Grab a cuppa this is going to be a long story . . .
I told you the story about the antique bunny mold and how I hadn’t attempted to use it in 10 years, but for some reason this year I decided to try and make the bunny cake myself; I don’t know why . . . I am not bored, my business is barking, my kid is on spring break, and we had eggs to dye and jelly beans to eat . . . but for some reason, making the bunny cake this year seemed important.
I have a very dense recipe for a pound cake. 1 pound of butter, 8 egg yolks, 8 egg whites, 3 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 2 teaspoons of almond extract, 1/3 cup of bourbon and 1/2 a cup of pecans.
Bunny Number #1
First, I greased the mold the old fashion way with a paper towel and Crisco. Then pushed the grease back into the far corners of the mold with my fingers, followed by a dusting of flour to make sure the mold was thoroughly and completely greased.
Next, Cole and I worked together to create the bunny batter with enthusiasm. Cole creamed together the butter and sugar until it was light and fluffy, and then mixed in egg yolks one at a time. He gradually mixed in the flour, alternating with the vanilla, almond extract, and bourbon, and beat it until it was smooth and creamy. I was working on the other counter, beating the egg whites until they were stiff but not dry (I have no idea what a dry egg white is, but I am sure mine were perfect).
Together we gently folded the egg whites into the batter, added the pecans and carefully spooned it into the bunny mold. We then ran a wooden spoon through the batter to rid it of pesky air bubbles.
We then marked it with a B and put that bunny in the oven for Cole and me. Along the way we had liberally tasted the batter, and it was to die for good, so we were certain the cake was going to be both beautiful and tasty.
While we waited for the bunny cake to cook, we dyed Easter eggs.
We dyed Rascal.
The timer went off, and we pulled the cake out of the oven. Waiting the required amount of time, we opened the mold. Not bad.
When it was completely cool, we attempted to take the bunny out of the pan. Not good. We finally managed but left behind the pivotal foot the bunny stands on, and before I could say “NO!” . . . Cole popped the foot into his mouth.
I’m a big believer in icing. However, in this case the only thing our white icing did was turn our crippled bunny into something much too sad to even consider trying to save with jelly beans. We trashed it, and looked at each other and said . . .
“Do over.” Ok, I might have said it a little louder than Cole.
I quickly washed and dried the dishes we needed to use again.
Cole assembled the ingredients.
I whipped, he blended.
We each greased a side of the bunny pan.
This time, we decided to use more batter and to make sure we spooned it into the mold very evenly.
Just as we were sealing the mold, marking it with a B and putting it in the oven for Cole and me, our friends Dave and Johnny showed up to rescue Cole for a while. Dave was fascinated with the bunny cake, interested in each and every step.
While Cole was off running amuck with Dave and Johnny, I minded the bunny cake. I took it out when the timer went off, waited the correct time to take the top off the mold and what did my wondering eyes behold? A very pale bunny covered in air pockets with its ears sunk in. I decided that baking it for another 15 minutes might help. It didn’t—now we had a crispy bunny. Cole arrived back home and could tell from my look that the bunny cake project was not on track. Dave was anxious to see the results. I put him off with “the bunny has to cool, David,” when in fact the bunny was now buried alongside bunny #1
When we were alone again, I told Cole the sad tale, and he announced, “I’m exhausted—time for bed.” Fine. What mom can argue with her kid when he says ‘I’m exhausted time for bed’? It was 11 p.m. at night, and I was left all alone to struggle with bunny #3.
I was not going to rest until my bunny batter was the best.
It took about 45 minutes to assemble bunny #3 on my own; but along the way I wondered if those pesky air bubbles were not the problem with the cake batter. So I whipped batter #3 until I had popped every last air bubble.
I then marked bunny cake #3 with a B for bunny and put it in the oven for me.
At about 2 a.m., I removed it, waited the required amount to time, opened the lid—AND it was a total and complete failure.
I went to bed.
Three hours later, I rose and shined at 6 a.m. to let out Campers, and to greet Cole and partake in an Easter egg and basket hunt at around 7:30 a.m. After a few marshmallow eggs and talking cars with Cole for a couple of hours, I went back to Google and did some extensive research on cake batters for molds. I found out that you never put pecans in a cake batter used in a mold. I think this gem was on about the 200th page of my search. I learned that cake flour, or something called potato flour, works best to create a dense cake. I found a recipe for a bunny cake made in Poland translated to English.
I went to the store.
Let’s just cut to the chase. I followed the directions, but whoever did the measurement translations was way off. I ended up with about a coffee mug full of batter and a very bad attitude.
I went back to Google for a new recipe.
The ingredients were all still on my counter. I whipped that batter up in record time.
I marked it with an FU, and put that sucker in the oven.
Friends . . . yours truly may be a lot of things, but can we all agree I am not a quitter?