I've been baking... We're about to go to our friends' dacha for the weekend and I'm bring two VERY different desserts.
Here's the Martha Stewart Chocolate Endpaper Tart below. I'll include directions on how to make it later (no time right now); it's incredibly delicious, quite impressive and actually rather easy to make.
Then there's the cake that the girls asked me to make... They're planning a big Halloween bash for our three families and this was their top choice. Yup, a Kitty Litter Cake.
The older girls, Polina and Julia, helped me make it yesterday during their English lesson. It was one of their first times baking and I sincerely hope it doesn't become part of their standard repertoire.
The cake is actually quite good, though... I didn't have all of the ingredients available here, though, and had to improvise on how to create cat poop. How's that for a shopping list... "Hmm... what in this aisle could be used to create realistic poo?"...
Kitty Litter Cake
1 vanilla or butter cake (I made one using the King Arthur Flour cookbook)
1 chocolate cake (again, I used a recipe from King Arthur Flour)
2 large pkg vanilla instant pudding mix, prepared
1 large pkg vanilla sandwich cookies
green food coloring
12 small Tootsie Rolls®
1 new kitty litter pan
1 new plastic kitty litter pan liner
1 new pooper scooper
Prepare cakes and bake according to directions (any size pans).
Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble.
Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops green food coloring and mix until completely colored.
When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. Important: mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten it. You don't want it too soggy. Combine gently.
Line a new, clean kitty litter box. Put the cake/pudding/cookie mixture into the litter box.
Put three unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls bury them in the mixture. Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly on top of everything -- this is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.
Heat 3 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Spread remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top; take one and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around for a truly disgusting effect!(with supervision) had to find balloons and pop them with darts. Inside each balloon was a picture of what animal they had killed--and how many people it could feed. The kids needed to keep hunting until they had fed their families. Pretty neat, huh?? I'll write more about the trip when we get back from the dacha! (Kate--it had nothing to do with actual Pioneers, though--her school simply used the facilities).