Thursday, September 10, 2009

Son of Ramen Cake: Sushi Cake

Please note this post has been delayed by several months because of the move this summer. Sorry. -_-;

My sister's birthday is the season of weird cakes. Last year, it was a bowl of ramen. This year, we tried a piece of sushi.



The result was... eh, lacking something in the department of realism. However, I remain convinced that the concept and design are solid enough that this cake could be, in the hands of an experienced sugarcrafter, a really slick show.

Coincidentally, I imagine many of you fall into the "experienced sugarcrafter" category. *hint hint*

Here's the original process developed in this first, experimental instance of... Sushi Cake.

Make some round cakes and stack 'em up. Three 8-inch rounds were used here, the domed tops of each cut off (to level the cake, but you probably already knew that), and a layer of frosting spread between the layers (to make the layers stick together, but I'm pretty sure you knew about that too). Flavor is entirely arbitrary; per my sister's desires, I used strawberry and chocolate cake mix, marbled together.


Spread white or off-white frosting all over the top the cake. Again, flavor is arbitrary, constrained only by the fact that it needs to be of a whitish color. We used cream cheese frosting (again, sister's choice) from a can. And not the "whipped" kind, because I hate it.

Now you need sprinkles. Lots of Sprinkles. Sprinkles that look like rice, or as close to rice as you can possibly find them. I believe they call this shape of sprinkle "jimmies", or at least that's what they were labeled when I finally found them in Missouri. Incredibly, I could not actually find plain white jimmies, but the local Hobby Lobby was able to come up with these cool pearlized off-white ones for me, which actually look even more like cooked rice than I was originally hoping for.

寿司ご飯のように :D

Sprinkle the sprinkles (hurray for immediate noun-verb congruity in a sentence!), all around the top of the cake, leaving a round area in the middle of the cake with only frosting. This will be the "core" of the sushi, where the key ingredients would be rolled up if the sushi were real. You might want to make an indentation in the frosting to mark out this part. The wide ring of sprinkles, meanwhile, is the thick layer of rice. It looks more rice-like as you get a heavier coating of sprinkles on there... try to completely hide the underlying frosting.

Now we need a substitute for the seaweed wrap (焼き海苔:やきのり: yakinori, literally "cooked seaweed") that goes around a roll of sushi. You could, of course, actually use yakinori... or you could find/make the darkest, blue-green-brown frosting that you possibly can. If you know how to make frosting and have access to powerful sugary secrets, you can probably do this very well. In my case, I had a can of lemon frosting (yes, sister wanted lemon), and several vials of food coloring. This is the lemon frosting after about two little bottles of blue, two of green, a few drops of yellow and a hit of red:


...not very nori-colored, but the base frosting was starting to get watered down with all the food coloring, so... meh. Spread your seaweed-colored frosting all around the sides of the cake, keeping the surface smooth and even so it looks at least a little like a wrap around sushi, and not like bizarre green frosting on a cake.

Your cake should now look something like this. Actually, your cake should look
better than this.

Now you add the core of the roll; that is, you put things that look like a sushi core in that bare spot in the middle of the cake. Sushi allows for almost anything to be rolled up at its core, usually in sets of three to five ingredients. Because not all of these ingredients are easily imitable in a sweet format, I tried to mimic three of the more common ones:

オレンジ色チョコ飴、orange Sixlets = いくら、ikura, salmon roe (fish eggs)

赤ゼラチン、 cherry Jello (super thick "Jigglers" recipe) = まぐろ、maguro, raw tuna

ピスタチオプディング、 pistachio pudding = アボカド、 avocado

出来上がり...さあ。ケーキの味はいちごとチョコ、アイシングの味はクリームチーズとレモン。そして、実は、おいしかったよ。o_o' 本当に。

OKAY, so here's our chocolate+strawberry cake with cream cheese+lemon frostings,* topped with pudding, jello, and little chocolate candies, that is intended to look like a roll of sushi. In retrospect, I think my ratio of width-of-rice-band to sushi core was pretty off. A real roll of sushi has a thinner rice band and a wider core. Also, the pistachio pudding was way off the color of real avocado, and the wrong consistency. I think if I'd used a chunk of mint fudge or something, it'd have lent the right kind of shape and color to the whole thing.

Then again, there would likely have been a fight over who got the lump of fudge. -_-;

*And, would you believe, it actually tasted awesome. o_o'


Tedders said...

Wow! I'm impressed...

Living in the land of chiffon and fruit cakes, I'd forgetten how good a nice, homemade American cake can be....yum yum yum!

Hope you're doing well. =)


Ku said...

TED. TTwTT Ureshiii~

Your sudden appearance makes me ever so happy, online as in real life. How ARE you, sir? :D

(I'mma pull some time together and write a letter at you. XD)

Ellie said...

omg. you must love your sister. O.o
im lucky in the sense no one ever eats my cooking anyways to want me to make them a fancy cake! XD but this is so awesome nonetheless! =D

Sarah said...

Hehe, cute!

I like the mint fudge idea.

Ku said...

Lulz, now I need to learn how to MAKE mint fudge. ^-^; I am the suck at cooking.

Ellie, pshht. You can make this easy. PS, how far away from Arizona do you live? 'Cause I'll happily eat your cooking if I can get to it without crossing major bodies of water. :D Yey foods~