Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Academy Awards - What a production

Tomorrow marks the night of the 83rd Academy Awards. I have always been interested in this annual event, thanks to my mother - the ultimate queen of movie stars and their gossip. Years ago, my mother and her best friend Kate, took me and my friend Katie to London. While there, we stumbled across the Bristish Academy Awards aka The BAFTAS. Somehow, Kate and my mom scored tickets to the red carpet and we set front row in the grand stands while all of the celebrities made their grand entrance. We were the only (obnoxious) Americans there, so we scored a ton of autographs and photos:

The night ended with my mom and Kate somehow making it into the BAFTA's after party and scoring a bunch of gift bags and a chocolate centerpiece...don't ask.

In addition to the festivities in California, tomorrow also marks the annual Oscar's celebration held by Kate and her husband.It is a fantastic party where guests come in optional costume, dine on amazing food, drink fantastic beverages (naturally), and mock/cheer/jeer the celebrities and their movies.

I wanted to make a dessert fit for an Academy, so I chose Mary's Prize Chocolate Cake and Rich Chocolate Frosting. Like the making of a movie, this culinary feat was a production!

I started off by making the cake:

Prize Chocolate Cake:
(written by Mary on lined recipe card)

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
3 squares chocolate
1 cup sour milk (1 cup milk & 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten egg, melted chocolate and vanilla. Beat Thoroughly. Add sour milk. Sift soda, salt, and flour. Add to wet mixture. Beat thoroughly. Place batter into two 9 inch buttered and floured cake pans. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

My original idea was to make chocolate Oscar statues (using a fantastic Oscar cookie cutter given to me by my mom's dear friend Sue) and decorate them with a gold colored frosting. I found a recipe for salted caramel frosting - PERFECT....Not. The frosting tasted like a caramel-y/salty stick of butter. Plan B - Mary's Rich Chocolate Frosting

Rich Chocolate Frosting
(recipe cut out of magazine and taped onto recipe card)

4 oz (squares) unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup strong coffee
Melt chocolate and butter together. Place in mixing bowl and add powdered sugar. Mix well. Add coffee and continue to mix (I let the stand mixer mix this up for @ 2 minutes). Add additional powdered sugar if needed. This frosting will be more of a ganache consistency, but it will harden up.

I started in on other projects around the apartment, letting the cakes cool a little too long. By the time I took them out of the pan, only one came out in its entirety. Crap! I decided to change my plans again - Plan C: Round 9" cake with Oscar Statue. I cut out a statue from the crappy cake, decorated it with chocolate frosting and gold/silver non-nonpareils and placed it on top of the 9" cake. I give all of those bakers on the cake shows a lot of credit. This was not easy, but I finally had a finished product that I was content with

Matt and I just got back from seeing The King's Speech. What an absolutely amazing movie! It MUST win best picture, Colin Firth MUST win best actor, and Geoffrey Rush MUST win best supporting actor!


  1. The cake was good!! Had some with my champagne!!

  2. I had forgotten all about this cake!