Here’s an idea for another fun filled afternoon in the kitchen with your kids.
Even little kids can join in to create an edible castle!
First, make your favorite cake recipe using a castle mold. This one came from Wilton. You can find it at cooking stores like Williams Sonoma and Sur la Table or on the http://www.wilton.com site. It comes with a recipe that works great, but I lost it so I simply used an old Betty Crocker Devil’s Food cake recipe. You can also use your favorite boxed cake mix. I will tell you, though, that denser cakes like pound cakes or gingerbread cakes are better because they won’t sink down in the pan as they cook. Make whatever kind you like though, because that doesn’t really matter! The one in my picture sank big time. I almost threw it out half way through cooking because it looked so bad. I finished it just to see and when I flipped the pan over, it was just fine. The cracking was all on the inside. So if you use a regular mix, don’t give up! Just make the cake and flip it out onto a wooden or Styrofoam board covered with Pretty foil paper that you can get from any cake supply store. (In my area, that’s Kitchen Creations in Farmington Hills or Heineman’s at 10 and Van Dyke. If you want to keep your costs down, just use tin foil.
Next, make a drawbridge for your castle.
Tortillas are perfect for this! Using clean hands and clean kitchen scissors,simply cut around a Hershey candy bar. It’s just the right size. We made two, just to be sure we would get a good one and you can easily make two from one flour tortilla.
Then cover the drawbridges with cheese and bake it at 350ºF for about 10 minutes. This will make them sturdy and crispy.
Now you need some frosting for “glue” to hold your decorations onto the castle, some blue frosting for “water” and some green frosting for “glue” to hold up landscaping and other things. To make the frosting, simply mix a cup or two of confectioner’s sugar with the color your want and then add very small amounts of water, whisking until it’s the consistency that you want. It should be fairly think because you don’t want it to drip.
You also need some brown frosting to match the cake to hold the decorations on the cake. To make brown, mix one cup of confectioner’s sugar with 4 Tablespoons cocoa. Then add just a bit of water at a time until it’s a thick consistency again. Use some of the brown frosting to “glue” the castle to the board. Then it won’t slide around when you move it.
Now you are ready to add the water to the moat around your castle. Just paint on the blue frosting!
Then I added circles of red licorice (they come that way) for the side cranks of the drawbridge.
It’s fun having other people around because everyone comes up with great ideas. Your imagination is your only guide! As Emmi puts the drawbridge in place, Birgit is already thinking about her next idea… a tortilla path that winds around the front of the castle, outside the moat… She cuts curved pieces around the tortilla and then cuts them into the shapes she needs to fit on the board.
After the path is “glued” down with frosting, Emmi lines it with little Hershey bar rectangles to give it the look of bricks…
…and I (Chef Lynn) cut some chocolate Twizzler licorice sticks into little logs for a fire. We also put a stack of logs around the back of the castle for future use by its occupants.
Emmi had a lot of fun “gluing” lifesavers on the windows, lifesavers and white chocolate kisses on the turrets, adding gumdrops, broccoli and cauliflower for landscaping and yogurt covered raisins for stones…
…and filling them with treasure!
We tried to make a swan to put in the water by cutting it our of a really large marshmallow. It was no problem with all of these wonderful ingredients though. When all else fails, just eat the evidence! 🙂
I have to say that quite a few Gummi Bears got eaten in the process too 🙂 Emmi added them around the campfire and they are also guarding the front door. She also added edible glitter to the fire and the drawbridge.
Not to mention the delicious MexAmerica tortillas… great even just plain… and you don’t even need any front teeth to enjoy them! 🙂 Thanks Emmi and Birgit for bringing your smiles and fun to the Test Kitchen! XO