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Me versus the Bunny


If you’ve visited this blog over the years, you know that every Easter, I square off with the Bunny. Translation: I try to duplicate my mother-in-law’s recipe for a bunny cake. My MIL was a truly great cook, and I learned a lot from her, including how to make yummy enchiladas, tamales, tortillas, and menudo. To learn all these, I basically stalked her during her cooking process by making notes, asking questions, and otherwise dogging her tracks (and helping too of course).

It never occurred to me to stalk her during the making of the Easter bunny cake. It seemed pretty simple – make two round white layers (from a package!). One layer becomes the bunny’s face. The other is cut in three semi-circular doodads to form two big ears and a bow tie. Then you whip up some meringue style white frosting, and coat the whole ensemble, adding jelly beans for eyes and polka dots on tie, and covering all (except the bow tie) with coconut.

 Sounds easy, right? 

 It turns out, that meringue frosting isn’t such a breeze to make. I’ve chronicled my errors in posts throughout the years – spoons melting, spoons getting stuck in a block of frosting a la Excalibur, etc.   I often have to make several batches before I end up with something presentable (it always tastes good, but I want that fluffy bunny look!)

 So here we are again. Just me and the bunny. I’ve been psyching myself up for it all week. Also, I have scoured the internet for more and better recipes. Some of them sound easier, but I’m not going for easy. I want it to be my MIL’s recipe, or close to it. So cream of tartar, sugar, water – boiled until something magical happens. Then whipped into egg whites.

 Some of the internet recipes use corn syrup. Some put everything into a double boiler and whip it that way. I’m sure they are fabulous, but that’s too far off course for me and the bunny. It’s all about authenticity now.

My goal? Perfect on the first try.

I achieved “almost perfect” on the third try once, about five years ago. Since then, it’s been a little bit down hill. The family has loved it every year, because the basic taste is there, and once you put the coconut on, you can’t see that the icing isn’t quite as fluffy as real meringue.

 Oh well, wish me luck. I have some promising tips from e-bakers, so who knows? In any case, I’ll report back!

 Have a great weekend,

Kate

p.s. if you came here for contest info, it's in the next post down. Good luck!


Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
katedonovan
Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
New Theme
I got tired of the popcorn box, so let's see how the cacti fare!
mizkit
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
*laughs* I totally sympathize with the wanting to get it perfect mindset. I suspect the truth is that you are indeed as close to it as your MIL ever got, but there's nobody as hard on herself as the chef (or writer). I find flaws in my baking that other people insist don't exist. :)

Good luck with it!
katedonovan
Apr. 3rd, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the support!!
I had a roommate in college who truly was a perfectionist in all things, especially her baking. I still remember one day when I was trudging up the stairs toward our apartment and the air was filled with the yummy scent of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. But as i came through the front door, the scent was overpowered by a sound -- of the garbage disposal! The poor cookies had burned, just a bit, and so she had stuffed them all down the chute. Oh the humanity! I've never gotten over it, so even though I try to achieve excellence, I'm pretty comfortable with "close."

If only that Bunny wouldn't gloat, all would be well.

Thanks again!
mizkit
Apr. 4th, 2010 08:27 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks for the support!!
oh now that's just WRONG!
(Anonymous)
Apr. 7th, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC)
My mom uses the double boiler method, I think
:::waving at MizKit, too:::

Cuz you're really making 7 minute frosting, right? I haven't had that in forever. . .

How'd it go?

MizKit, (MizKit is Catie, right????) did you see my tweet about your book on sale at either eReader or fictionwise?

And Kate, I used the "shinynew" coupon at mybooks to buy your book so a very nice price. Now to find time to READ it!!

Penn(i)
katedonovan
Apr. 8th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Re: My mom uses the double boiler method, I think
Hi Penni!

Maybe I should cave and use the double-boiler method. If I do, I'll ask you for her recipe.

The battle didn't go well again this year, but I blame weather conditions, because it went from a very warm, clear day on Saturday to bitter cold and overcast, and then lightning storms on Sunday, so maybe that made things go crazy. The boiled sugar got to the right temperature without burning or turning into a rock, and the icing whipped up fairly well, just not as pretty as I had hoped.

Once on the bunny, however, and covered with coconut, it was lovely.

Thanks for buying SPACE FEVER! I hope you get a chance to read it soon. It's a lot racier than my Bombshells, so be forewarned. (And trust me, "racier" is quite a euphemism here) But I think you'll enjoy the story. It's a wild ride. I'm writing the sequel now (or at least, that's what I will be doing as soon as I finish the taxes)

Talk soon!
Kate
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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