Thursday, January 8, 2015

Minions are a Girl's Best Friend

Somewhere along the way in my never-ending quest for world domination, I realized things would be a lot easier if I had others to do my bidding for me. If these creatures happened to be small, Twinkie-shaped beings with a rudimentary understanding of the English language, so be it. Sadly, the minions I wanted to help me usher in total control don't really as my birthday present to myself, I created my very own...
Look guys, its Kevin! Okay, so when the first Despicable Me movie came out a few years ago, I fell in love with these tiny, adorable, and mostly harmless minions. I think we can all agree they're the only reason any of us went to see Despicable Me 2, and why we're all ready for it to hurry up and be summer so the minion flick will come out in theaters. A few weeks ago as I pondered what in the world to make for my birthday cake, a minion was the natural winner. I know none of you are remotely surprised I made my own birthday cake...its what I do. If any of you are related or married to another Type A-er, you understand my alacrity for creating my own cake. I promise I didn't light my own candles. Even I admit that's taking it too far. But I was happy to start 2015 off with the most important cake of all...mine. Muahahaha. Ahem. Sorry, world domination is just my bread and butter. Let me show you how to create your very own minion! But it can't be Kevin..he's my minion. You can make Steve or Carl. Don't look at me like that- the minions do have names ya know.
It has been too long, cake.
Start off by making a 9x13 cake in any flavor you'd like. Personally, I've been having strawberry birthday cake since I was probably about 13. On my list of favorite cakes, strawberry is head and shoulders above the rest- even blue velvet or triple chocolate. The love is real, and it is deep. If you're truly an aspiring evil genius, make a red velvet cake so when you're carving up your minion, his insides run red like the blood of your enemies. Or something like that. Does anyone know when Game of Thrones comes back on? I need to quell this thirst for destruction.
I do so love it when there are scraps.
Once your cake is completely cooled, take a sharp knife and round the top of your cake. I cut off just about an inch from the top of the cake and the sides. I used the scrap piece to cut along the other side of the cake so things were even. I find it is easiest to shape a cake when the cake is COLD. This will also help when you put on....
Dammit Spongebob, not now.
The crumb coat! I made a lemon frosting for this cake, following the usual recipe for white frosting (cup of Crisco, 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla, 1/2 tsp of lemon extract, 4 cups powdered sugar, 4 tbsp milk) and adding in the lemon extract to make it lemon frosting (der...). This amount of frosting will frost the whole cake, but here's how it breaks down:
  • Take about one large spatula full of frosting while it is still white, and set aside in a small container and keep covered
  • Take about a cup of frosting while it is still white, and set aside in a medium container. Dye this portion of frosting blue for the minion's coveralls; keep covered.
  • With the remaining frosting, dye it all yellow. Use this frosting to crumb coat the ENTIRE cake, as cutting off the sides will cause major crumbage if you don't; keep the rest covered so it doesn't get hard to spread while you wait for your crumb coat to set.
We came back from our Caribbean cruise to 10 inches of snow and a garage that has a real feel of negative 12. So my garage freezer hasn't kicked on in days, and that is my go-to place for storing all my extra desserts and letting crumb coats stick quickly. Needless to say, I had a moment of panic, yelling, and immediate sadness when I realized that all my belongings had to have thawed out over the past week. Bye bye, other skull cake from Dia de los Muertos, homemade cupcakes from Derek's return from deployment, and delicious Digiorno...I always knew you weren't delivery. So in my case, I had to clear space in the house fridge to allow my crumb coat to set for 30 minutes. If fate doesn't hate you and you have freezer space, 15 minutes will do. As the crumb coat works it's magic, it is time to assemble that adorable goggled eye all minions possess.
Real talk: I had to hide these cookies from myself so I wouldn't eat them all.
 To start, assemble the actual eye. You need a large, circular platform to do this. I find giant cookies are an excellent large, circular platform. Get a flavor you like, but Pepperidge Farm cookies are the perfect size. You will also need a grand total of three Hershey's kisses for the minion, just one for the eye.
Looking at this, if they make giant Oreos, that would suffice...but I really love those Pepperidge Farm cookies.
Take that plain white frosting you set aside earlier and spread it on the giant cookie. DO NOT EAT. You don't want a blind minion, do you? You want about a half inch worth of thickness on the cookie. Get it as smooth as possible with a small spatula, and put it in the fridge. You can do the paper towel trick with this once it has set to smooth it all out. On to the goggles!
You need Tootsie Rolls and either silver sanding sugar or silver color mist.
Tootsie Rolls...the world's least favorite candy for a reason. However, they work for what you need them for here, but I will probably have the remaining bag of Tootsies hanging out in my pantry for the next fifteen years, or God willing if we move, leave them behind for the next family to find in the world's cruelest joke. You need four or five rolls to make the goggles. I melted mine for ten seconds so they were malleable. 
Press all of your rolls together, and crack a crude joke involving toilet humor or Mr. Hanky from Southpark.
Then roll them out to form a long, skinny rope. I just rolled them between my palms.

