Planning on falling down a rabbit hole any time soon? Invited to a very merry unbirthday party with your craziest friends? We’ve got a dish for you.
When Lewis Carroll’s heroine first falls down the rabbit hole, she encounters a table with a cake that says, “eat me” and a bottle that says, “drink me.” Unfortunately for Alice, at the time of her education, they appeared to have skipped over the lesson on eating and drinking unfamiliar items (no Mr. Yuck stickers to guide the way), so she imbibes in both, leading to her body shrinking, then growing.
These Eat Me cakes won’t make you grow taller (though, eat enough of them, and I’m sure we can help you grow wider), they’re a fun and delicious way to practice your frosting skills.
EAT ME TEA CAKES
Special equipment: biscuit cutters of varying sizes, sheet cake pan, pastry bags, 2 or more decorative tips
1. Prepare a full sheet pan with butter and flour. Preheat oven according to cake mix directions.
2. Follow the directions on the cake mix. Before the final minute or so of mixing the batter, add the vanilla extract and citrus zest.
3. Spread the batter into the prepared sheet cake pan and bake for 24 to 26 minutes until a fork or toothpick comes out clean.
4. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan, then use the biscuit cutters to create a variety of sized mini cakes.
5. While the cake is cooling, beat butter in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment for 6 to 8 minutes, until butter is fluffy. Add the powdered sugar cup by cup until buttercream reaches desired consistency.
6. Split the frosting in half, then split one of the halves into two bowls. Stir a couple of drops of food coloring in to each bowl, then transfer to pastry bags fitted with small, decorative tips.
7. Optional: Cover a few of the mini cakes with jam or caramel filling, then top with a second cake layer of the same size. If you are going to make double-tiered cakes with jam, place them on a separate plate and freeze for 20-30 minutes until jam is firm.
8. Frost only the tops of each cake with the white buttercream. Pipe a decorative trim around the edges with the colored frosting. Use the gel pen to write “Eat Me” on a variety of the larger sized cakes.
9. Arrange your assortment of cakes on a platter or cake stand and keep an eye out for running white rabbits.
Emma Carew Grovum is a data journalist working at the Chronicle of Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. She previously worked as the Digital Editor for The Cooking Club of America and blogs at kitchendreamer.blogspot.com Emma loves Star Wars, pandas and all things Joss Whedon. Find her on twitter at @emmacarew.
One of the few female winners at the Academy Awards on Sunday (besides supporting actress and lead actress!) was costume designer Colleen Atwood. She’s a Tim Burton team member whose designed for Sweeney Todd, Edward Scissorhands and for the now Oscar-winning Alice in Wonderland. Her catalog over the last 20 years is definitely Lady Geek of the Week-worthy.
It’s nearly impossible to go to a theater without seeing her work in some capacity. Her awesome leather hat that Johnny Depp wore as the Mad Hatter was splayed all over movie theaters, billboards and bus stops while the film was being promoted. Soon, you’ll see her work on the reboot of Planet of the Apes and watch as she transforms the bodies of the stars into ape shapes. It’s easy to see her work as beautifying or sci-fying an actor or actress, but in reality, her work is much more a study in history, architecture and executing the characters as they are written on the page.
For example, here’s what she said about her vision for the Alice designs:
When you read the script, Alice [Mia Wasikowska] is defined in a different way than you expect. She is someone whose purpose is not just to look pretty in a space and time, but to reinvent the world she’s in. It’s a modern look at a woman in a period. … We left off the apron and we didn’t use a hoop, mainly because it looks stupid when you run. We did the action version of the period piece. The bodice is all antique, using original lace from the period, but the body of the dress is not. And I took a flight of fancy making the dress shorter.
For the Red Queen, Helena’s inspiration was Elizabethan. For the White Queen, Anne Hathaway’s inspiration was much more Louis XVI. So they were two vastly different time periods and shapes. Helena was vaguely trailer trash material, so we used less luxurious fabrics. Hence the gold hearts made out of gold foil, which were a little tacky but still queen-like.
You can get a real appreciation of all the detail that went into the Alice in Wonderland costumes in this video:
We love a lady with style and Atwood is clearly the master. For her incredible talent and her cool Oscar too, Colleen Atwood is our Lady Geek of the Week.