ingredient that might take you an hour and a half to find in  your supermarket:

This is the only acceptable kind of cookie to use in your icebox cake. I've tried making my own - not the same.  Ina Garten recommends using uber-expensive Tate's Bakshop cookies -- too fancy, dude! What are you thinking? This is a cake to be relished for its simplicity and the fact that it tastes like your seventh birthday. Leave Tate and his schmancy (albeit delicious) treats out of this. 

These Nabisco cookies are easy to find during the holiday season (usually on a display at the end of an aisle), but for the rest of the year, they can be hidden in the depths of the boxed food aisles. In my grocery store, I finally found them in the freezer aisle (???) next to some ice cream sundae condiments, like sprinkles and maraschino cherries.  No comment. 

So ingredient 1 of poo cake is those cookies. Ingredient 2 is homemade whipped cream. I will put extra emphasis on the homemade aspect - if you use something from a tub or a can for this, we are no longer friends. Also,you will be eating a highly inferior cake. 

So get yer cookies ready, whip up your cream (use a little vanilla extract and powdered sugar to sweeten it) and have it at the ready with a spatula. Whip up twice as much cream as you think you'd ever use for anything. It takes a lot.  And, worst case scenario, you use the leftover whipped cream as a dip for the broken Famous Chocolate Wafers.  It's sort of like chips and salsa, but eight million times more delicious.

Spread the cream between the cookies so that it looks like a big oreo worm.  You should end up with a… log… which is why my childhood friends named this cake "poo cake".  They are super mature, I know. It might be worse that the name caught on with my entire family and has stuck for twenty years and counting. 

My mom makes one long skinny log, but I like to make it in a rectangular shape so that I can build it on a cake stand.

Once your logs have reached the desired length, spread whipped cream all over the outside of the cake. One could stop here, but I can't exactly show up with a crappy-looking white log cake at a friend's birthday. People have expectations nowadays.

I mean, yikes.

That's a little better.I sprinkled a little cocoa powder on top of the poo cake, and then piped some decorative swooshies along the top and bottom as a border. The shape still isn't perfect, but this is a rustic cake for sure.

An important step is to refrigerate the  cake for at least 6 hours before serving. The whipped cream soaks into the cookies and turns them into a cake-like texture. It's seriously magical.  When serving, cut this cake on the bias (aka diagonal) and it will look like a beautiful striped zebra. 

Enjoy this cake for millions of birthdays to come. 




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