Wednesday, February 20, 2013

100 Day Cake

If you have elementary age kids you probably know about the 100 day festivities.  This wasn't anything that was celebrated when I was in school, but has become a big time party in some schools.  My daughter's kindergarten teacher loves celebrating with the kids and can take any holiday and turn it into a wonderful memory where the kids not only have fun, but learn tons.


As a room parent I was tasked with making a cake for the celebration, her only request was that it be shaped like the number 100.  I spoke briefly with the other room parents, and discussed some ideas. I walked away with a vision in my head and was ready to get the supplies to execute my plan, when a couple of days later I was given a bag filled with candy and told to go make the cake.  I felt like I was on an episode of Chopped - the candy edition.


I am attracted to simple colors and pattern schemes.  Before being given my challenge basket I had thought I would outline each cake using 100 M&M's per cake, like the number one in the picture.  What I was given was - 10 licorice rounds, 20 Junior Mints, 30 red and brown peanut M&M's, 40 blue and green peanut M&M's, 50 Milk Duds, 60 Gum Drops, 70 Dark Chocolate M&M's, 80 Reese's Pieces, 90 Sour Patch Kids and 100 Jelly Beans.  If you're counting that is a lot of candy.  I made a couple of changes to what I was given because I wanted to have two cakes that were nut free, so I substituted the peanut M&M's with Hershey Chocolate bars and brown M&M's - I also did this so I could go back to my comfort zone of a simple color scheme and pattern.

It took some work to get all the candy on the cakes, but it was a lot of fun to make.  The kids were definitely impressed by the amount of candy, but I was even more impressed by how quickly 25 kindergartners ate the cake.  Within 15 minutes there were only crumbs and those were being savaged over pretty quickly.   It was a fun day and nice to be able to put smiles on so many little faces.


Yellow Layer Cake
(makes 2  9 inch round cakes)

printer ready

2 whole eggs
2 yolks
½ cup whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 ¾ cups cake flour, sifted
1 ½ cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
16 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature cut into 16 pieces

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease cake pans line bottom of pans with parchment, lightly dust with flour.

In small bowl combine eggs, milk and vanilla.  In the bowl of a standing mixer combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, beat on lowest speed for about 30 seconds.  With mixer still running add butter one piece at a time.  Mix until butter and flour begin to clump and form pea sized pieces.  Add one cup of the egg mixture and mix at lowest speed until ingredients are fully incorporated, then increase speed to medium high.  Beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about one minute.  Scrape down bowl.  With mixer running at a medium low speed add remaining egg mixture in a slow steady stream.  Once all the egg mixture is added increase speed to medium high for 15-20 seconds.  Mixture will look slightly curdled.  Divide batter equally between pans.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  

Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan.  Ice and decorate as desired.