Many of us are familiar with Sally Fallon’s seminal book, Nourishing Traditions. In it, she presents a lovely recipe for Gingered Carrots, which in turn has been adapted in Fermented Vegetables, the source of inspiration for this fantastic cake recipe. We in turn have adapted the recipe to our own ends again. If you don’t already make the Ginger Carrot Kraut that the recipe calls for, never fear; just make a batch of Fermented Carrots and shred them up, adding fresh grated ginger to taste. Immunity Boost Kraut might also be a good substitute.
This recipe is delicious made in a pair of 10” cake pans, but we thought this seasonal skull mold was just too much fun to pass up. If you are decorating the finished cake with flowers, as we do here, please be sure to use organically grown flower petals; many commercially grown flowers have nasty chemical residues. It goes without saying, too, (though I guess we are going to say it anyway) that it’s important to make sure all flowers used are in fact safe to eat. Have fun, and don’t be afraid to eat your delicious creation!
Use your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, if desired, to coat the outside of the cake.
Flowers and Seeds to Decorate the Cake.
We used petals collected from Jacob’s Ladder rose, tithonia, sunflower, gallardia, bachelors button, marigold, and zinnia flowers, as well as fennel and nigella seeds and opal basil leaves to create this beauty. Geranium, pansy, and sage flowers would also work well; make sure that all flowers are organically grown and not recently transplanted from conventional nursery stock. Poppy seeds or cocoa powder would also work well for the eyes and nose cavities.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Add the nuts and dried fruit.
Allow the cake to cool for at least 15 minutes inside the pan before removing it. Remove the cake halves from the pan. Let the cake cool completely before assembling and decorating.
When completely cool, return the cake halves back into the pan.
With a serrated knife, gently saw any excess cake that may have risen above the pan.
Remove the back half of the cake from the pan, leaving the front (face) half in the pan. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the front half that is still in the pan.
Take the back half of the cake and press it down gently into the buttercream to secure the halves together.
For additional stability, place a skewer into the base of the skull, and another into the upper half of the skull on the back side of the cake.
Let the buttercream cool completely before decorating.
Frost the skull with your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. We just blended a stick of cream cheese with sugar and 2 tbs butter to create an impromptu icing. We were left with plenty of icing for other purposes; even half of this formula would yield enough icing to frost the cake. A spatula gets the base layer on; a pastry brush is a helpful tool to spread it on evenly enough to allow the definition of the skull to shine through.
Slice the mouth open carefully, and insert a marigold or rose for the skull to clench in her teeth. Arrange the flower petals as desired. Seeds or cocoa powder darken the eye and nose areas and add a welcome contrast.
Have fun, and let your imagination run wild!
It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food, more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.