Once your rope is formed, take your eyeball out of the fridge so you can see how big of a circle you need to form, and then press those ends together when you've got your sizing correct..don't forget to put the eye back in the fridge!
Then spray with the color mist! This stuff really doesn't smell edible, but let's face it, I'm sure Tootsie Pops without edible color mist will still give you cancer.
If you want to use sanding sugar instead, you need to get the circle damp and roll in the sugar. But what a waste of sanding sugar!! 
I see all!! Including your thumb...
Set aside the goggle to dry, and remove the eye from the fridge again. Smooth it out using the paper towel trick, and put an upside down Kiss into the frosting so you have a pupil. Now that your crumb coat is dry, get that cake back out!
Using the small spatula, carve a line into the bottom of the cake where you will separate the minion from his coveralls.
 The hardest part of this cake is making sure you keep the yellow and blue frostings away from each other because even in the second movie, the minions did not turn green. So take your yellow frosting and use a large spatula to slather on the minion' Use a small spatula to cover the sides. Try to smooth as best you can before moving on to frost the coveralls. I just used a small spatula to frost the coveralls so I could ensure I wouldn't get blue everywhere (just on myself).
As you can see, I didn't make things incredibly smooth because I was worried about the evil color wheel blending my primary colors together to create a lame secondary color.
But no worries! As you can see above, this is precisely what the paper towel trick is for!! Smooth like buttah.
Once you've frosted your entire minion, put it in the fridge or freezer again for a decent amount of time. I gave it the equivalent of lunch and half an episode of Grey's was the one where Denny dies, so I got lost in a box of Kleenex and wasn't watching the clock. Then take out your cake and smooth it out using the paper towel trick; add your eyeball and your goggles any time after this. You will have some blue and yellow unevenness after smoothing, but don't worry, I will show you how to fix that with some piping.
I could totally eat a tub of this with my giant cookies and be content for days.
Fit a piping bag with a large round tip..I used a #6. Then mix about a quarter of a cup of chocolate decorator frosting and some black dye. I know that lemon frosting and chocolate frosting do not mix, but to get a decent black coloring, you need a darker frosting. 
A minion without a mouth is slightly terrifying.
Take your piping bag and just draw a line to separate the minion from his coveralls. Add two Kisses as buttons to up the ante on the "awww" factor. 
Kevin, you give great side eye.
Then draw an outline for the strap of the goggles. Go back in and fill with the black frosting. You could probably get away with using the can frosting that comes in black with a few decorator tips for this part to make it a bit easier. Just smooth everything out with a small spatula when you're done. 
It's so cute, I'm gonna die!
Then I added the trademark minion smirk and outlined the coveralls for a finishing touch. Again, a can of the frosting with the right included tip would probably work fine, but I prefer working with a piping bag because it makes me feel more official. Now you're ready to name your minion and realize you've created something that's almost too adorable to eat. Almost.
I mean, just *LOOK* at Kevin. The candles made it even better!

And then Derek set him on fire.
And I gleefully reveled in my stretchy cake pants that I was about to get some dessert.
Kevin was really tasty. The only problem was I don't have a cake safe big enough for him, so he's sitting--now bottomless mind you--in the fridge with a piece of foil covering his missing coveralls as to hide either his shame or our carnage. Or both. But I had an absolutely wonderful birthday full of well wishes from friends, amazing food and fun with my husband, and lively conversations with family while I made my minion just to destroy him later. The downfall of being an evil baking genius, I suppose. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!

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