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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

October 29: Deadly Piñata Loaf Cake & Pumpkin Cake Pops

I originally had another recipe scheduled for today, but I decided we really needed to amp up the Halloween for this final week. Enter: today's sugar bombs.

On Sunday, I shared chili in a coffin. That made use of a corn bread base baked up in a loaf pan. The loaf was then partially hollowed out and filled with soup.

The next night as I was trying to fall asleep, I thought, "Hmm...that coffin was kind of cool. What if I did it with cake and filled it with candy instead? That could be fun."

Perhaps you're thinking, "Wait a sec. You've already done a coffin. This is cheating." And perhaps you'd be right. But also? I think this dessert one made better use of the concept because it's sort of like a Halloween piñata cake, but in a loaf pan. (Ever hear of a piñata cake? Here's a fun tutorial.) It's basically a partly hollowed out cake with candy in the middle that spills out when you cut it. You know, like a piñata spills out candy when you hit it.

I'm happy I tried it. My kids were HUUUUGE fans of it. (And why wouldn't they be? It's cake with candy. Sugar on sugar.)

So let's take you through this in a photo tutorial. (I apologize in advance that the pix are sort of dark. I made this on a rainy night and despite having all my kitchen lights on, it was dark and shadowy. Hopefully, though, because it's a scary tombstone, it's more on, riiiiiight. Ha!)
Supply list: Entemann's All-Butter Loaf, green Airheads candy (1 flat kind, 1 rope kind),
gummy frogs, gummy snakes, chocolate frosting. I also used some brown M&Ms (not pictured).
Turn the loaf on its side and use a serrated knife to slice just under the domed part
Here it is in half. Domed part on top, bottom part still on the bottom.
Working with the bottom section, use a knife to gently cut a rectangular shape within the cake.
I left only about a half inch border--I would recommend you leave at least 3/4"-1".
It needs a little more structural support.  
Within the rectangle, slice 5-6 smaller slices to make them easier to remove.
Work from the center and use a fork to gently remove a small bite-sized portion
of the cake so you can fit a fork in there to neatly remove the rest.
As you can see, I didn't work from the center. When I removed that first little piece, a crack formed in the corner of the perimeter. Eventually, that broke. This is why you should start in the center (so you can better approach the outsides) AND why you need to leave a thicker border to begin with. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES!
Slide your fork under the cake and the tines will cut and remove for you.
Again, work from the middle toward the edge, instead of inward like I did.
Here is the hollowed-out loaf cake. I slid a toothpick into the corner which had cracked,
to serve like a nail. It held at first, but after I filled it with candy, it cracked open again.
Now turn your attention to the top domed part of the loaf cake you cut off earlier.
Turn the dome to face you.  
Use the chocolate frosting to lightly frost the un-cut top portion. 
(Optional Step - I did it because I didn't want to have gummy candy in crumby cake,
but depending on how you plan to cut it, it could be in your way. So you could skip the lining.)
Gently line the inside of the hollowed out section with a small piece of waxed paper.  
Pour a small, base layer of black or brown M&Ms into the hollow base.
I used Cookies & Screeem flavor.
Add some gummy frogs on top of the M&Ms
Add snakes on top. Try to position them in different ways,
so they look extra loopy and coiled like they'd definitely freak out Indy
This is the point at which the structural integrity of my coffin started becoming a real problem. The weight of the candy pushing against the already-flimsy sides cracked the cake on one side. I tried using toothpick "nails" again to no avail. So that's why you need a thicker edge to begin with. Trust me on that!
Using the rope taffy, cut a 3" section.  
Use your thumb to gently flatten one end, then use a paring knife
to cut out five fingers. 
Continue to press and squeeze into an arm shape.
Remember, it's a ZOMBIE ARM so it can look bumpy and gross.
Leave a little extra length for positioning inside the coffin. 
Using one of the flat taffy, cut thin strips and shape them into RIP.
Feel free to get more creative with your message if you want to spend the time on it.
Spooooooky, edible decorations

Position the RIP letters on the center of your frosted coffin lid 
Gently move the lid onto the snake-filled coffin,
then tuck the arm underneath with the hand coming around
(as though pushing aside the coffin lid to escape.)  
Here's a picture of the inside of the coffin from the side.
You can sort of see the side had collapsed there. 
Zombie hand!!!!
On a whim, I added a few chocolate chips and used a toothpick to gently drag leg
markings into the frosting. The idea there was that when the zombie pushed aside the lid,
some spiders scurried out. I'm not sure that's what they look like,
but that's what they were supposed to be. 
I added a little extra frosting to the sides of the lower coffin section
to add some contrast for where the zombie is reaching out.  
I just moved the coffin lid down more here so you could see the snakes inside. 
To serve, you can slice right on through in vertical chunks (IF you didn't used the waxed paper lining). I sliced the coffin lid into 3 portions and served those up, then let my girls help themselves to the candy. The bottom section can be its own portion since so much of it has been hollowed out.

Speaking of that cake you took out... I even have a plan for that.  It's called OPERATION CAKE POPS. I got 4 good sized pops, plus 1 tasting-sized portion for the cook. They come together in a snap.

In a medium bowl, crumble up the loaf cake you removed from the bottom section of the loaf.
Add 1-2 Tablespoons of chocolate frosting to the crumbs.
Stir until it's completely combined and the crumbs hold together like a soft dough.
Roll into balls. 
Melt about 3/4 cup orange candy melts according to package directions.
Dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the candy melt.
Gently press the stick 1/2-3/4 of the way into the cake pop ball.
When it sets, the melt will serve as a glue to better hold the cake. 
Repeat with the rest of the cake pops.
Freeze for 15 minutes. 
If they hardened while you waited, remelt the candy melts.
Dip the cold cake ball into the warm melt. 
Gently spin and tap to remove excess melt.
Add a small slice of flat taffy to the top of the pop. If your melt has already set,
simply dip the edge of the candy into the warm melt and press it onto the set melt.
Store upright so that the pop retains its circular shape. I poked holes into my egg carton
and it worked nicely to hold them upright while they set.
The "taster" for the cook (that's me!) It was yum!
Pumpkin-shaped cake pop 
There! That's TWO Halloween desserts in one post and from only one store-bought loaf cake. This is semi-homemade at its best. Anyone could do this and have quite a lot of fun with it. (Both making it AND eating it, come to think of it.) I hope you'll give it a try.

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