23 July 2008

Pac-Man Fever

They have just put the TV series "Square Pegs" out on DVD, did you know that? Patty and Lauren, my pre-teen heroines 4EVA. Anyway, we were watching Disc One and along comes the episode "Pac-Man Fever". My husband, a bona fide Ms.Pac-Man savant, was completely smitten. A whole episode about his favourite game? Heaven. With his birthday around the corner, I decided to keep the Pac-Love flowing.

Easy-peasy - bake two layers of cake. Sandwich together - in this case, with homemade blackberry jam and lemon cream cheese frosting. Cover all in said frosting - food colouring makes me kind of squirmy so I left the frosting as nature intended and instead, sifted some yellow sanding sugar on the top. Cut a big wedge out for the mouth - for once, the baker gets to try the cake before debuting it. Insert a chocolate malted ball for the eye and -Voila. Pac-Cake. I dooddled with the idea of Ghost and power pellet cupcakes but for god's sake, I'm only human and I had a million other things to do that particular day. Perhaps you are more Super Human than I.

But the decoration isn't the real story. The star of this cake is the dense, moist, delicious chocolate cake. My absolute stand-by chocolate cake recipe, I've made it maybe a hundred times and it never disappoints. Plus, it's mix and bake in one pan and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now. Don't let the name put you off:

Chocolate Vinegar Cake

1.5 C flour
1 C Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
3 tbsp Cocoa
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all the dry ingredients together in an ungreased pan - a 8x8 square pan or 9" round pan works. Make three holes in the the dry, blended ingredients.

In one hole add - 1 tsp Vanilla
In the next - 6 Tbsp oil
In the last - 1 Tbsp white vinegar
Beat one egg and add 1 C water to the egg. Pour over the top.
Mix everything until completely blended.

Put in a 375 degree oven for about half an hour or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

What is so great about this cake is that it isn't too sweet so it stands up well to buttercream and cream cheese frosting, not like some overly-cloying bakery cakes. And it couldn't be simpler, with less clean-up.

Just to class up our celebration, I added the winning touch - the candle:


Maven said...

My brother totally had a pac-man cake for his birthday at some point in the mid-80s. There were cupcake pellets also. But that was a kid's birthday party, which means that the frosting was much more fluorescent too.

I am definitely trying this cake recipe.

arajane said...

Oh, how I am in love with this cake! Tell Sergio happy birthday from me, and also that next time we happen to be in the same city, I would love to have a Ms. Pac-Man tournament with him. Best. Game. Ever.

kickpleat said...

that pac-man cake is pretty awesome! i'm sure sergio was thrilled. happy birthday sergio!

librarianista said...

You are a good wife, in the not gross way. I am going to use your recipe. I'm not a baker but we'll see how it goes.

Happy Birthday Sergio! Hope it was excellent.